Personal Development

Jack of all trades

I’m still ill today, so I decided to take it easy. I came to my coworking space with a fairly short to do list. One of the points on it was to do my quarterly VAT returns.

Now, the problem with being a jack of all trades is, that you simply know too many things too well. I can just about do everything I want to do by myself in my businesses.

No matter if it’s coding, SEO, marketing, business development, server/sys admin work, accounting, bookkeeping or anything in between, I can do it.

I am actually interested in accounting and bookkeeping and back in the day I even thought about studying it. I had some accounting modules at school and university and always enjoyed those.

I’ve done my fair share of bookkeeping work for some of my previous German companies and bookkeeping as well as accounting work for my UK companies.

So it’s not just that I can do the task by myself, but I also enjoy doing the task.

However, where does it stop?

I’ve already heard from a lot of people that it sounds impossible what I’m doing. It seems that I can easily replace 5-10 people with my skillset. But is that sustainable?

The one thing that is extremely hard for people like me is to let go – to delegate.

Since I know how to do all these tasks, I simply do them by myself a lot of the time. It often just feels so much faster to quickly do a task by myself rather than ask someone else to do it.

In recent years I started to delegate more tasks. I learnt to more often stop and think “Is it necessary that I do this task or can I outsource/delegate it?”.

This let to me delegating a lot of tasks to my team members, such as the preparation of the annual accounts of the company, the creation of new email drip campaigns, blog article writing, guest post outreach and customer support.

I try to delegate more of the actions and in exchange dedicate more of my time to strategies and new ideas.

Another big part of the whole delegation strategy is the creation of Standard Operating Procedures or SOPs.

In order to avoid long discussions and learning periods when I onboard a new team member, I started to create manuals (SOPs) of each and every important task within the organisation a few years ago.

In the beginning they were written PDFs in a GDrive folder, but in 2019 I moved to more and more screen recording videos as they are faster to create and easier to exchange/update if a task changes or a software/process becomes outdated.

All of those videos are neatly organised in a Trello board that includes a short description and the video/manual itself.

I’m still not perfect with delegating my tasks and I feel that if I make this a priority in 2020 I could easily work a lot less while massively increasing my earnings.

I still have Ramit Sethi on the Tim Ferriss podcast on my mind. He talked a lot about creating systems and SOPs, also for personal matters, and then hiring a virtual personal assistant to work on them.

I have the strong feeling that there are a lot of personal affairs that I could also delegate to someone else to free up my time. I’ve partly dipped my toes into delegating more personal matters by hiring a relocation agent when we moved to Spain in 2019. I now again hired her for a few small bureaucracy related tasks. So that’s a start I guess!

I just realised that I’ve already written about this topic earlier this month. I normally just write at the end of the day about some of my thoughts that were floating around in my head during the day. Clearly SOPs and delegating work is my big theme of 2020!

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