Outsourcing is a bit of a buzz word this year, don’t you think? With heaps of businesses preaching the art of outsourcing, it’s become the Hot New Thing to do in 2022.
We always hear the same reasons to outsource, too:
“You’ll get plenty of time back in your day to work on things that really matter!”
“You can stay in your Zone of Genius, handballing all the tasks that take you forever!”
“You don't need to fall victim to procrastination. The solution? Outsourcing!”
I could goon! And don’t get me wrong, these are all really valid reasons for outsourcing,=.They’re reasons I preach myself.
But do you want to know what ties all of these reasons together? The big picture reason why business owners actually outsource?
Another buzz word, I know. But today, I’m going to be talking to you about what selfcare looks like in business and why it is the sole motivating factor for every business owner to outsource.
What is self care?
When I say "self care”, what instantly comes to mind?
Do you picture a candle lit bath, overflowing with bubbles and soft jazz playing in the background?
Do you imagine a candle lit room with a yoga mat on the floor and the voice of a Zen AF teacher guiding you through a flow?
Or does your mind immediately wander to a candle lit bedroom, face mask at the ready with your favourite book and cup of tea on the bedside table?
Candles and calming noises seem to be the common thread here, don’t you think?
All jokes aside, those peaceful, meditative scenarios are just one form of self care.
But when you take away all the glamour of popularised self care routines, do you want to know what self care truly means?
“The practice of taking action an active role in protecting one’s own wellbeing and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.”
While candles and bubble baths and yoga and hot cups of tea might be one version of that, it’s about doing whatever it takes to keep you happy and healthy, even if it doesn’t feel relaxing and self-care-esque at the time.
In your personal life, this could look like tidying the house even when you really don't want to, because you know a tidy house will lead to a tidy mind.
Maybe it's opting for a big glass of water instead of a can of coke, because you know the hydration will prevent a headache and the fizzy drink will bring one on.
It might even look like taking yourself on silly little mental health walks every day even when it’s freezing cold, because you know it will boost your mood.
It’s about doing whatever it takes, whether you enjoy the task or not, to show up as the best possible version of yourself.
And in business, we need to do this, too.
What does self care look like in business?
We know what self care looks like in our personal lives, but what does it look like in business?
This is where it gets a bit tricky.
We all want to succeed in our businesses. We want to work hard. Make money. Deliver the best results for our clients. Sell the best products to our customers.
We want to do all the Proper Business Things that make us a Proper Business, but we rarely stop to ask ourselves how we’re actually going.
That’s why burnout has become so prevalent over the last few years. Yes, I’ll admit, the pandemic played a big role in that, too. But it also comes down to the fact that business owners are always trying to stay ahead of the curve ball.
We’re all trying to keep up with what the industry pros are preaching. We’re trying to modify our businesses to be the best they can be, spending hours on weeknights and on the weekends optimising our businesses just so we can feel less imposter syndrome-y and more Proper Business Owner-y.
But when we put in all these hard yards without taking time for ourselves, we’re completely neglecting the premise of self care.
Self care means taking action to protect your own wellbeing and happiness.
Burnout stems from ignoring the warning signs, doing (way) too many things and taking actions that hinder your own wellbeing, rather than protect it.
So, when we inevitably crash from yet another burnout, we need to take some time to reflect on what parts within our businesses aren’t supporting our wellbeing and happiness.
And we need to ask ourselves, “What can we do to protect our health and happiness to avoid burnout in the future?”
For a lot of business owners, the answer is outsourcing.
Why is outsourcing the ultimate kind of self care?
Outsourcing is the ultimate kind of self care for business owners.
Burnout(and all kinds of stress, overwhelm and exhaustion) almost always stem from us business owners trying to do all the things.
Whether we want to save money and maximise profits or just don’t know where to start, we hold onto being the sole person in control of our businesses for far too long.
This is where we need to learn to hand over the reins to someone else, so we can stop being so darn busy all the time and start prioritising ourselves (without compromising business growth).
And the beauty of outsourcing is that there are so many things we can outsource. Seriously, the list is endless. Everything from social media management and graphic design to inbox management and customer service, we can outsource just about everything that drains our batteries so we can focus on things that energise us.
If you don't know where to start, I *always* encourage my clients to reflect deeply on this question:
“What are the things you always procrastinate the most?”
The tasks that fall to the bottom of your to-do list every single day. The ones you push to next week because you’ll “be more in the mood to do it later”. The ones you need a pep talk to do every time they come around, even if they’re only going to take you two minutes.
The things you procrastinate in business are often the things you should outsource first.
Because when you’re no longer focusing your time and energy on tasks you don’t want to do? You get to enjoy the tasks you do want to do, and have time leftover for non-business-things that fill your cup even more (enter: the bubble bath).
There are so many reasons to outsource, but self care is the best one.
Prioritising yourself. Making time to protect your wellbeing. And ensuring you’ve got enough left in the tank when the work day ends to still show up in your personal life as your amazing self, instead of the burnt out business owner who needs a big glass of wine and a whole lot of peace and quiet.
Start with the tasks you hate the most.
Then the tasks you just don’t have time for.
And lean into the work you truly love doing. The work that lights you up.
Because then, you’ll be all over your self care in business. And you can start living the real dream of business ownership, where balance overpowers burnout.
As always, if you need a hand with your self care in biz, I’m always here to help. Find out what I can take off your plate on my services page here, or book a discovery call here.