A few weeks ago one of my colleagues sent me an email. In it, she said,
“I have this on-going question with myself: How much of my marketing do I surrender to someone like a VA or a web-designer and how much do I learn myself?”
I’ve wrestled with this question often over the course of my entrepreneurial life and I suspect I will continue to ponder it. Here’s what I know to be true:
I never surrender my marketing to a virtual assistant or a web designer (or anyone else, for that matter) unless that person is intimately connected to my business and REALLY understands both my entrepreneurial sensibility and my brand.
However, I do believe there are benefits to be gained in asking for help and turning over tasks that free us up to focus on the more important work we are doing in the world. The work that is intimately connected to our calling.
For example, my web person takes care of the ecommerce plugin on my website. She can do that far more efficiently than I. So, it is not in my best interest to spend hours and hours figuring out the particulars of ecommerce when I can be working on content creation or orchestrating the events in an upcoming launch.
I’m a learner.
I, too, have a nagging need to understand the “back end” items in my business toolbox: auto-responders, opt-in channels, shopping carts, email management programs . . . the endless stream of technical tricks and tools that can drive a creative, right-brained entrepreneur to distraction. I do want to be able to handle as much of that as possible because I never want to lose momentum or be dependent on a virtual assistant to make something to happen on a weekend for example. When most sane people stop working.
This ‘need to understand’ has created both joy and despair in my entrepreneurial life. The joy comes in mastering a new piece of software or technology. Or in creating my very first ebook or logo! The despair arrives when I waste precious hours on a task that does not light me up and keep me energized.
Here are the questions that guide me:
What matters most? What lights me up?
For me, these questions reflect back to me what I most value in life (and in my business). If I don’t value the task, it’s not going to be compelling enough to sustain my interest. So, I ask myself this question every single day, “What matters most?”
I keep a running list of the items I’d like to understand or learn more about some day: Photoshop Elements, Logo Design, Ecommerce, Video Recording, HTML…you get the picture. And then? Then, I look at that list and I decide what matters most to my business AND what lights me up. If something on that list satisfies both categories, I start there.
If my intuition says, “Oh please, no, anything but that!”
I turn it over. . .