Letting go is hard. When you’ve built an entire career off slaving away, being in control, and calling all the shots, it’s difficult to imagine how not doing that anymore could possibly lead to anything good. But here’s the thing. You’re probably feeling kind of tired aren’t you? A little burnt out? Maybe you feel like you’ve taken this thing so far but now you just can’t seem to break through that ceiling and you just don’t know what to do?
I’ve been there. I know what that feels like. To have poured all you are and all you have into this one thing you love so much, only to feel like you’ve hit a wall.
But I have good news—it doesn’t mean you or your project are a failure. It doesn’t mean you’ll never reach the success you want. It just means you need help.
Sometimes, in our effort to strive for the best we forget to let other people in. The result is that we can only take things so far. After all, we’re only one person—there is no empire that was built by just one person. The truth is we need each other. We might be a little too stubborn and full of pride to admit it most days, but the truth is we do better together. When we can admit that, let go of control, and let others actually help us—that’s when we’ll start to see our career really flourish.
If you’re feeling stuck, but you’re ready to make changes,
Here are 4 Ways to Start Delegating Today:
1. Do what you love
It really is that simple. Get rid of the things weighing you down so that you can do more of the things you love.
To start, make a list of the top 5 things you enjoy doing in your career. These are the things that you look forward to, that when you’re in them it feels like the universe is working for you and that you’re not only good at, but when you do them, you see actual results.
It can be anything from playing live shows to answering emails from fans. Then, narrow it down to your top 2. These are the two things you want to get closer to doing all the time.
Now that you know what you want, let’s figure out what you could stand to never waste another day of your life on. (the list is probably long, am I right?)
Do you hate booking shows? Put that on the list. Does getting press or Spotify placements evade you? It goes on the list.
Unlike the first list, make this one as long as you want but then highlight the top 3-5 things on the list that you absolutely can not stand to do, and order them from worst to most tolerable. Eventually, you’ll be able to outsource all of them, so you want to start with the absolute worst of the worst. The things that are completely sucking your energy and making you miserable. If you’re going to outsource and spend money on anything, make it those things.
2. Find a team you can trust (and let them do their job)
Now it’s time for the fun (also sort of scary) part—finding a team! If you’re thinking, “but I don’t have a budget!” I’m going to stop you right there to say 2 things.
- You need to fix that. You really will need a budget to effectively run your career, so it’s better to start sooner rather than later. I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but I want the best for you, and the best is going to require a bit of spending money, so do whatever you can—Lyft on the weekends, bar tend at night, open an Etsy shop—to earn some extra cash for these things.
- There is actually a way to do this on a minimal budget. If you’re really bootstrapped for cash while you’re saving up, look into hiring friends, college students, or search the groups you’re in on Facebook for someone who has a great reputation but is just starting out and can give you a discounted rate. There are affordable options out there, just remember these are meant to help you grow, not to use for the rest of your career. Eventually, you’ll want to actually hire an expert.
Once you’ve hired your team, let them actually do their job! It can be difficult to not to micromanage, but remember, you hired these people because of their expertise—so let them show you they can handle it, but then actually let them handle it.
3. Acknowledge their strengths
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own lives that the only time we really give our team members any attention is when they’ve done something wrong. We tell the publicist that we wish they’d gotten a placement on some huge blog that was next to impossible to get, instead of acknowledging all the awesome placements they got on smaller or medium-sized blogs and playlists. Or we tell our guitarist when they screw up, but never when they absolutely nail a really tough part.
We’re hard-wired to solve problems, so we focus on the negative, forgetting to reward the positive.
If you’re bringing on team members, remember to pay attention to (and acknowledge) their strengths as much as anything else. Make sure they feel seen and appreciated, and everyone’s lives (and jobs) will be easier.
4. Grow together
There’s something really wonderful about growing together. When you partner up with others who are in the same lifecycle as you, you’re really opening yourself up to growing together. That means making mistakes together, learning together, and a lot of times, sharing and expanding your audiences and reach together. When one of you gets that big break, the other benefits. When one of you is having a hard time, the other is there for support.
Never underestimate support and the ability to be there for one another. Being able to grow together in that way really is crucial to the success of most careers.