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Ask the Expert—How to Delegate and Get More Done

Author, business coach, and Entreleadership speaker Christy Wright returns to follow up on smartly managing your time. And a big part of using your time successfully in your business? Delegation. This means letting go and letting someone else do some of the work for you. Christy also suggests scheduling your time, and specifying what each block of time is for.

Check out Christy’s new book, Business Boutique.

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[Music playing]

Dusey: Hello, listeners. This is Dusey. This is the Small Business Success podcast and I am joined by Ellis.

Ellis: Hello.

Dusey: Hello. And as we let you know last week, we are having on Christy Wright again, who is a business coach and a author of a new book called Business Boutique, and she’s also part of the Ramsey Solutions so you might hear her speaking out there, see her on their website, sometimes on the pod – are you sometimes on their podcast, Christy?

Christy Wright: Yes. I am.

Dusey: Fantastic. Well, thank you, Christy, for joining us again.

Ellis: Welcome back.

Christy Wright: Absolutely. Thanks for having me. I love hanging out with you guys.

Dusey: Absolutely. Thank you so much. So, we had a couple of specific follow-ups from last week’s discussion that we wanted to kinda get a little more concrete on, and spend some time on.


And the first one was delegation. So, maybe you can just kind of talk to us about how this would apply to somebody’s life, but also to somebody who’s running a small business.

Christy Wright: Sure. Well, delegation is really, really hard. And as we become more successful and we become more demand in our lives and in our businesses, it’s really hard to give up some of those things that we used to do. So, I’ll give you an example. Several years ago, we – as we were building the business boutique, my team talked to me and they said, “You know, we gotta figure out a plan for what you're going to do and who’s going to run your social media when you get too busy where you can’t run your social media.” And I laughed. I said, “Not be able to run my own social media? That’s absolutely ludicrous. When would I be so busy I couldn’t manage my own social media?” And I’m at a place now where I have a team of people that manages my social media because the business has grown and there are other things that I have to be doing. And that’s not the best use of my time, like we talked about last week, where the best use of your time is to do things that only you can do, which leads to delegating some things that other people can help you.


And it’s a struggle though in that transition .Whereas business owners, no one can do it better than we can. No one loves the business like we do. And so it’s hard to take our sticky fingers off of every darn detail of everything that’s going on. But the truth is, we can’t grow the business unless we do. We cannot grow the business and get to where we want to be and get the team and the business where we want it to be if we don’t let go of some of these things.

And so, one of the things I like to help people with is understanding, not only the why behind delegation so that you can all grow together, but some real practical tips on how to delegate so that you can lead to great results because you don’t want to delegate to someone that’s going to let you down. And then you're disappointed, they’re disappointed. They’ve failed you and whatever the task at hand is. And it only reinforces the idea that you can’t delegate, which is not true. So, you want to delegate well so that it leads to great results for you, the person, and the business.


Dusey: Awesome. Awesome.

Ellis: I have to say that the idea of having someone manage social media for me sounds like a dream.

Dusey: [Laughs]

Ellis: I would like to let go of all those things.

Dusey: That’s so funny.

Ellis: But I know that a lot of small business owners have a hard time letting go of doing all of those tasks. So what are some good ways that they can start letting go? Let someone pry that out of their hands?

Christy Wright: Sure. Well, you need to have – I would say you need to know two things about them in order to delegate well. And one particular thing you need to do in the process, so let’s talk about two qualities that these people need to have if you're going to delegate to them. They need to have these two qualities. You need to trust their competency, and you need to trust their integrity. So, what I mean by that is if you're going to delegate something to a person, you need to trust their competency, their ability to fulfill that job, their ability to perform that task. They need to be able to do what you're asking them to do. But you also need to trust their integrity.


You need to trust how they’re going to do it. Will they do it, not only with excellence. Will they do it with honesty? Will they do the right thing if something goes wrong? If you're missing either one of those pieces, you can’t delegate to that person. So if you trust their competency and you trust their integrity, then they can be delegated to. But in the process of delegation, you also want to make sure that you lead that whole process well. It’s not just barking orders at someone and hoping it gets done. Instead, you want to train them on what you're asking them to do.

Be sure to set very clear expectations of what you're delegating, especially in those early stages if it’s a new team member or a new promotion, a new leader. Maybe it’s a new task they’ve never done before. You want to be very clear and over communicating on the front end .but then you want to inspect what you expect. So, you don’t just totally toss the keys and never check it again. You want to constantly stay involved and kinda be looking over the shoulder, especially in those early days, making sure they’ve got – they’ve got what you're asking them to do and they’re doing it the right way until they prove themselves.


