Sink Handle Podcast Ep 47

Episode #47 - Fear of Letting Go

I had to take a few days off last week because I was sick.  I spent a lot of that time thinking about all the things I haven’t let go of yet in my business and how it was getting me upset to not be working as a result.  A lot of us have this problem; we can’t get sick, or go on vacation, or spend the extra time with the family, because we have a fear of letting go of some part of our businesses.  That’s what we get into on this week’s episode of the Sink Handle Podcast.

Quotes from this week's show:

  • “I’m not good at sitting still.  When I’m forced to it’s a reminder that I’m doing too much.”
  • “I find comfort in checking things off but when it’s the wrong stuff that’s not good no matter how good it feels.”
  • “I need to hire more people that do things better than I do.”
  • “When your business feeds your family there are a lot of reasons to feel scared to let someone else do the work.”
  • “There are so many excuses we use to keep us from letting go of work we should be handing off to our teams.”
  • “My plumber told me he hadn’t taken a day off in three months.  That’s not the kind of business you want to build.”
  • “Tasks have to have an end date.”

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Episode 47. So if you heard the episode, my sweet husband, if you heard the episode last week that my sweet husband posted, you know that I got my first vaccine shot last Sunday. And it knocked me down pretty hard. I was not expecting that I expected number two to be a little rough. Number shot number one was like the flu on Monday, Tuesday was kind of okay. And then Wednesday, I was so dizzy that I literally almost face planted into a wall as I walked through my house. So I am not one to take sick days. But I really had no choice. I'm not good at sitting still. I'm not good at just going and laying down the middle of the day. But I had no choice. And I have to tell you, this was a brilliant reminder from the universe that I have once again been doing too much. Work has come in, I have taken it on. And I have taken on implementation work that I shouldn't even be doing, or just stuff, just stuff. And this is on top of all the other things that I have to do around here. And this is on top of all the other things that I have to do around here. And I find comfort sometimes in the doing, right like there's, if I'm just filing something where I'm making a spreadsheet or whatever that thing is, that's very methodical, there's something to check off. And it makes me feel better. I love a good checklist and checking off things. Oh, my God is one of my favorite things in the world. So I tend when I get stressed out to like to get into those kind of things, and that doing is comfort. But when something like getting sick happens, it reminds me that I can't do all the things. And if I am doing these client things, or even just these little admin things for my own business, I'm not doing the really important work that I'm supposed to be doing for my own business. Marketing work or working on this podcast or strategy work for my own business is usually all my stuff gets bumped. And that's not good for my business. It's not good for me, I ended up getting stressed out in the trenches, doing all this doing, and then getting wound up that I can't get it all done. I'm sure this sounds familiar to maybe one or two of you out there. Now, to be clear, my team was here, my clients were all taken care of nothing was missed. I just stressed out thinking of all the work I should be doing right now, because I am not good at sitting still. But the moral of this whole story is I need more help around here. And I have been delaying and pushing this off. I've been looking to bring on a few different people, maybe for the work here, some client facing because I have had more client work come in, and I'm like, oh, I'll do it. But that's not my job right now. So maybe some client facing work. And then I have work in my own business that I suck at. I am not great in marketing strategy. I am terrible at building templates for things like social media posts, things like that, it will take me five times as long as any other human to go and make a Canva template. And that's not a good use of my time.

So these are the things that I'm need help with and I keep putting off and when you get sick, all of a sudden you realize you really do need help. And I'm guessing that a lot of you are kind of in the same boat as well. Right? Like, you need help, but you haven't gotten it. And I believe and the reason I think that is at least it's true for me is this fear of letting go. This has been a huge theme in my work life lately. As well as the people in my agency group that I coach for the DOO. They're starting out with agencies and bringing people in and letting go of the work is hard. You are building this business to feed your family and you're scared to let anyone else touch it right. You know, the thoughts that go through your brain are like what if they work in this different way? What if they don't do it the way I wanted them to do it. What if they don't do it the way I want them to do it? What if they aren't as good as I am? What if I have to manage this person? And that seems scary. I don't know how to manage people. Especially when you come from corporate and there's that corporate mentality of like, really strict rubrics and policies and reviews and all this stuff. Right? It sounds really scary. You also start to get worried about, do I know how to set them up? Do I know how to train them? Can I trust them? Right? This is all this is all this work you've been doing? Or it's personal stuff you don't want people to know about, or you know, like, you don't want them in your bank account. You can't trust them. So letting go feels like you are out of control. And a lot of us like to be in control? I know I do. I like to be on top of things. So this feeling is very uneasy for me. And I will usually say someone will say, oh, why can't you hire for that? hire someone to do that for you or help you with that? And I go, Oh, no, I could figure it out. Oh, I'd like to learn how to do this. Now Should I know how to do a bunch of things in my business? Yeah, I should. So that the whole, you know, if there's a calamity, I can jump in and help. But I don't know how to. But I don't need to know how to do everything. I do not need to know how to be a Canva master of templates. I don't, I probably never would even if I worked really hard at it. And there's no reason to there are wonderful people out there who do way better than I do. So let's take all these thoughts, these fears, and kind of turn them around. So if you're thinking, What if they aren't as good as me? Or they work in a different way? And I'm not sure I like that. What if they are more efficient than you are? In this case of like Canva templates, they have to be more efficient that I am at it right? I take forever, it takes me an hour to pick what color gray I want as a background, and then I put the gray and I decided the light gray. They are more efficient than I am. And they're going to do a better job of it. I'm going to hire people who have experience here. That's the one of the greatest things about having contractors or independent contractors.

