Let me tell you the story of an aspiring business owner I know — we’ll call her Beginner Boo.
She’s a single mom with a teenager and a 6-year-old, and she’s juggling working her 9-5 job at a marketing agency with starting her own social media management business.
As you can imagine, Beginner Boo is constantly exhausted. She’s got her fast-paced job, kids to take care of, chores and errands to do, and a business to build from scratch.
9 nights out of 10, she falls asleep at her desk after completing exactly 0 items on her business to-do list.
On weekends, when her ex takes the kids, she always “commits” to getting working done on her business. She envisions herself digging into content creation, connecting with potential clients, and actually getting sh*t done...
And then she snaps back into reality after seeing the piles of dirty laundry, a kitchen sink full of dishes, and a fridge that desperately needs restocking.
Beginner Boo has always been independent and strong, but this routine is taking it to an extreme. She’s burnt out, overwhelmed, scatterbrained, fed up, and feeling unappreciated. So much so, that she’s on the brink of giving up her dream of building a business.
I’ve heard this exact story over and over again from my clients. According to a recent survey we gave our Club members, many of them are in the beginning stages of growing their businesses and are struggling with the same challenges as Beginner Boo here.
On the Hello Seven Growth Scale™️, we call this stage Hello 01: Beginner. At this level, you’re probably making no more than $2,000 per month in your business, or anywhere from $0 to $24,999 per year.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of women-owned businesses in the U.S. — 67%, according to the US Census — are at this level of business growth.
And in my experience, one major reason that so many women business owners stay stuck at this level is because we struggle to delegate.
A study by the University College of London found that women did the bulk of domestic work in 93% of the couples surveyed. When both parties worked full-time, women were five times more likely to spend at least 20 hours per week doing household chores.
Our society does a great job of making women feel obligated to not only work a full-time job, but to also complete all or most domestic work ourselves when we get home.
And if you’re a business owner on top of all that, you’re brewing up one piping hot cup of “this don’t make no damn sense.”
So to all my Beginner Boos out there, this is my solution for you: you HAVE to outsource some of your responsibilities at home. Plain and simple.
Even if you’re on a tight budget, you can make delegation work for you.
You could outsource some of your errands to apps like TaskRabbit. Use delivery services for your groceries and laundry. Hire a housecleaning service as often as you can afford it. Recruit your family members to help you out (would your niece walk your dog for a small weekly allowance? could your ex do more to support you with childcare?).
Your capacity to build your company will grow immensely when you reclaim mental real estate from household tasks.
Committing to hiring help and letting go of the obligation to do everything yourself will liberate you, make you happier, and, at the same time, increase your income.
If Beginner Boo could find a way to delegate some of the everyday tasks that take away so much of her time and energy, she’d have the space she needs to concentrate on getting clients, making sales, and delivering her high-quality service.
And if you’re at this Beginner stage of growing your business, this is probably true for you, too.
That's great, Ebonye! At H1, this is exactly what you should be focused on to grow to the next level in your business - clearing your plate enough to focus on building your business by delegating some of your everyday tasks.
Awesome practical advice! I am so sick of the "all you need to do..." advice with a to-do list a mile long and no idea where I will ever find the energy for it... but this is real. And possible (somehow... I'll figure it out!)