Have you ever wondered how self-made entrepreneurs like Richard Branson and Mark Cuban built their empire? How do they find time to reply to hundreds of emails a day, run multiple billion-dollar companies, and have a personal life all at the same time? They, like many successful entrepreneurs, are masters of delegation.
When I started my entrepreneurial journey, I wanted to do everything on my own. However, I quickly discovered that I was impeding my own personal growth by not valuing my most important asset: my time. Once I realized this, my life changed. Delegation allowed me to found multiple companies, all of which are still operating today, reaching millions of people and doing millions of dollars in revenue every year.
Your time is perhaps the most important asset you have. All too often, I see people misusing their time, which negatively affects their productivity.
Meetups: Be wary of the events you decide to take part in. Most of the time, you meet a bunch of people who take value from you, but you gain nothing from them.
Lunches: Business lunches are great, but make sure they are mutually beneficial, or else you will end up sinking two hours and $20 on nothing.
Meetings: Try to minimize the amount of meetings you have. If you must take a meeting, make sure there is an agenda and stick to it. The most productive meetings need not last longer than five minutes.
Phone calls: I avoid phone calls at all cost unless it directly impacts our bottom line. Instead, try and communicate via email.
Conferences: Most of the time, conferences are a complete waste of time. The people you want to meet are in the VIP section, or busy getting bombarded by other attendees. Pro tip: If you want advice, go on YouTube and watch their talks there. Unless you are speaking at a conference or it’s invite only, save your time and your money.
Chores: How much do you value your time? If it’s more than $15/hour, then you should outsource your chores to a housekeeper or TaskRabbit. Ten hours a week will not only keep your place looking great, but will save you around 40 hours a month.
Diet: Diet is extremely important and busy people often overlook it. Instead of ordering unhealthy takeout or wasting time cooking mediocre food, think about using a healthy meal service that delivers fresh and delicious food to you every couple of days.
Overworking: You spend your week grinding at work; make sure to take some time for yourself. Overworking is anti-productive.
I know that I am better than most at marketing and entrepreneurship, so I make the conscious decision to focus on those skills. I’m not going to focus on learning to code, because not only do I not enjoy it, but I’m never going to be the best at it. Instead, I spend my time finding amazing team members who complement what I’m good at so I can focus on what’s in my wheelhouse.
It’s easy to get in the habit of wanting to control every aspect of your work. But the key to building a successful business is finding people you trust and letting them do their thing. Provide feedback along the way, but don’t stand over their shoulder critiquing their every move.
Outsourcing can be highly beneficial, but it can also be nightmare. If I need a mindless task completed–like collecting leads for a product launch–I can pay people via oDesk to do it inexpensively 24 hours a day.
Just be careful if you choose to outsource software development overseas. Sometimes it works, but other times you will get subpar code and a massive headache. Whenever outsourcing any task, be sure to provide detailed instructions and clear expectations.
—Dan Novaes brings a decade of entrepreneurial experience to his role as founder and CEO of MobileX Labs, the app solutions company behind Nativ, a free mobile app builder. He started his first company at the age of 15 with $1,000 and built it up to over $2 million/year in revenue by age 20. Dan’s companies have generated over $16 million in revenue to date.
Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program.