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Help is just a four-letter word

I have been meaning to update my daughter’s “nursery” walls with something a little more age appropriate. I purchased a cool new border, new curtains and a bedspread about two years ago. Have I done anything yet? No. Oh, and she’s now the feisty age of seven. I’m perfectly capable of updating her room, so why haven’t I? No time, things to do, work, Girl Scouts, dance, lacrosse, Christmas, you name it … my list of excuses is endless.

Whether it is a child’s bedroom or a project at work, we often find ourselves with not enough hours in the day. So do you double down and plow through, or call for reinforcements? Just like at home, there are some telltale signs that outside assistance may be just what you need to move the needle, and here are a few tips to identify them.

  1. It’s a non-core function. There are countless ‘to dos’ when running a business. While some require focused attention, others can be a stressful headache. Look at your list of things you need to accomplish and see what can be delegated. Sometimes removing the stress of these tasks will actually put your work/life balance back in check and offer up some renewed energy.
  2. Internal ideas are exhausted. When you have taken something as far as you can, it’s ok to call in reinforcements. Sometimes getting a fresh perspective on a problem or program is just what the doctor ordered.
  3. Focus is an issue. Similar to being a non-core function, clarity comes when you have a plan and are organized. If you are in a situation where there is too much to accomplish, outside assistance can help you strategize, prioritize and get focused again.
  4. You’re at a breaking point. Everyone will come face-to-face with this one at some point in his or her career. You are no good to yourself, your team or your customers when you can’t see straight because of the mound of work in front of you. When it’s piled that high for an extended amount of time, you run the risk of missing something or running yourself ragged.
  5. You don’t have the skills. I may be a great cook at home, but there is no way I would survive a restaurant kitchen during the dinner rush. Remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression, and sometimes DIY just doesn’t cut it. If you don’t have the necessary skills, call someone who does.
  6. You think help is a sign of weakness. The sign of a great leader is to acknowledge weaknesses and build a team to compensate for abilities they lack. No one knows everything. We should not expect it of our team and we can’t expect it of ourselves.

Yes, outside assistance comes at a price, but if done right it should not be viewed as an expense but an investment, and investing now is more economical than cleaning up later. Do you need marketing help? Send us an email. We would be honored to lend a hand.

~ Susan Matson