Control freak. Type A. Or even Type A ++…those might describe me in some way. Actually in most ways. I don’t like being out of the loop on anything at all. I don’t like being out on boats because I cannot turn around and get back when I want, I don’t like giving up control of things in most areas of my life generally, so it took me a lot of work to make certain decisions that I can now look back on and see how they completely changed my life. There are few that stand out that I’ll share with you but first, I want to dig deeper into this concept.
We’re all doing a lot, we’re all super busy, we consistently hear people sharing their calendars with us, they love to tell us their plans, and they love to complain about things that must be done that we all wish we would rather not have to do. I wonder though, why is it that we take on so much above and beyond the nitty gritty that must be done, only to have ourselves be driven crazy about the lack of time and the fact that we just sometimes cannot get it all done?
One of the best examples of how I decided to conquer my control freak issues was many years ago when my first business was growing. I was ecstatic but also panicked because the workload was expanding more rapidly than I could have imagined at that stage and I was becoming less and less productive. Why? Because I was doing every single thing I took on- that meant everything from admin, to running to the post office, to taking high level calls, building my website and everything in between that happened on a day to day business. Sure, I had great clients but was I serving them optimally? No. Was the money great? Absolutely but at what cost? I was terrified all the time that I was going to lose them because I wasn’t performing at my best for any of them individually. I needed help, but I was so adverse to it just because of the way I was wired that it was so difficult to admit. How could I delegate properly? What about money? I worked so hard, how could I part with what I was earning and how was I going to teach someone quickly what they needed to know? And worst of all for a control freak, how could I take responsibility for someone’s livelihood? What if something happened? What if I lost it all? All rational questions but they plagued me intensely for a long while until I sat down with a mentor that simply gave me a hard look, cut the conversation and just said “It’s simple. Do you want to grow or not? Yes? Then get the hell over it and make it happen. Stop this nonsense and F*&K the rest. You’ll figure it out”
I’ll never forget that lunch where I felt like I got punched in the gut- it hurt for like a few seconds and then it all made sense. I took a chance and took someone on- without her , who is still with me to this day, and some amazing team members, I never could have achieved half of what I’ve done in business and in life.
I’d been feeling overwhelmed like that lately. Business has grown, life is full, being a mom takes every minute and every bit of energy one has in them on a nonstop basis and truly I wouldn’t have it any other way. But, things started to slip that I couldn’t stand. Laundry wasn’t getting done, food shopping had become a ridiculous chore that I never seemed to have time for, closets felt crowded, things in cabinets felt disorganized and why? Because I opt to do things with my time that for me, are much more fruitful like spending quality time with my daughter. Like strategizing on a new idea. Like writing. Like building businesses. The stuff that matters, and things like laundry just simply at this stage, matter not.
So, I decided to do an experiment and outsource as much as possible. I soon found out that it’s the best money I could ever spend because I have, over the course of a year, become so much lighter, happier, freer, more creative and most crucially, MORE PRESENT with my daughter. I use Peapod for my food delivery and they bring it right into my kitchen, cutting down hours per week spent back and forth to the supermarket between shopping, packing and then unloading from the car. I have an amazing dogwalker that I call on when needed to help me with my 2 bulldogs when I can’t get them outside enough. I have an incredible lady who helps me with everything from deep cleaning to laundry (including putting it away) and she with her professional organizer mind is going through each and every one of my closets and drawers one by one and organizing them with military precision. I have someone to shovel snow, someone to handle landscaping, the dry cleaning gets delivered and collected and I do most of any other personal shopping online with my favorite stores and tons on Amazon Prime. Does it all cost more money? Yes, of course some of it does but when you break it down, in some cases it’s pennies on the dollar such as the food shopping. I pay a small delivery fee but the grocery prices are exactly the same as they would be if I was in store. Amazon Prime frequently offers free shipping which is rapid as well, the dry cleaning service doesn’t charge any fees to pick up and drop off items and so forth. The cleaning is an indulgence but worth every penny and then some. And the very same with the dog walker, and so forth. So, yes, in many cases it’s an investment but to me, the positive effects it’s had on my life and the quality time I can dedicate the most important things in my life are priceless.
Have a look at what’s really slowing you down and measure it all out. Can you afford to have it taken over by someone or something that can free that time up for you to do something more productive? If you can, I know it will be worth the investment. Because your life deserves it, and so do all of the important people in it.
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