349: How to Delegate The Right Way

Delegation is so hard because it’s alien to most people, we don’t get any practice telling people what to do in life. As a business owner, it’s uncomfortable telling people what to do. When things get hard, the easy approach is to push people out of your way and say that you’ll do it yourself. But in order to really thrive and take the next step as an entrepreneur, you need to delegate well on two levels.

The first level of delegation is delegating tasks, which is easy. You hire a new employee, and you tell them what to do, whether they mow lawns or wash windows or sell or handle customer service. Delegating tasks can make people wealthy with just a small team and every decision rolling up to you, but you’ll still be limited in what you can do.

Great entrepreneurs delegate decisions. If you want to take the leap, if you want your business to thrive and grow without you, to be able to take time off, you need your employees to be able to make decisions when a problem comes up. 

When an employee comes to you with a problem, you’ll want to solve it yourself and let them walk away. But as this scales with all employees, you suddenly have everybody’s problems on your plate. You have no control and no balance over your workload, and this is how most business owners operate.

When an employee comes to you with a problem, you need them to walk away with the tools to solve it. Ask them how they would think about solving the issue, maybe give some guidance or ask continuous probing questions until they have a suggestion. You’ll get them to practice thinking, and you’ll get to see how they think. You’ll have a front-row seat to see if they’re capable of making decisions effectively. And if you do this for long enough, you’ll find out which ones excel. Eventually, your phone will stop ringing, because you’ve put people in between you and the problems.

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I started the Sweaty Startup in December of 2018 because I believe the Shark Tank and Tech Crunch culture is ruining the real spirit of low-risk entrepreneurship.