So I’ll give you an example. When I first started speaking for Dave Ramsey years ago – year and years ago. We had to take a little flip camera with us every single speaking event and set it up on a tripod in the back of the room, which is so embarrassing, by the way, and video yourself. And I would take that video back to the office where I would watch it and some leaders would watch it. Now that happened in those early days to make sure is she competent? Does she have integrity? Is she doing what we’re asking her to do as a speaker? Once I’ve proven myself, years ago, Dave will send me anywhere to speak to anyone about anything because he trusts my competency and integrity. But that didn’t happen by just tossing me the keys. That happened with very intentional training. And he still trains me. He still will say, “Hey. You did really great on this one thing. Tell the story a little differently. Be sure to do this a little differently.” And he’s constantly coaching because he’s a great leader. So you're always going to be involved as a leader. You don’t just delegate and never look at things again.

Dusey: And never see them again. Yeah. [Laughs] Good bye. Good luck.


Christy Wright: If you trust their competency and their integrity and you train them well, then you should have someone who is not only reliving some of the tasks on your plate, but it’s something where you can grow and you can breathe and you’ve got more margin to do what only you can do.

Dusey: You know, something that we talk about a lot in our elite training programs is hiring, training, and firing to the values and the mission and the vision of your company, right? So, that when you talk about having integrity, that’s – what I think of is know what your values are and make sure that you're hiring people that are in line with those values so that your vision and your culture is able to continue to be spread without you having to just be on top of every little thing that this person is doing that you’ve brought on. You know that they’re –

Christy Wright: Absolutely. And you bring up a great point about hiring because so often we think as leaders, as business leaders, that the problem with our team members are our team members. The problem with our team members is us. Like, I have business leaders all the time, they’re like, “My team member is terrible.”


I’m, like, “No. You're terrible ‘cause you're letting the terrible person be there. You gotta fix this. You're the leader. Not them.” It really does start with that person in the mirror. And sanctioned incompetence breathes distrust. If we’re allowing someone to treat us like a doormat, then why are we allowing someone to treat us like a doormat?

Dusey: I just – I want to repeat that again. You said “sanctioned incompetence breeds mistrust.”

Christy Wright: That’s right.

Dusey: I love that. Wow.

Christy Wright: Because why is the rest of your team that are rock stars motivated to be rock stars when you got this joker over here, coming in late, leaving early and not doing anything when he’s there and he gets the exact same paycheck and benefits that they get. It breeds distrust in you when you sanction incompetence, when you allow that to go on. It’s a cancer in your organization. I’m telling you, if you want your organization to improve and the rest of your rock stars to stay, you’ve got to fix that problem person. And this goes back to what you were saying, too, about hiring to the values. I’ll give you a great a example.


This is a hiring example, but it really applies regardless of your business. I did a coaching session with a man one time and he was telling me about how he had an interview with a guy, and the guy just seemed like he wasn’t a good fit. He got some – the leader head had some red flags. The guy seemed to only be interested in doing the bare minimum. He asked about the pay right off the bat .he asked about vacation days right off the bat, and when he could earn more money.

And it was always just kinda what’s in it for him. Now, of course, the leader I was working with was right. Those were red flags and this guy wasn’t going to be a good fit. But I wanted to know how did he get to the point of being in that interview with that person because again, it start with the leader. So I asked him. I said, “Well, tell me. What did you post on your job description?” He said, “Well, I posted it’s a pretty easy cashier job and its’ $8.00 an hour. And you got paid vacation and you could earn more money quickly. And I’m pretty flexible for promotions and time off.” I go, “Well, you got exactly what you advertised didn’t you?”


Dusey: [Laughs] Right down the line. Yeah.

Christy Wright: You got exactly what you advertised. So, it’s kinda like fishing. If you go fishing, which I don’t by the way ‘cause I can’t be quiet that long –

Dusey: [Laughs]

Ellis: [Laughs]

Christy Wright: let’s say you _____ go fishing. You use a certain kind of bait to get what you want to catch. So as the business leader, you need to make your job posting so unbelievably targeted that anyone that does not match what you're looking for looks at that and go, “Oh, no. That’s not me. That sounds hard. Sounds like they work hard. Sounds like they actually work. That’s not for me.” If you're weeding out those people, you're doing the right thing. You want to weed out the bad ones in your interview process.

Dusey: We talk about here, at Infusionsoft, a lot, targeting your customer and being that laser focus on who you're targeting as a customer for your small business. And when you're setting up e-mail campaigns, you're setting up your marketing, being very clear on who your customer is. It’s the same when you're hiring, right?

Christy Wright: Exactly. They’re your target customer.

Dusey: Same advice applies. You have a very – maybe – probably a much more narrow audience that you're going after than even your customers. So you’ve got to just really laser focus on who am I going to – whom am I trying to bring into this organization.


Christy Wright: Well, it’s the same process as you said. So, for business owners that I work with that – they don’t know who their target customer is because they don’t have a customer base, or their target market, so I help them dream up their ideal customer. Who’s your ideal customer that has the problems you're solving or can benefit from the business you're providing? And they dream them up.

