The One Key to My Personal and Business Success (and my Sanity!)

 

Throughout my 20s, I was laser focused on building my business. This meant all my resources were poured into my venture. There was one thing I wasn’t willing to sacrifice though, and that’s the quality of food I’d eat.

You hear it all the time – stories of entrepreneurs living off dollar pizza and ramen for years on end just so they could get their business off the ground. I was never one of those people. I valued my health way too much. Plus, I believed that the better I felt, the more I’d get done.

The irony is that I missed one important point – that our health goes beyond just our body. We have to mind our mental health too.

 

While I was willing to pay extra for food, I wasn’t as willing to splurge on other things. I’d do just about anything to keep that extra penny. I’d wait for hours until a taxi would pass by because I refused to pay higher Uber rates. Paying for cleaning and laundry services was beyond me, and don’t even think of making me pay for a virtual personal assistant. I chose to do everything on my own.

I thought I was making the best choices. I even took pride in my prudent lifestyle. But then it all caught up with me. For a few months, things got out of control. My dirty laundry piled up, I’d run out of groceries, and my home was in complete chaos. I almost had a psychological breakdown! Just the thought of doing something as simple as taking out the trash gave me anxiety attack.

I knew I had to make a change. It simply wasn’t working anymore.

The Key to Leadership Success

In the world of business, people are often told about how delegation is an important key to leadership success. According to Harvard Business Review, delegation benefits all the players in a business – the managers, the subordinates, and the organization as a whole. All the same, research showed that almost half of the participating companies were seeing a lack of delegation skills in their employees. Several leaders hold on to their instinctive tendency to protect work, which then fuels a constant state of overextension.

I am a solopreneur offering women’s wear via an e-commerce store. I own a dropshipping business, which allows me to run a solo operation.

To give you a quick background on the kind of business that I run — dropshipping is a type of business model where the retailer sells products without the need to have goods in stock or to work on logistics. Customer orders and shipment details are simply transferred to either another retailer, a wholesaler, or a manufacturer who then takes charge of shipping the products directly to the customer. With the logistics covered, all that I (the retailer) have to do is market and sell the products. I maintain an online store and advertise my products on social media channels. I also respond to customer inquiries and concerns.

At a glance, you’d think my business would not benefit from delegation. I thought the same, but boy, was I wrong.

It took a life crisis that bordered on a psychological breakdown for me to finally make a real CEO move – I started delegating certain aspects of my daily life! Because it meant spending money on something I would normally skimp on, that took a lot of courage and willpower on my part. But boy oh boy, did it change my life!

 

The Most Important Resource

It all started with realizing what my most valuable resource is. And no, it’s not money. It’s definitely not the few pennies I save from suffering through daily indignities. My most important resource is time! Ironically, the more I acknowledge this fact, the more money I end up saving.

Case in point, I started allocating the hours I spent waiting for a taxi to other more productive and income-generating activities. Because the marketing I do actually amounts to more sales, my time is pretty valuable. It was simply foolish to sacrifice hours of my precious time for a few dollars of savings on a taxi ride.

Now more focused on saving time rather than a few dollars, I’ve started to delegate many of my daily tasks. This boss move eventually propelled my business to new heights of success — and earned me more profits! I now also have resources to do more of the things that I love, like travelling and volunteering. Success, after all, is about living a fuller and more meaningful life.

Here are some of the tasks I’ve started to delegate:

1) Laundry

I have completely delegated my laundry to a service that includes pickup and drop off. It’s a far cry from the days when my laundry would pile up to the point where I’d have to devote a day just for the task. This used to bring me such anxiety; I still shudder from the thought of it. Now, I even have a virtual personal assistant contacting the laundry service for me. I just breathe better now.

2) Food Preparation

It’s funny how I’d care about my health so much I’d only eat healthy food but then get too caught up in my daily tasks causing me to go for hours on end without food. Well, this foolishness ended a while back. Thanks again to this lovely thing they call delegation. All it took was a few clicks on an app. I am now signed up with a food preparation and delivery program that makes sure I eat right and on time. My virtual personal assistant did a great job finding a vegan delivery program that makes sure I get the proper amount of calories and that I actually enjoy my food.

3) Household Cleaning

I have OCD, and I’m a bit of a germophobe, so I spend way too much time cleaning my home. If this task were to bring in profits, I’d be much richer for it. Hiring a cleaner is probably one of the most cost-effective things I’ve ever had to do. I also feel happier and more relaxed in my home now, I just can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner.

