There are people better, faster and more enthusiastic than you at things that either waste your time or you don’t like doing!
After a couple decades of building businesses and coaching people, I have found that the toughest thing isn’t doing the hard work. My biggest challenge was freeing up my time to do the hard work that matters most.
Speaking of hard work, in just a few weeks I will be releasing what I consider my best book, Coach to Coach. It is an easy-to-read parable about coaching that is going to change the way people interact. Because it is going to create the successful coaching mindset that many coaches were never given, it is also going to improve the lives of people who read it as well as the lives of the people around them.
The more people I tell about Coach to Coach, the more questions I receive about the book. One I was asked recently was, “What is the single most important decision that led to writing the book?”
Was it deciding on the college I attended?
Was it deciding on who I married?
Was it deciding on the career path I selected?
Was it deciding to give up my original career as a physical therapist and help people around the world with Training For Warriors?
No, it was none of those.
Although those were all big decisions that in some way contributed to my new book, perhaps the single most important decision that led to the book was deciding NOT to mow my lawn!
Confused by how such a small thing could lead to such a big development? Let me explain.
Rooney Rule: In order to have what you want, you may have change your current relationship with the value of your money and time. And that may involve one of the hardest things to do: Delegation.
My delegation story that made Coach to Coach possible began almost 15 years ago. At that time, when I would come home from a full day of work at the gym, I would be subtly reminded by my wife that I still had to mow, edge and weed my ever-growing lawn.
This weekly reminder and the act of mowing was nothing new. I had first been given the job of mowing my family’s lawn when I was about 11 years old, so after 20 years of weekly mowing, weeding and edging, the job had become a habit.
In terms of the mowing, I was pretty efficient at it and I have to admit, I never minded getting outside, clearing my mind and doing some yard work.
But as I was trying to further my career, I realized I never had enough time left at the end of the week or month to do the bigger things I wanted to accomplish. And, as a coincidence, I also didn’t seem to have enough money left either.
So as I started researching in books and courses how to make more money, I kept hearing how the best leaders delegated certain types of work. I also learned building the right team could free up your time for the important things to finally get done. I memorized words like “efficiency” and phrases like “return on investment.” But those ideas only took root when I was forced to identify what my time was worth.
Even though it didn’t seem like the 3-4 hours a week I was spending on my lawn was that bad, I started to realize my time could be better invested. Especially when someone else could do my lawn faster and better for just 25 bucks a week.
Although that may not sound like much money and a no-brainer to trade for my time, that 25 dollars was hard for me to pay at first. After all, I had mowed my lawn since I was 11 years old and with two kids (at the time) and trying to save for their futures, every dollar mattered.
But I had to understand that there was a more valuable way to use my time. At 25 dollars for my 4 hours spent, there had to be a better way to earn more than 6 bucks-an-hour.
In order to justify paying someone else to mow, I had to come up with ways to spend my time that was worth more than 6 dollars an hour. So, I uncovered a pretty simple 4-step process: I had to value my time, find something more valuable to do, DELEGATE the unimportant and then do that more valuable thing.
Although those 4 steps and an extra 3-4 new hours a week don’t sound like much, they add up if used wisely. 4 hours a week turns into 16 hours a month. 16 hours a month turns into 192 hours a year. And 192 hours a year turns into 1920 hours in a decade.
What could you do with almost 2000 hours to focus on a topic? That is almost fifty full 40 hour-work-weeks just on one topic! Now looking back, this trade of about $12,000 allowed me to increase my value and skills so I could eventually write Coach to Coach. This trade of money for time freed me up to read. After I had read for years, I also used those hours to learn to public speak and to write. And after thousands of books read and almost a dozen books written, Coach to Coach and the skills I have developed are worth much more than what I traded in dollars.
Rooney Rule: You must be strong enough to carry out the little things today if you ever want to carry home the big awards tomorrow.
So, where did the book all start?
It started with my lawn and a hand-me-down lawnmower.
I was strong enough to mow, but not to stop. It took me too many years to learn to say “no” to the things that mattered least. You need to build the strength to say “NO” to the things that are stealing your value or wasting your time. And you may actually have to pay money to do it. But that is ok as long as you are trading that money for an even greater value (so, freeing up time doesn’t mean watching more TV or social media!). So, my challenge to you is to delegate something starting now. But then you must also fill that time with something much more valuable.
What is something more valuable you always dream of doing but never have the time?
What is it that you are wasting your valuable time on that is stopping you from your dream?
What big project would you do with 4 weeks of free time this year?
What shouldn’t you be doing? Here are 4 quick ways to discover if you should be delegating something from your life:
1. The easiest way to know if there is something you shouldn’t be doing is that you hate it.
2. In addition to disdain, you have no interest in getting any better at it.
3. During the activity you keep finding yourself saying, “why am I doing this again?”
4. You could have someone else do it and this act would save either money or time.
If any of the above are true, time to figure out your value, get a plan and DELEGATE.
Yes, I mowed for 20 year and was good at it. Yes, it gave me a chance to “zone out,” but unlike the grass I was cutting, I was never growing. When I think about how many thousands of hours I spent over my life mowing lawns, I wish I could have them back.
I could have read.
I could have written.
I could have learned another language.
No matter what, I could have used those hours to become more valuable.
After I finally paid someone else to do my lawn, I found valuable time I never knew I had. And those hours that were freed up were worth much more than the 25 bucks I was paying. And what has that decade and a half of free time been worth to me since I used it wisely? A lot more than 6 bucks-an-hour and both my new publisher and I can guarantee you that! And when you read Coach to Coach I bet you will believe it.
Delegating work can be tough to do. My advice? Don’t think about the reasons you can’t afford to do it. Instead think about the reasons why you can’t afford not to do it. And don’t forget you are helping two people when you delegate. Delegating not only gives other people an opportunity, but it also gives you your opportunity too.
Pick something today and hand it off to someone else. It could be something simple that leads to your greatest work 15 years from now.
Something simple like mowing your lawn.
Yours in Strength,
P.S. Dont miss the FREE BONUSES and COACHING EDUCATION that comes with buying your copies of Coach to Coach before March 1st.