By: Lois Kirkpatrick
You started your business to do more of what you love. But now you’re spending way too much time on things you dislike: scheduling, office management, data entry. Unwanted tasks pile up and you get stressed out. You spend more time working, but end up being less productive. What’s the solution to getting back to your passion?
Focus on your “core genius,” and offload everything else.
“Core genius” is a term used by business coach Jack Canfield, author of “The Success Principles.” Your core genius is the reason you went into business for yourself. It’s your passion, the thing you love to do.
Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs spend less than 30 percent of their time focusing on their core genius. This impacts the bottom line. Your “core genius” is the thing that brings in the money. Majoring in non-core activities decreases revenue.
The solution is to offload non-core tasks to someone who that as their core genius.
First, write down at least 10 things outside of your core genius that are necessary to run a business. This includes creating invoices, processing receipts, filtering emails, scheduling and confirming appointments, looking up information, performing data entry and writing basic proposals.
Next, offload all those tasks onto a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants are independent contractors who provide business support services. They work remotely (usually from a home office). The going rates for U.S.-based VAs range from $25 – $75 per hour. Rates are higher if you need a VA with specialized skills or certifications; lower if you can work with a VA based outside the U.S.
You might balk at hiring a VA at first. Maybe you think it takes more time to train someone than to do the tasks yourself. The fact is, if you have an ongoing task that takes a couple hours each week – marketing through social media, for example – taking two hours to show a virtual assistant exactly how you want it done will ultimately save you more than 100 hours per year. Think of what you could achieve with 100 more hours to focus on your core genius!
Maybe you’re hesitant about working with a VA because you want things done a certain way and believe you’re the only one who can do them right. The truth is, VAs have more experience doing management support work than you do. They can do it faster and more accurately, freeing you up to focus on the work you should be doing.
Perhaps you don’t think you can afford a VA. The bottom line is, you probably can’t afford NOT using a VA. If you spend too much of your time doing non-core work, your business will suffer.
The alternative, hiring a series of temps, interns, or part-time employees, takes too much time and effort for uncertain results. Besides, you may not have enough work to keep them busy at first. The beauty of using a VA is that you only pay for actual work done; you’re not on the hook for overhead and benefits.
Try offloading simple projects and tasks – say, 10 hours of work per week – and grow from there. Once you see how much more income-generating work you can get done, and with much less stress, you’ll wonder why you didn’t contract with a VA sooner.
According to Dr. John Demartini, behavioral specialist and author of “The Breakthrough Experience,” entrepreneurs must delegate lower-priority tasks in order to achieve goals.
“Business masters are those who love what they do, do what they love, and work efficiently and effectively. They delegate everything else,” he says. “You’ll be far more productive, energized, and inspired at the end of the day when you can stick to high-priority actions.”
Find Out More
“101 Ways to Use a Virtual Assistant” by the International Virtual Assistants Association.
“Who Needs a VA?” by the International Association of Virtual Assistants.
“Case Studies” by the Alliance for Virtual Businesses.