There comes a point in every artist’s (every entrepreneur’s) business where you can’t grow without hiring someone.
It might be a paid intern, your kid, a website helper, or a bookkeeper, but you need the extra hands if you want to expand.
Who do you hire?
What will they do?
Your primary focus as an artist is on making art. That’s when you are in what Gay Hendricks calls your “Zone of Genius.” In his book, The Big Leap, Hendricks writes:
In your Zone of Genius, though the time you spend there produces great financial abundance, you do not feel that you are expending effort to produce it. In your Zone of Genius, work doesn’t feel like work.
I’m certain you know what that feels like. Bliss.
Your goal is to take those tasks off your plate that aren’t in your Zone of Genius – the tasks that keep you from making your best work. It’s the art you produce in the studio that nobody else could do. [Tweet this]
For example, you might be competent at updating your WordPress template, but it’s not your best work. It takes you away from your best work.
Consider how lovely life would be if you could dwell in your Zone of Genius most of the time. How would that feel?
Signs That You Should be Delegating
Here’s how I know when I’m doing something that someone else should be doing:
- I procrastinate the task.
- My shoulders get tense when I’m working on it.
- I snack on something salty every 30 minutes.
- I crave a cocktail at the end of the day.
- I’m short and cranky with people around me.
I learned HTML coding in the 1990s when I wanted to put teacher material online for our museum education department. Even then, I wanted a cocktail at the end of the day. I was so tense and cross-eyed.
Still, I learned it. It has served me well since knowing how to build a website was the reason Art Biz Coach was able to go online so quickly back in 2002.
I’ve continued to add to my technology repertoire – to my detriment. I know too much. I don’t do it well, but I knew it, so I kept doing it.
Until recently. I hired someone to take the most frustrating technology off of my plate. I believe I could have been further along if I had let go of these frustrating tasks much sooner.
Signs That You’re Doing Your Best Work
See if any of these sound familiar. When I’m doing the work I was intended to do:
- I can get in “the zone.”
- I am focused and flying through my work.
- I’m more relaxed.
- I feel extremely satisfied at the end of the day.
- I’m happier.
This doesn’t mean I’m performing at peak all of the time, but I can only get to this place when I’m working in my Zone of Genius.
What You Can Delegate
On a recent webinar, someone asked for a list of tasks they could turn over to someone else. That list is going to vary from person to person, but I can help you get started.
I encourage my clients to keep a list of everything they’re doing that someone else could do.
Think about it. What tasks are you currently taking care of because you don’t have help? Start your list now.
Make it an ongoing list that you continually update as these tasks come to mind. Group the items into like tasks that require similar skills and prioritize.
What is the task you dislike most in your business? What do you procrastinate? What do you lose sleep over?
The order in which I hired for my business was:
- Web/tech assistance
- Client care
- Graphic design
- Client management software help
I love taking care of my clients, but I was losing sleep because I felt there were some who were falling through the cracks.
I understand that, as entrepreneurs, we have to wear a lot of hats because funds are tight. There will never come a day when you have “extra money” to hire someone.
As a business owner looking for growth, you must be so in tune with your art business that you recognize the point at which you must hire someone. In fact, smart artist-entrepreneurs will hire before they think they’re ready.
Another thing that might get in the way is that sometimes we feel guilty asking someone else to do the work we don’t want to do. But you know what? That work is in their Zone of Genius. It’s where they choose to dwell because it makes them happy.
Who are you to keep that work from them?
Note: I am neither an attorney nor an accountant, but I do want to warn you that the U.S. rules around having assistants in your studio are changing. The person you hire as contract help might actually be considered an employee by the IRS.
Ask your accountant for guidance on this and, perhaps, hire an attorney to help you with a legal contract.
How much time are you currently dwelling in your Zone of Genius?
In what order would you prioritize your team hires?