4) Business Operations

I didn’t realize it, but the thought that my business is a one-man show unnecessarily restricted its growth. Now that I have a virtual personal assistant taking care of the smaller tasks like responding to customer queries and complaints, I’ve just had more headspace and time to focus on the big picture. This resulted in a more put-together and successful marketing strategy. I’ve even branched out to other product lines! The returns are unreal.

Delegation has become a crucial ingredient not only for my business success but for my sanity as well. I’d prescribe it to anyone.

 

The Power of Delegation: How to Live a Fuller Life

 

To live a truly meaningful life, you need freedom of time. What’s the use of having money if you don’t get enough time to spend it on the things you enjoy doing? Sure, you have adorable kids and a loving partner. Then again, do you have enough free time to cherish their presence? Whatever it is that matters to you, you need time to fully enjoy it.

Everyone gets the same number of hours in a day. But not everybody gets the same value out of it. The key is to develop the skills that will allow you to take control of your time … and win in life!

In his ‘triarchic model’, the American psychologist Robert Sternberg classifies intelligence into three parts: analytical intelligence, creative intelligence, and practical intelligence. He emphasizes that there is more to success than just traditional intelligence, or what generally falls under the category analytical intelligence (what we recognize as academic-problem solving).

Practical intelligence, for one, helps us with our everyday tasks. And this goes beyond just getting things done. Managerial success, for instance, is determined less by academic knowledge than by a shrewd ability to effectively manage yourself, your tasks, and other people. As a matter of fact, business executives who score high on practical intelligence tests tend to receive higher performance ratings and earn bigger salaries.

One of the key skills that determine a person’s practical intelligence is his ability to delegate tasks and responsibilities.

Leadership and delegation – What successful people are made of

Succeeding in life requires stepping into a leadership position. Whether you are trying to run a business, manage a household, or get through college, you need to have the leadership skills to tackle everyday tasks and reach your goals. Leadership is about taking the initiative, holding the reigns, and getting things done.

People who meet outstanding success are those who make one of the most difficult transitions for leaders – that of taking the shift from doing to leading. This translates to learning to delegate effectively. Delegation allows you to be in two places at once. It lets you cultivate and make use of other people’s talents, skills, and time. It also enables you to tap into the power of synergy, where ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’.

The Importance of Delegation

1. Efficiency

You achieve greater efficiency when you are able to transfer duty to people whose skills better match the responsibility. This way, tasks will be done more effectively and at a faster rate. You get to save on time, a highly valuable commodity. Moreso, allowing others to carry out routine tasks lets you focus on the big picture. You get to expel more time and energy on planning and strategizing for your next crucial steps. Before you know it, you will be meeting your big goals.

2. Relief

One of the greatest problems in this modern world is that people are spreading themselves too thin. Trying to tackle too many things can keep you on the edge. Just looking at your to-do list gets you overwhelmed, and your stress levels shoot up. Our body deals with stressful situations the way it does with danger, it releases hormones like epinephrine and cortisol. Such elevated levels of stress hormones lead to increased heart rate and blood pressure, and to a generally revved up nervous system. While this bodily reaction helps us properly deal with dangerous situations, it can cause problems when it persists. Prolonged stress has been linked to several physical and emotional disorders, including stroke, hypertension, heart attacks, asthma, sexual dysfunction, depression, and anxiety.

Learning to properly delegate allows you to unload several tasks, and have more space to just sit back and relax. You may not realize it, but this could be the greatest gift you give yourself.

3. Development

Leaders often have skills and abilities that are worth passing down to others. Delegating tasks lets you do just that. Beyond just helping others develop their own skill set, delegation also lets you work on your own personal development. One of the best ways to reinforce your own knowledge base is by teaching others. More so, there’s value in nurturing your mentoring skills. Mentors and coaches tend to gain professional and personal satisfaction as they share their expertise with other people.

Delegation also lends you more time to learn new skills and extend your knowledge base. Many of the greatest success stories involved a lifetime of nonstop learning. Legendary personalities embrace lifetime learning, or the ongoing and voluntary pursuit of knowledge for both professional and personal motivations. It’s what the likes of Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg have in common – they love reading and learning.

Go ahead and embark on your own journey to success. Your idea of success can be as simple as having more time for your family or as big as building the next unicorn startup. Whatever your goal may be, feel free to embrace available resources. From using productivity apps to hiring a virtual assistant, your possibilities are endless.