Bravery, Business, and a Boss Mindset
We have all heard the saying, “it takes money to make money.”
Commonly this colloquialism is thought of in terms of situations like buying a home in cash, investing money into it to fix it up, and then selling it for a profit. But what about thinking about it as it relates to your professional growth?
I recently began thinking about this phrase in a much broader sense as it applies to my career trajectory.
As my company, Grassroots Girl, LLC., began to garner more leads and attention, I realized I had reached my capacity of what I could do on my own. It was time to find a solution to scale so I could help more people.
As my business grew and was leading to more and more supplemental professional opportunities, I found that I had less time to handle things on the home front.
Part of the common fear in hiring more staff and outsourcing help is the initial investment paired with the risk of those investments not panning out. You must put money upfront, and it feels like a gamble that the additional person will fail to pay for themselves much less help you turn a bigger profit.
There are other concerns as well, like will the person you’ve delegated to perform the task as well as you did. That’s a topic for another day, but suffice it to say, if it can be done at 80% quality of what you would do, and you can spend more time focusing on the high-level tasks that you do to bring in income, making it worth it to delegate.
A helpful way to decide if you should hire someone to help you is to calculate what you are worth per hour. When you know what the value is of you spending an hour making follow-up calls with potential clients, you can easily decide if you can afford an assistant to run your errands, a housekeeper to do your laundry, or a landscaping company to mow your lawn.
I travel a lot as a political consultant. Whether I’m traveling to teach a campaign school, meet with a client, or go to a conference, I need to show up fresh. I also can’t let work fall behind while I’m traveling. About a year ago I started flying first class whenever I can. I don’t charge my company to pay for the upgrade, I cover the difference and write it off. This personal investment out of my own pocket allows me to limit the fatigue travel can cause. I can sit crisscross-applesauce (yes, I’m a mom), type on my laptop with more privacy, nap, have refreshments and snacks to my heart’s content and show up to wherever I’m going as my best self. In fact, that’s exactly where I am at as I am typing this article. And I’ll say the inside thoughts out loud too – flying first class also makes you feel like a boss. Showing up in that mindset doesn’t hurt either.
Whether you are a CEO or just starting your career, you will face these choices of when to invest in your business and yourself.
It is wise to realize your need for expansion before the situation becomes emergent. You do not want to be in a situation where you cannot adequately pitch or compete for a client because you don’t have the bandwidth should they want to sign a contract. Growing your business will take as much bravery as starting it, perhaps more. Discerning when you need to grow before it is an emergency will also allow for you to hire well. Emergencies make for rushed decisions and one of the most expensive mistakes in business is hiring the wrong person.
My personal decisions were to merge my firm with a larger political agency. I also decided to hire a housekeeper and cleaning service who could handle the cleaning, laundry, and organizing tasks. This freed me up to spend my time either working or with my family. The key is to realize that these things aren’t separate. While they sound like a professional solution and personal life solution, but they are in fact both choices that allow me and my company to move to the next level.