Content was originally published on Inc.com on July 18, 2019.
“I would love to hire help, but I just can’t afford it right now.”
I have heard this statement a thousand times over the last twenty five years as a business coach, from business owners that are stressed, overworked and overwhelmed. Their businesses are usually doing well and growing, which leads to the need for help. Yet, they never seem to have the funds to hire additional help, even if their finances tell a different story.
And usually over the course of a few coaching sessions, the truth comes out and we are able to ascertain the real reason why they can’t “afford” to hire someone.
A Look At The Numbers
Before I delve into the why, I want to touch briefly on the numbers surrounding an additional hire. I see this in all areas of business, but for the sake of argument let’s look at a business owner who is doing their own graphic design work to save themselves some money. A typical graphic designer according to Upwork.com, charges approximately forty five dollars an hour. Now, this is an expert who knows their way around design software and can do things quickly and efficiently. You, as a business owner may struggle with the same tasks which would mean that a task that might take a professional an hour to do might take you two or three hours to do the same job.
So at face value, that forty five dollar project would cost you one hundred and thirty five dollars.
But as a CEO and business owner, you don’t make forty five dollars an hour. You have the potential to form partnerships worth thousands (or millions) to your bottom line. You have the potential to close sales or create products that would provide your company with financial security for years to come.
You are worth far more than forty five dollars an hour.
You Doubt Your Ability to Create Value
So why then are we still doing low level tasks as leaders? Many times when an entrepreneur says he can’t “afford to hire help” it’s because he isn’t confident in his conviction that he can create a magnitude more value using his time in another area of the business. If you doubt your ability to do higher level tasks, then it makes it really easy to de-value your time and your worth within the company.
The first step to overcoming this way of thinking is to start celebrating your victories. Each week put together a list of your high level tasks, and as you complete them take a moment to celebrate the success and the value of which you created.
“I just landed a contract that will increase our net profits by 25% this year.”
You Doubt Your Ability to Invest Your Time Wisely
Maybe you do understand the value of the work you are able to create. You know that if you focus on the right tasks, you have the potential to grow and scale your business. But yet, you still “can’t afford to hire help.” This usually stems from the fear that even if you were to free up your time, you aren’t confident in your ability to reinvest that time wisely on higher level tasks.
In order to overcome this one, take your victory list from before one step further by celebrating your ability to check things off of that list in a timely manner. At the end of each week, review what high level tasks you have completed that week and what is still left to be done.
Once you are able to show yourself what you are capable of you may just find that you can indeed “afford to hire help.“