So let’s name them – we’re going to name them Elizabeth and it’s a 34-year-old mom and she has two kids, and she works. You dream up your ideal customer. Well, when you're in business, and you're hiring people for a certain position, you can do the same thing. Dream up your ideal candidate. What age are they? What stage of life? That doesn’t mean that you're only going to get candidates that fit that exact persona, but it helps you be targeted. Here’s who I’m talking to. So, for example, if you go to Ramsey Solutions’ website and you look at job postings, it says things, like, “We are crusaders. We’re making a difference. We’re changing lives and we work hard.” So if you read that and go, “Yeah. That’s not for me. I just really want to collect a paycheck.”

[0:11:00]You're immediately not going to apply. We make it so focused on the vision and values that we’re only attracting people that are drawn to those vision and values, that believe what we believe.

Dusey: That is fantastic advice for small business owners. That is great. So, I want to change gears a little bit, and I’ve heard you talk about some mutli-tasking and how you work multi-tasking into your life. We were talking about delegation in previous episode, like, bring really intentional with your time, building that pyramid of what are the things that are really most important to me that I actually want to be doing, also. And I would love to hear – I would love for our listeners to hear what you have to talk about. Time blocking and strategies that you have for re-taking control of your calendar and your life.

Christy Wright: Yes. So that’s a great, great question. I’ll talk first about multi-tasking. I work with a lot of women business owners and women, specifically, are just really proud multi-taskers.

Dusey: [Laughs]

Ellis: [Laughs]

Christy Wright: We’re, like, “Oh. I’m just so talented. I can do 47 things at one time.”


Okay. Let’s talk about this really quickly because male or female, your brain, your human brain can only give attention in one area at one time. So if you want to multi task, which can be an effective way to fit more things in less time, you just need to multi-task the right way. And what I mean by that is, only one of those activities can require your attention because if you try to give your attention in multiple areas something will slip. Your brain cannot focus – male or female brain – cannot focus on multiple areas at one time.

So, for example, have you ever try to have a conversation with someone while they’re texting? They’re not listening. They can’t text and talk to you at the same time. Your brain can only focus in one area at a time. So, if you want to multi-task, for example, you can be sending e-mails while also you have the laundry running if you're working from home or you're – you have some food in the crock pot. I’ll listen to a podcast in the morning while I’m putting on my makeup. IN all of those scenarios though, only one thing requires my attention.


The e-mails require my attention while the crock pot’s going. Or I’m listening to the podcast, which requires my attention, but the makeup doesn’t. It doesn’t require my brain focus to put on makeup. It’s kinda muscle memory.

Dusey: Got’cha.

Christy Wright: You just need to make sure when you're multi-tasking, only one area requires your attention. If you're having a conversation, that requires your attention. If you’re sending e-mails or writing text, that requires your attention. If you're talking to someone, that requires your attention. Other things can be going in the background, but only one area can have your attention at the time. That’s the way that you multi-task the right way and don’t make mistakes.

Dusey: You know, I have to be honest. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for – someone that doesn’t wear makeup, waiting for you to say which of two is the one that requires attention. [Laughs]

Christy Wright: [Laughs]

Dusey: I wasn’t sure.

Christy Wright: Well, honest confession, I realize just at 4:00 I went to work with no makeup at all, so maybe it does re quire my attention. [Laughs]

Dusey: [Laughs] Maybe a little. Maybe a little. [Laughs]

Ellis: Yeah. For me, I watch Netflix while I do my makeup so I just shift my attention back and forth. If I’m doing my eyeliner, that needs my attention. The rest of it _____ _____. [0:14:00]

Dusey: I can testify, and my spouse will testify also, that if you're texting, that’s the one that requires your attention. [Laughs]

Christy Wright: That’s right. That’s right. Okay. So, let’s talk about time blocking.

Ellis: Yes.

Christy Wright: Time block is a really great strategy that a lot of people use, and I have incorporated this into my schedule over the last couple years. And this kinda goes – kinda reinforces what I was talking about with multi-tasking where instead of trying to do everything all the time, you have blocks of time that you have incredible focus. So you will block off everything on your calendar in appointments just like you would a doctor’s appointment or a meeting.

So, if you’re going to plan your social media, you block the time, plan social media for those hours. And during that time, you only work on social media. You don’t have have 50 tabs of your Internet open. You’re not back and forth with e-mail, answering calls. You just focus on social media. Catching up on e-mail might be another block of time. But what happens is when you block off your calendar this way and you have focus, you're much more productive, much more effective and you work faster.