That is one of the greatest things about having independent contractors at the ready, right? You get someone with a lot of experience in the thing that you could hire to do the thing without needing a full time, you know, design department. So you get the good people, just for your job. And they get to go and work with other clients. It's the perfect marriage here. What if so it seems scary to manage someone a little bit, right how to train them and manage them and deal with it. And I really think you can just start simply managing people, it doesn't have to be like corporate there doesn't need to be enormous amount of rubrics and oversight and all of that. Here we are hiring people that know what they're doing. And you're just showing them around. The biggest, biggest thing that I can tell you is that you need to show you need to set expectations. You don't need a complicated system, you need to be clear. And tell them what you need. They're gonna ask questions, it's gonna be great. It's not the same thing as hiring a whole full employee. That's a little more complicated. There's more paperwork, things like that. But if you're just starting out, and you just need some help, you don't need all of the whole thing. So it doesn't need to be so scary. Remember, here, most of us are building these businesses. So they grow because we want to make more money, have more impact, whatever, whatever your business does. Usually, we want it to grow. And there is a limit to what you can grow by yourself. There's only so much time in the day. There's only so much money that can come in. But there's also only so much knowledge in your head like you can't be awesome at everything, no matter how much I tell my husband that I tell everyone I'm awesome at everything. Of course I'm not That's ridiculous. So I can do it kind of half assed or I could have someone else's way better at it. Come and help me and get it done faster. And then I can take my time and go do what I do the best So building this thing that's bigger than you, you need to let help in. Otherwise, you're just going to hit this limit, you're going to hit the ceiling of what you can accomplish. And that is what I get to sometimes I go through this, it happens to all of us. I go through in the fall, I hired a great person up to my team, Brooke, she came in, she picked everything up, she was better at things than I was, was great. Now I grew again, now I have to get back in there. And remember that I need help. So what happens even to me, even to a person who loves systems, and setting this up and looking at all these things, my own stuff, I let this happen to. That's awful. Remember, not only can you not grow, but when everything relies on you, you can't go on vacation. How many people have you heard of in business, who are entrepreneurs who haven't had a vacation in 20 years. They never take a weekend, they never take a day off, they have to work all the time. My plumber that was here, said his wife yelling at him every morning, he leaves for work. And she tells him the days in a row. And I think it was in the mid 70s that he has worked. Like he hasn't taken a day off and two, three months at this point. That doesn't seem like the thing we want to build. But when everything relies on you, you can't get a vacation, you can't be sick without really worrying. That's where I want you to get help. That's when you need this help.

Now, you know me at this point, we've been together for 47 episodes, you knew I was going to say systems are the key here, right? Systems are the key here. This is the plan in a short version to you don't get freaked out, you need to get the knowledge out of your head, we've talked about this a ton, right? is easy as possible, make that video, record what you're doing as you're doing it, and then put in a safe place all together. So that someone else can get to that knowledge that's only in your head right now. When you give this information to someone to help you, you need to be clear about what you want them to do and what you expect. This is key, if you two don't understand. If you two are not on the same page about what needs to be done, or what you've asked for, it will not work. Or it will be stressful, that's the part you're going to get nervous about right? The managing of the people. If you say very clearly, I need these two things to be done. This is the video of the way I've been doing it. I would like it done by next Friday. That's very clear. All tasks have to have an end date or a due date or something, there has to be an expectation of how to do it. With that knowledge, you're giving them what they're doing, what the task is, and then the expectation, I need it by I need it in this format, whatever the thing is, then you have to give them an open door for questions. Because especially if you've been doing this one thing over and over and over again. It always comes back to you kind of starting in the middle of a sentence. I get accused of this a lot in this house, where my brain has been going for a while and I start talking to someone in the middle of the conversation. Like I started the conversation without anyone else it was all in my head. And I think some people write instructions that way. So they're like, Okay, well, you're gonna go into this form, and do this. And you're like, Well, where is that form? Do I have to login? Where's the login? Like, they forget the beginning part. So sometimes, especially if you're getting if you're new to this process, you're gonna record that video and it's gonna be maybe missing something. So make sure they know that they can come to you always say that come to me with any questions. That way they feel free if they're, you know, unsure or something. They come to you for questions and then have accountability built in. When do you check in when do they check in? Let's do it again. And the last thing is to have accountability built in to your like. This is a very simple process.

