I’m a professional writer. But not of spreadsheets.
“Can you make meeee a spreadddd sheeeeeet? Pleeeeessseee?” I whine to my husband.
It’s via text, so I can’t actually see ML’s eyeroll, but his job is to make sure a major corporation isn’t wasting literally hundreds of millions of dollars, so I’m assuming he doesn’t really have time to build me a spreadsheet.
I can build myself a spreadsheet. I do technically know how.
But ML can do it in under a minute, while on a conference call. It would for sure take me an hour.
Something about those tiny boxes just makes my eyes glaze over. Don’t ask me to explain it. When I open an Adobe program, my neurons start to ping with excitement like an old school Lite Brite, but when I have to remember little formulas to make the rows add the numbers, I feel the narcolepsy creep.
So I send a whiny text. What can I say? Numbers don’t bring out the best in me.
Not all my problems have an ML-oriented solution. I can code, but I’m slow and sometimes my final product looks like the first iteration of Tetris. So I call up Amjad, who was my very first subcontractor. He is agreeable, and a genius, and he likes to work very, very late at night, so I wake up to all my problems solved.
My recommendation to any Solopreneur Boss Babe is to never do anything you’re bad at or hate.
Ha! Wait, slow down.
Before you hop off that treadmill and cancel all your cold calls, let me finish.
In LIFE, do lots of things you hate. Do even more things you’re bad at. In fact, do the things you hate FIRST, so you can feel really stress-free about the fact that all your laundry is done when you’re out playing.
And do plenty of things you’re bad at. It helps your brain grow. You should fo’ sho’ sign up for Roller Derby. What are the odds you’ll actually lose teeth? Well, YOU should. The odds I would lose teeth are actually very high.
But that’s life, not biz. When it comes to keeping your precious business running like Serena Williams (fast, sexy and fierce, even while incubating) if you struggle at something excessively, farm that shit out.
It is false economy for me to waste hours of my time building a spread sheet, or doing my own clunky coding when I could get Amjad or get ML to do it, and then spend that same hour actually making my rate, doing what I do best.
Then I can pay Amjad his rate and even more people are running their businesses. (The husband example does fall apart a bit here, but I could do more around the house that benefits ML, right? Sure.)
One of my clients said this week that he feels like it’s disingenuous for him to even have social media profiles, because he actually HATES social media. He doesn’t interact with people that way.
My point was this: that’s why he pays me to do it for him. And it isn’t phoney, any more than it’s phoney to pay his bookkeeper. He finds keeping track of his accounts about as inspiring as I do, but we both know you can’t run a business without keeping your books straight.
Canada Revenue does not accept the excuse that you “aren’t really a numbers person.” Trust me on this one.
So the only logical thing to do for people who loathe the financials of their business is hire someone who loves them. (Loves the financials, not loves THEM. Although in my case, I did both. That ML, quite a catch.)
My client is a writer and speaker, and his blog posts inspire hundreds. His books have sold tens of thousands of copies. That is the authentic him. It isn’t a stretch to portray that on social media in any way. It just makes sense that if he finds social media a drag, he hire someone who doesn’t to make his persona shine online.
You can easily tell people who do this with their social media, web writing, photos and anything having to do with the face and brand they present the world. It is just an extension of them, even if it isn’t actually them doing the day-to-day operation of the account.
Maybe, you’re lucky enough that someone on your team loves that stuff. They have a real knack for it. It’ll show in your content, and your audience will feel like they already know you when they use your product or services.
But maybe someone on your team has been tapped to feel like they should love that stuff. Maybe they just have a background that seems to indicate they can produce web copywriting, video creation, social media interaction. Maybe it seems like strategy should fit snugly into their portfolio, but it just doesn’t. Because there are errors. Or because your website and social channels are cheesy or 2005-looking.
Or your digital world is not being prioritized because frankly, it’s been tacked onto someone’s already-full job description, and doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
If this is the case my friend, it’s time for you to find an Amjad of your very own. A subcontractor who makes your life easier when you wake up in the morning.
I saw an ad in my Instagram feed yesterday and the ad designer had totally hit the jackpot. It was for a new “childcare school.”. My son goes to a “childcare school” which is basically pricey all-day preschool where your three-year-old learns sign language, does yoga and eats organic everything. Lennox now loves both Thomas the Train and Kandinsky, it’s amazing.
Anyway, I clicked the ad to see this new facility, because I am interested in seeing what’s out there in that space.
That’s the dream for this provider right? Mothers of prospective students at a competitor, clicking their ad to learn more, open to converting.
However, the second I opened their web page, I was met with spelling errors in their web copy. The school founders claim to be educators, which I’m sure they are. I’m sure it was just typographical errors.
What it says to me is that the owners of the school aren’t sticking to their own expertise, and hiring others for theirs. A professional writer would have that site fixed up in a second.
Whatever you need, make sure the right person is doing the right job. I guarantee it’ll save you money in the long run.