Learning to ask for help is difficult for most people (and women in particular). Somewhere along the way we learned that it’s a sign of weakness to request help, but really it’s not.

Many years ago we adopted a daughter. The adoption process (just like having a child) is not necessarily an easy process. Between the time we were notified of our match and the time of travel, we were also in the process of starting up a new business. It was a rather hectic time in our household. One thing I did was realize that I couldn’t handle it all and I would have to delegate some jobs out, so I posted a note (and put it by the kitchen sink) that said “delegate.”  One simple word, one simple concept, one way to simplify everything.

Sometimes it’s difficult to determine what, exactly, you should delegate. A good rule of thumb would be to follow your strengths. If you’re a graphic artist and fabulous at making beautiful designs, perhaps you’d need help with bookkeeping or marketing. I have strong organizational skills and I’m great at document preparation, but when it came time to design a logo, I called a wonderful graphic artist.

If you’re a perfectionist, however, it is difficult to delegate certain tasks. After all, nobody knows your life or your business better than you do. While this is true, if you find the right person for certain tasks, you can guide them through your processes. “BUT” (you may ask) “how do I go about finding the right people to help with my tasks?” And that is a very good question.* If you are in networking groups, mention what you are looking for; one of your colleagues might know someone. Another tip for finding someone is to ask your friends. Facebook is a great resource for this. Just last week I needed a HVAC contractor and couldn’t figure out who to call. Within 24 hours I received 3 recommendations on Facebook. A great resource for professional services is LinkedIn. If you go to the search bar and start typing a term, you might get some hits that are 2nd degree connections on LinkedIn. You can see who your common connection is and ask about the service provider.

Cost is always an issue, but sometimes the costs have to be balanced against the return on investment. In some cases that might be easy to measure (for instance, if you’re not good at digging through the IRS code, a good tax accountant should save you money). Certain things cannot be measured in dollars and cents. Some things might ease your burden of time or allow you to focus your efforts in other areas.

Think about what you can do if you release some of the things that make your life difficult. No dollar amount can be placed on time with your family or on peace of mind.

*The other day a friend shared an article with me on some difficulties that might happen if you outsource overseas. You can read it at this link. Remember to look for good recommendations before hiring.