Rookie Mistakes 101: Not Delegating

I shared my thoughts on people’s bandwidth the other day. Today, I want to elaborate on this a bit. I neglected to mention another tactic that helps founders get more done: delegating. It’s something I struggled with early on. Lots of other first-time founders do too.

Early founders often think they’re the only ones who can do something right. It’s the “if I don’t do it, it won’t get done right” mentality. The opposite is often true. Early founders are generalists: to get the company off the ground, they have to know how to do everything. They’re usually just okay at most things—meaning someone else can do them better. Most don’t recognize this, though, and are reluctant to give something up. They won’t let go until they’re forced to.

As I encountered new challenges, I rose to the occasion. I grew. And I learned to delegate. I thought through the best uses of my time and what others could handle. If a task wasn’t a good use of my time and someone else could do it, I’d train them and turn it over to them. This usually meant accepting that they were going to make mistakes at first and that they probably wouldn’t do it exactly the way I did it. This was hard at first, but I got over it. In the long run, it empowered our team and allowed me to focus on the things that mattered most. It increased my bandwidth—and the company’s, too.

If you want to be an entrepreneur (not a solopreneur), delegation is important. The quicker you embrace it, the quicker you allow yourself, your team, and your company to grow!