As a musician, I have been a “do it yourself”, “lone wolf” type person for years (until now). I guess it started when I was a teenager with no money, having to make gig postcards or something, I got used to doing everything that surrounded my music.
As well, I had a teacher who still has a very successful music book mail order business. As it turns out he delegates the copying & binding of the books – but in an effort to emulate his product I went to kinkos, bought a binding machine and made similar books. The difference? I had to be hands on.
Making gig flyers, publishing my own books, burning CD demos, fixing up my own websites have been the m.o. in my past. Things I was forced / chose to delegate / hire someone were studio recording and CD production – yet everything else, I felt I had to be hands on to get it done right and cheaply.
Does this sound like you?
If you are like me, it’s easy to feel that “only I can do it right, best, fastest cheapest”.
Guess what? All the success books I have been studying teach the opposite. Focus on your core genius and delegate the rest.
See, the problem with the “I have to do everything” attitude is that it is easy to spend an 8 hour day making xeroxes and saving $50 – but in that same time (for example) I could be practicing and improving my craft which will lead to much more than $50.
What if I used that time to draft a workshop outline, a new book, make a new you tube video, etc? So – cheaper is not cheaper. It robs me / us of our most valuable asset – time.
Even worse is that I got to be known for good web skills and pretty good (but not awesome) design skills – like laying out a CD cover. So others would hire me. Some people might think “ooh – great you have something to fall back on”, but now the likelihood of getting further away from my most important tasks is compounded.
So I did a test. “No more!” I declared. For my new CD Gratitude I hired a GREAT photographer, and allowed the CD duplication company “Discmakers” to design it. Discmakers charges about $500 for the design.
In the past I have used scanned photos, and done layouts myself in inDesign or Quark. My CD’s have looked “pretty ok”, “acceptable”…you get the idea.
The result of delegating this new project? My new CD looks TOP NOTCH! GREAT! Gorgeous. 10 stars! And it was painless! I found myself playing guitar and lining up important things like gigs, magazine reviews, etc – and spent NO time in front of an Adobe program. The $500 spent got me much more than I had bargained for – saved time, great result. Now when anyone (customer, promoter, festival) sees this – it will stand out from all the shlocky looking stuff. Oh, and did I mention that they also designed posters and t-shirts as well (all included in the $500)?
Not only that – the result is WAY BETTER – like 1000% better, than if I had done it myself. It smacks of “world class”, “this guy takes himself seriously”, and “successful musician”.
Delegation does not have to cost a lot. You can ask friends & family for favors here and there to get stuff off your plate. John Assaraf repeatedly says “find people who play at the things you work at”.
It also means “visualizing” things getting done easily and effortlessly around you. I’ll keep you posted on my productivity from delegation.
Straight Ahead!!! Comments and ideas welcome…