It’s hard to believe that 2013 is so close to an end!  Hanukkah is over and Christmas is quickly approaching, followed of course by New Year’s Eve.  I am spending the next few weeks reviewing and improving my systems (how I do everything in my business and some things in my non-business life) and am COMMITTED to outsourcing … something, anything, hopefully lots of things.

One of the things that is both a blessing and a curse for me is my love of learning new things.   I LOVE to know how everything works and love to get in there and use my new-found knowledge.  I get a thrill from working on my websites and tinkering with tools… bathrooms, not so much, but until about 4 weeks ago, I was cleaning them too.

I think I have FINALLY come to the point of being willing to stop doing everything just because I can. (Kim Beasley, stop clapping and rolling your eyes right now!)  Even my Wonder Woman potato head has no cape, why can’t I realize I don’t either?

Wonder Woman ArtistI have been very resistant to getting help in my business.  I think I worry that I won’t be able to afford the help, or that I can do it better, or that I like it so why not do it… you hear horror stories about people hiring a book keeper and having no idea that a lot of their money is walking out the door.

My dad being in a memory care facility hasn’t done much to help my money fears either.  The cost of care at that level is astronomical (and I don’t just say that because he used to teach astronomy!)  – it makes me worry about how we would pay for it if heaven forbid that happened to me or my husband…  as an entrepreneur I don’t have a pension and pay for my own healthcare… it’s all enough to make you justify killing yourself doing every task just to hang onto as many dollars as you can.

But you know what – that’s fear talking.  That’s RESISTANCE.  (Yes, I’m reading The War of Art)  That’s me making excuses to stay busy and maybe play a little smaller than I should.

The truth of the matter is this:  I’m spending so much time on tasks a lot of other people are well, if not more qualified, to do that my art is suffering.

Only I can create my art.  Yet I fiddle with websites and eNewsletter setups and cleaning toilets… NO MORE!

I will trust those who have been telling me for years that until I get help, I will keep my business small.  You can’t grow as a one woman (or man) show.  (Does it seem like I’m convincing myself in this post?  I think I am… but you can benefit too!)

Let go of the tasks that can be done by others so I have more creative time and space to make the art that only I can make.  That is where my true genius lies and that is what brings in the money.  I’m told (and hope to see!) that when I make that shift, I will bring in more than I’m spending and be a lot less scattered and frazzled with regards to my time.

For now, outsourcing feels like a leap of faith and it’s a little scary… but I’m going to do it anyway.

I am being strategic and responsible about how I do this though – don’t get me wrong.  I’m not dipping into my retirement to pay the house cleaner.  (Yeah!  No more toilets!)  I’m going to be watching to make sure I’m re-allocating my time to my money making activities that will bring in the money to cover the help and then some.

In case you are struggling with this concept as well and want to know what I’m doing – here is what I have going so far:

1.  I have someone else clean my house.  Yeah!

2.  Customer service and eNewsletters and more.  From now on if you email with a problem with a download or your computer has crashed and you need a new link sent, the email won’t come directly to me.  Kim Beasley, who has been managing my websites for a few years, will be taking over a lot of the email and processes related to Art Licensing Info so I’m free to create the information, but don’t have to do all the customer support and technical stuff.

3.  I hired someone to come in and look at how I have QuickBooks set up to make sure I’m optimizing my workflow and spending as little time as possible on book keeping jobs.  I plan to have someone take this job over shortly as well.  I think we are even going to connect my bank account to my QuickBooks so I don’t have to manually reconcile and enter everything – what a novel idea!

4.  I’m planning ahead – I have all the Ask Calls for 2014 scheduled and will hand the info to Kim and her team to get all the web pages and systems set up so it won’t take me as much time for each call.  While it will now cost me more to do the calls, the time savings will be worth it! (go to www.AskAboutArtLicensing.com to see who is on the schedule!)

I have some more ideas but for now, I’m going to get these going and not make myself crazy trying to do too much at once.  I’ve tried some of these things in the past but they haven’t quite STUCK… I think I’m now ready to make sure it happens and works.  Wish me luck!

So I ask you… what are you doing that someone else might be able to do better so you can focus on your art?

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed