Updated: Mar 31, 2020
Recently, I’ve found my business growing to new levels and in new places I’ve never experienced before. My in-house team has grown and our presence online has expanded to something greater than in previous years. And yes, all this is great--amazing even! I get to connect to new people all over the world, share essential oils with an even wider audience, and teach people all around the world everything I’ve learned using eos in my personal life and business. Just typing it all out gives me the warm and fuzzies!
However, there is LOTS of extra work that comes with an expanded business and presence. You may be feeling this now if you are working from home for the first time. Things that might have gotten done in an office setting are now getting done by no one. Tim Ferris in his book “The 4-Hour Workweek” talks about using virtual assistants to support you in your work and even your home life. I use a service called Tasks Everyday. For a monthly fee, I am able to get as much or as little assistance as I need. I can also vary the type of assistance: presentations, editing, help with a website or even help with blogging or travel plans. Only you know what would be of greatest help to you. And although I have a few assistants helping me right now (some remote and others local), it has been a pretty long process to create work flow, management, and make sure things get done. Before I hired my first assistant, I had gotten so used to working by myself! The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that there has to be an understanding with each assistant about expectations and work flow and frequent, clear communication. Even if I provide tasks to be done, delegation is not as simple as it may seem; without the proper mutual understanding of each assistant’s capability, frustration can ensue.
Luckily, my mentor Michael Hyatt has created podcast episodes, blog posts, and taught me in person about the 5 levels of delegation. He provided me and my team with the language that helps me to understand the work load each assistant can carry. And I must preface, no level is bad, especially since having the ability to delegate work to other people is a luxury and necessity for small business owners. Each work level depends on your assistant’s personality and direction, and each assistant will/should move up the levels as time goes on, so never fear!
Here are the five levels, taken from my mentor:
Level 1: Do as I say.
This means that your assistant will do exactly what you have asked them to do and will not deviate from your instructions. You have researched the options and determined what tasks and means are best for them to do the work. Parents, this is very basic and how we also teach within our family. When I first started out I hired high school or college students to help prepare packages for mailing or restock my at-home inventory.
Level 2: Research and report.
This means that your assistant is able to research a topic, gather information, and report what they discover. You both will discuss it, and then you will make the decision and tell the assistant what you want them to do. This works well for me when I am preparing a slide presentation. I am able to write the content in a blog and then using branded templates the assistant is able to prepare a slide deck for a zoom presentation. Parents, this is when you explain a task and the time frame, tools available to complete it - cleaning out a closet comes to mind.
Level 3: Research and recommend.
This means your assistant will research a topic, outline the options, and bring you their best recommendation. They are able to provide you with the pros and cons of each option, then tell you what they think we should do. If you agree with the decision, you will authorize them to move forward. I use this for blogging. My assistant and I brainstorm topics at the beginning of each month to determine what seems current and appropriate for the time of year and the current mood of the team. Parents, this is when you might talk to an older child about a school or other project and try to get their best ideas to bubble up. You will not do the project, just help to guide their thinking and course of action.
Level 4: Decide and inform.
This means that your assistant can make a decision and then tell you what they did. You trust them to do the research, make the best decision they can, and then keep you in the loop of what is going on. I do this often with social media. All my assistants are more social media savvy than I am. They will often make decisions about what/where/when to post and let me know their thinking. I expect they will take action on their own, knowing how, when and where to post. Editing can also fall into this category. Parents, this is where your child comes to you and says, “I think my essay should be about…or I’d like to do this as my Eagle Scout project.” Listen and give feedback.
Level 5: Act independently.
This means that your assistant can make whatever decision they think is best. No need to report back. You have trust in them completely. You know that they will follow through. They have your full support. I do this with lots of tasks; calendar management, updating workflows, purchasing, website maximization. Parents, this is your goal. Each child will be different, but our goal is to help each junior member of our family to become a fully functioning adult. Sometimes a child will experience difficulty at a level on one sort of task (bed-making) but zoom ahead on others (taking care of sports equipment & being ready for practice).
Encourage, lead by example and help your team (small or big) to grow in knowledge and capability - that is the most rewarding thing of all!
Here are my recommendations for essential oils for delegation:
1. Citrus oils: Lemon, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Lime or Tangerine for alertness, uplifted spirits: or try DoTerra’s Motivation or Citrus Bliss blends. Diffuse in the work space.
2. Mint oils: Peppermint, Spearmint or Rosemary for focus, concentration, energy. Mixed with citrus oils these can be diffused for a clean and bright scent.
3. Flower oils: Lavender, Neroli, Rose, Magnolia relieve tension or emotional distress; or try DoTerra’s Adaptive blend. Moving up the levels can be a challenge - help relieve anxious thoughts.