So, you get more done. And because that time is blocked – and because that time is blocked, you actually honor those time commitments like you do a doctor’s appointment. So, if you think, “Well, I’ll plan my social media when I have time left over,” well, you never have time left over. You never get to it. There’s never time just sitting around. We're all really busy. We’re running hard and fast.

So it helps you put your priorities on your calendar on purpose and I love how Steven Covey says, “Don’t prioritize your schedule. Schedule your priorities.” So what do you want to do this week? You put them on paper, on purpose in these time blocks. And I’ll tell you, one thing you can do that’s a really practical way to take it a step further is in addition to blocking the time, I want you to put an agenda or an objective of what you're going to accomplish in that amount of time.

So, for example, last year, I had tons of blocks of time for writing. That’s what it was titled, “writing,” when I was writing my book. But within that appointment, I would say I need to write chapter ten.


I need to edit chapter 9 and I need to outline chapter 14. So it was very specific that at the end of that time block, I knew whether or not I had hit that goal, that micro-goal, if you will. And it wasn’t just writing time where I could write and wander and get distracted by social media. I was focused on writing and I knew what I needed to achieve in that block of time. It’s incredibly effective if you are a dreamer like I am. If you're creative and easily distracted like I am. It really helps you focus and get more done.

Dusey: I think that’s hitting something personally for me because I’ve gotten better over the years at actually blocking out that time on my calendar. But having that specific goal, I mean, it’s so easy to meander inside of the thing that you're doing or to get distracted. That’s genius. That is something that I really take it’s ‘cause I’ve heard that advice before. Well, make sure that you scheduled your own time to do these things. But to make sure that you have a specific goal for that small block of time, no matter how small it is, that makes a huge difference.


Christy Wright: It helps keep you on track. It’s really just putting your goals on paper. It’s just a goal-setting tool. And then what’s great, for example, is I think it was one of the weeks I was working on my book, I looked and the writing block said write chapter seven, and I wasn’t on chapter seven. I was on chapter six. I had gotten behind on my goals, so it keeps you accountable to stay on track to work – what you're working on. And if you're in a business that’s very deadline-driven or project-based or seasonal, then you’ve got a lot of deadlines you're driving towards and man, that can really help you stay on track and not get behind.

Dusey: Absolutely. And a good byproduct about just scheduling that time is if you're on a shared calendar, if you’ve got a team, it keeps other people from just filling your calendar for you with their priorities, right? [Laughs]

Christy Wright: Yes. Oh, preach. Yes. Yes, yes, yes. That is exactly right. You need to decide what goes on your calendar. That’s a very good point.

Ellis: Sorry. I’m busy all the time.

Dusey: [Laughs]

Christy Wright: Yes. Exactly.

Dusey: Cool. Well, do you have any final thoughts for our small business owners out there? Anything that you would have them leave with?


If there is one takeaway that you could make sure that they all implement into their lives, into their business. It’s going to help them with this time blocking or help them with delegation, what would that thing be?

Christy Wright: You know, that’s a great point. There’s so many different things that I would love to encourage your leaders, but I would say probably the best piece of advice I could give them is don’t lead alone. Business can be really lonely and I know you feel like you're out there on the frontlines. You're putting out fires, and it’s your heart and soul on the line.

And no one gets it. And you don’t have to lead alone whether it’s through Infusionsoft or the community or entre-leadership or your network in your industry or even your local community. Find other business leaders around you to surround you and support you and rally with you and champion you that you guys can bounce ideas off of because business does not have to be alone. There’s a community to support you and encourage you along the way.

Dusey: That is fantastic advice. I know it can feel lonely for many small businesses, so I love that. Don’t lead alone. Fantastic.


Well, thank you very much for your time, and we appreciate having you on the Small Business Success podcast with us.

Christy Wright: Absolutely. Love being with you guys. Thanks for having me.

Ellis: Yes. Thank you so much, and make sure to go check out Christy’s new book, Business Boutique.

Dusey: Could you tell us a little bit about what that is, what our listeners can expect if they go check out that book?

Christy Wright: Absolutely. Thank you. Yeah. We really want to help women start and grow side and small businesses. We live, right now, in a side-gig economy, the you economy where it’s so easy to start a side or small business, especially from your hobbies or passions or things that you love to do. But the business side of thing, as you guys know, can be overwhelming. And so I really wrote this book to give women a step-by-step plan to give them everything they need to start or run or grow a business to the level that they want to. So, it’s a plan for them to win so they could make money doing what they love.

[Music playing]

Dusey: Oh, that’s fantastic.

Ellis: I’m totally going to check that out.

Dusey: [Laughs] Yeah.

Ellis: That has definitely been on my mind.

Christy Wright: Thank you.

Dusey: Thank you. We’ll see you all next week. Bye. [Laughs]


Ellis: [Laughs] That was a total Ellis ending.

Dusey: Yeah, it was.

Christy Wright: I love it.

Dusey: [Laughs]

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