As a creative entrepreneur, you're already wearing too many hats. If you're a Fusion creative, you're probably still trying to wear them all because you can, and guilt might keep you from delegating things that you are good at. If your'e a Chaotic, you may want to delegate, but have difficulty finding (or trusting) someone to deliver at the same level of excellence that you do. Linears typically struggle with delegation when it doesn't align with the budget. If it costs less to do it yourself, you'll probably try.
But the research is clear: doing less and doing it well actually helps you be more successful. The sooner you right-size our expectations about what's really possible in a given day (and stop trying to do all the things), the sooner you can actually FEEL successful as well.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Success is a destination and you are already there. Success is a feeling or sensation as much as it is about checking the boxes and getting things done. In my years of working with clients, I've seen people check box after box and still say they don't feel successful.
That means that success doesn't come from doing more stuff and checking more boxes. It comes from doing the right things, doing them well, and celebrating the sense of accomplishment that comes from doing it.
It doesn't even mean doing easy things. It's about doing the meaningful things and entrusting the other details to someone else.
If you want to build true wealth in your business, you need to be able to trust other people to help build your vision, spread your message, and grow your results. Otherwise, once you hit your capacity, you'll always stay stuck.
It's important to make the most of all your resources, including your time, energy, and effort. Here are a few ways to do less and achieve more.
Lean Into Your Creative Type
The reason I developed the Creative Entrepreneur Type Quiz was because I saw far too many entrepreneurs working too hard on things outside their zone of genius. Just because you're good at something doesn't mean you should be doing it. It just means you've had a lot of practice at it. Believe me, I know my ABC's well, and I'm a damn good filer. I was an administrative assistant for years! And I HATE filing. It's boring, tedious, and drains my energy. UGH. So I trust someone else to handle it for me.
I have a colleague who hired someone to do meal prep because she has 4 kids and HATES cooking and being in the kitchen. She'd much rather use that time to be with her kids doing something she enjoys. Now, she just re-heats and they eat healthy meals that she didn't have to slave over. Easy peasy!
Chaotics tend to thrive when they're focused on the experience of their work (making it achieve a certain level of excellence). Linears love the results of schedules, systems, and processes. Fusions need a balanced mix of both. There are things that you really enjoy - even if they are challenging. Lean into them and trust the other parts of your business to someone else!
Make a Plan (then follow it!)
Another mantra of mine is "Plan. Do. Evaluate." Eisenhower said plans are useless, but planning is everything. That's why so much of what I teach is predicated on creating a plan for yourself and your business. Not because you'll end up following it to the letter, but because it acts like a map to your dreams. A well-made plan of action helps you figure out the next steps and gives you a benchmark as you take them, so you can see if you're on track, and course correct as needed, so that your business can improve as you go.
One of the best ways to boost and improve efficiency is making a plan as a business owner - so long as you follow through appropriately. You need to plan your steps and be clear about what it takes to make the most of them - even if it means hiring help instead of trying to do it all yourself.
Know the difference between Leader and Manager (and act accordingly!)
As a business owner, you are ultimately responsible for the direction the business takes, as well as the changes you can make to boost efficiency. Focus your efforts on leading as much as possible, but also take steps to become a better manager when needed. Leadership is empowering them to take ownership of their results, where management is coordinating their results for them. Improve the way you communicate expectations with your support team and employees so that they are able to do their jobs better and need your input (and you) less.
From calendars and automated scheduling to time tracking software, bookkeeping apps, and email marketing solutions, if you want to do something these days, there's probably an app for it somewhere. Make a list of anything you could replicate or automate and look at ways you can incorporate those tools to help boost business efficiency and streamline costs. Tools like Honeybook have a built in time tracker, scheduler, and bookkeeping, as well as payment systems. You can also develop automated workflows for marketing to potential clients, if that's your thing. Whenever it makes sense to consolidate tasks into one application, do it. Some tools can get a bit overblown or are more than you need if you're just getting started. I've seen folks jump into costly all-in-one marketing tools way before they're ready and way before their business can really support the expense. Be mindful but don't obsess.
Cut Your Hours
Have you ever had a vacation planned and a zillion things to do before you can get out the door? Parkinson's Law states that work expands to fill the time available for completion. Give yourself less time and focus on the truly important and watch what happens. Having set work hours or making a commitment to stop work at a specific time each day makes a difference in how you prioritize your workload.
It might take some experimenting or some trial and error, so be kind to yourself as you figure out your own groove. The goal here is to create more peace of mind and ease in your business. If you only clear your plate so you can put more on it, you've missed the point. Doing less actually forces you to make the most of what you're doing. In The Secret Watch, I say "work when you're working and play when you're playing." Creating more efficiency doesn't mean creating more space to do more, it means streamlining what you're already up to so that you have the freedom to choose what to do with the resources you've freed up.