This could get very complicated and written down. But just for now, just to conquer this fear of letting go. Let's keep it simple. You're going to tell them it's gonna be due next Friday. Or you need a back by next Friday or whatever the thing is. And they need to check in with you when do they need to check in with you before them is Progress Report, like when What do you expect to hear back from them? And then in your head, maybe throw it on your calendar, so you don't forget? When do you check in with them? If you haven't heard back? Well, you're hiring an independent contractor, they should be on top of us, right? They should be forthcoming, they should be ready to come and check in with you. But if they're not make sure that you have kind of that back up. So you don't say, Well, I gave it to them. And I have no idea what the next step is. That is the fear, right? Like, if you have no idea, you've handed this off, and it's gone into the ether. That is the fear, the fear of letting go. And that's scary, you're like, I have no idea what's happening. I don't know if they're gonna get it done. So that communication, the expectations will help with that fear. start slow, give them one to two things to do. Get clear on how this whole thing works with between you guys. See how it's gonna work? Get more comfortable after doing one or two things, right. Just even when people started my own team, I usually give them tasks for my own business. So with in house, if they have any questions, it's all with me, my clients aren't affected. That's how I have changed over the fear. That's how I have kind of insulated myself from the fear of letting go when I bring on new people, because they work on my stuff.

First, I make sure that they understand how everything works, where the project management stuff is, like, all the things. And then when they're clear about where everything is and how it works here, then they can start working on client work. But that way, I feel more comfortable that I've kind of tested it out, and we're all good. So good, just start out slow. Get clear on how this process works, then you can keep going and move on and give them more work. I see people come in and they're like, yeah, there's 85 things that I'm not really sure what happened here. But can you just fix everything, that's not gonna go? Well. You can't just hand somebody a box of stuff and be like, Can you fix it all, when they don't even know where like, back in the day where the coffee machine is, you don't mean like, start small, get that stuff out of your head, and then get those expectations in place, you're going to feel better, because you're going to know that there are places where they can go for help. And you know what to expect. They know what to expect and everyone's happier. And then as you go, you can get fancier. Now I have a welcome folder for new team members with SOPs on where you can find everything, training on different things. Like if you're tracking time for a client's project, how to do that, how to log into things where you can find things. And that now I send that folder like with a welcome email. Here you go, here's everything. I give them access to whatever I need to give them through LastPass. And that's it. They're ready to go. That's down the road. Don't get too excited. You don't need all of that right now. But it will as you go, it will make you feel better that they know exactly what's going on, it's clear. And it's a lot easier to let go when you have a system in place. When you can hand it off and know that we do it this way. Here's the stuff. This is where you can go. And that's how you start to get over that fear. And then you just have to kind of do it. You have to imagine what your life is going to be like, when you have this help. What will you free your? What will that free up for you to do? Will you be able to focus on your business more on sales and marketing? bringing in more stuff so that you can hire more people? Or do you? What will your life be like? Maybe taking a vacation for the first time in a really long time? Or maybe just knowing that like you can have lunch with your kid or take a sick day and not have the whole world come down around you get these systems in place. I promise. I promise. I know it's scary to give someone your baby, right? These businesses become our babies. And we are protecting them because they feed our children or they keep the roof over our heads. And it's scary to invite someone into that and then let them touch things. Right and let them do things. But that is the way to growth. That's the way to have higher capacity. That's the way to have sanity. Are they going to mess up once in a while? Yeah. Do you mess up on oil? Yeah. It'll be all right. You start slow, you gain trust in them. And that's how you get over that fear. Just remember that end of the tunnel, the light at the end of the tunnel, what are you going to do with your life with all this extra time? It's going to be fantastic. So if all of this system sounds scary, if you do not have any clue, or just don't want to deal with how to build out any of this idea, any of these ideas of getting things out of your head or getting systems in place, come and talk to us about it. We love systems hear. I nerd out on this stuff.

And I would love to help you so if you go to you can schedule a discovery call with me, and we can figure out if we can help you with this kind of stuff. And then you can, you know, not be as scared to let go. And then you know, you do it once or twice and then you get less scared to let go. And then, you know, you get all this time to yourself. You're like oh my god, this is the greatest and then you're gonna want to hire a ton of people. I'm with you on this one people. It's scary, but we can do it. And I'll see you next week.

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