How to Outsource Successfully as a Perfectionist Entrepreneur

How to Outsource Successfully as a Perfectionist Entrepreneur

Many of us world-rocking, goal-crushing entrepreneurs decided to launch our businesses because we’re independently minded.

We know we’re awesome at what we do, and want to do it on our own terms.

We secretly believe the adage, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself” is true, and are most comfortable actually DOING the work ourselves.

In other words, we’re perfectionists. Smart people with high standards who are tough to please.

Which makes outsourcing seem like a total nightmare!

  • Relinquishing control to contractors?
  • Letting other people write, design, and promote on our behalf?
  • What if they get it wrong?
  • What if their errors make the entire business implode?!?

We resist the idea of hiring a team to support us because it just seems too risky.

… until we realize that we can only do so much work, and by playing solo we’re limiting growth and earning potential.

We perfectionists end up in massive arguments with ourselves when we finally accept that outsourcing is essential to ongoing success.

We’re terrified of allowing others to meddle in our meticulously built business models, brands, and products, and yet if we DON’T we’ll cause the business to stall out.

What’s an entrepreneur to do?

If you’re in the throes of this internal argument yourself and not sure how to move forward, here are 4 mindset shifts that can make outsourcing easier!

Start with small outsourcing projects

There’s no reason to go out and hire a 5-person virtual team this instant! You can start by bringing on a virtual assistant, and getting her help with some of your admin tasks.

Once that feels comfortable, ease into project work with other contractors. Find a writer or designer who fits your needs and begin with one month of work or a couple of small projects before adding more consistent work.

The end-goal may be a fully-staffed team to help with all aspects of your business, but you certainly don’t have to START there!

Ease into outsourcing to give your perfectionist brain the time and space it needs to adjust.

Hire contractors who remind you of yourself

While it’s true that people with opposite personalities can balance each other out, it’s also true that teams full of people who instinctively understand each other work beautifully together.

Don’t worry about balancing your perfectionism, worry about assembling a team you can trust.

When you look for those first couple of team members, try to hire people with similar values and work ethics to your own.

Look for freelancers who remind you of yourself, since that can be a shortcut to trust.

Be honest about your expectations

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advising you open every contractor interview with, “I’m a total perfectionist, so LOOK OUT!”

However, it can actually be helpful for freelancers to know that you have high standards before they agree to work for you.

Feel free to be honest about the anxiety you’re feeling about outsourcing, and explain why those fears have popped up. (You’ve nurtured the business so carefully, you’ve done everything yourself so far, etc.)

Doing this may feel vulnerable, but it will weed out contractors who have no patience for perfectionism and leave you with people who “get it” and are likely to work with you, instead of against you.

Then, once some trust has been built, exchange expectations about your team, processes, and communication needs so you both of you understand each other’s versions of “excellence” and “success.”

Remember why outsourcing is valuable to your business

When you feel your shoulders getting tense as you worry about the repercussions of sharing your workload, tell yourself to relax. Force a nice deep breath, and roll your shoulders back.

Then remind yourself that you’re outsourcing work to help yourself and your business, not to add more stress to your day. And although the transition may be challenging, the end result will be less work for you and more flexibility for your endeavor.

Above all, remember that this WILL get easier over time.

When you take pride in the work you do, it’s only natural to be wary of sharing responsibility for that work. But once you’ve hired and trained a team full of freelancers who understand your mission and your expectations, you’ll never want to turn back.

Getting over that initial fear is the worst part; after that, you won’t be able to imagine running your company without the support of your fabulous team members!



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