Finding Balance: How to Delegate Effectively as an Entrepreneur with Lindsay LaShell

#productivity online business Jul 26, 2023
Finding Balance: How to Delegate Effectively as an Entrepreneur



Hey there, podcast listeners!

We have an exciting new episode of "Cash In On Camera" coming your way. In this episode, host Sheryl Plouffe is joined by entrepreneur Lindsay LaShell to discuss the art of effective delegation.

As entrepreneurs, finding balance can be a challenge. That's why delegating tasks is so important. But how do you effectively delegate without feeling overwhelmed?

Sheryl and Lindsay dive into the nitty-gritty of delegation, including:

- The power of effective communication when delegating new tasks

- The importance of envisioning the desired outcome and naming all aspects of the task

- Considering contingencies and necessary materials, like passwords, to ensure a smooth process- How having a checklist and clear communication can help with delegation and problem-solving

- The power dynamics of delegation, especially for women, and how to navigate them.

Lindsay recently hired her first virtual assistant and shares her experience of being able to delegate tasks and see them completed quickly. It's like stepping into a whole new world of productivity!

Now, we know not everyone feels ready to hire and delegate tasks, but we highly recommend doing so as soon as possible. It's a game-changer for entrepreneurs like you!

But maybe you're wondering, "What tasks should I delegate first?" Well, we've got you covered! Tune in to this episode of "Cash In On Camera" and discover the expert tips on finding that perfect balance between doing it all yourself and getting the support you need.

So mark your calendars, grab your headphones, and get ready to dive into the world of delegation with Sheryl Plouffe and Lindsay LaShell. Trust us, this episode is a game-changer for entrepreneurs like you!

Until then, stay tuned and keep cashing in on camera!


📚 Timestamped overview

[00:02:13] Delegate tasks to maximize skills and productivity.

[00:05:17] Delegation: Let go of control, embrace imperfection.

[00:08:38] Simple content briefs generate great thought leadership. Reuse and repurpose existing content for consistency.

[00:11:06] Start small, expand as success shows. Explicit expectations, thorough communication.

[00:18:18] Communication and planning are essential for success.

[00:21:10] Focus on LinkedIn, not other social media.

[00:23:43] Turning social media into landing pages. Intriguing.



Sheryl Plouffe [00:00:00]:

is off of your plate. There comes a time in the development of your business when you will want and need to delegate tasks to others Lindsay Lachell is here with us today on Cash In On Camera to talk about how we delegate effectively as entrepreneurs And, Lindsay, you know, I I just wanna start by saying that you're the first person we've had on the show who calls themselves a marketing

Lindsay LaShell [00:00:23]:

activist Yeah.

Sheryl Plouffe [00:00:25]:

And I love that, and I know we've discussed this in our pre-call. I'd love for you to explain why don't you call yourself a marketing strategist or consultant. Why activists?

Lindsay LaShell [00:00:35]:

It's I think marketing is just a tool. It's just it's like everything else. It's not good. It's not bad. It's not evil. It's not holy. It's just a tool, and I chose the title marketing activist because I am an activist. I am an advocate. I am an ally. I'm an anti-racist. I feel very strongly about these things, and I'm using the tool of marketing to advance those values. So I don't work with every organization that comes my way. I only work with organizations that I can tell are moving the needle in either their purpose or in their leadership and who they empower.

Sheryl Plouffe [00:01:14]:

Yeah. So, yeah, I mean, that's It's like finding the right values and really being discerning of who it is that you're practically

Lindsay LaShell [00:01:22]:

park partnering up with -- Yeah. -- from a marketing perspective. Yeah. The truth is that, like, I have a lot of power with my marketing expertise, and I wanna make sure that that power is used to advance the organizations that I wanna see be successful. So speaking of advancing

Sheryl Plouffe [00:01:39]:

the cause, advancing the business -- Yeah. -- obviously, marketing is a key function in doing so as our many other steps. but there comes a time when we really have to understand the power of delegation. I don't know about you, but I feel like women sometimes struggle with this quite a bit because they feel like they can do it all. I'm superwoman. I can do all the things. and they do all these things for far too long. Yeah. That's absolute -- -- know how do we know that it's time to delegate Oh,

Lindsay LaShell [00:02:13]:

that is such a juicy question. I love it. My answer is it's always time to delegate. There is never a moment where there isn't something that we are doing that is better served by somebody else doing it. And so the, like, overarching philosophy of that is the highest and best use. When you think about your capabilities and what you can do as an entrepreneur or when you think about your staff or your team or your seven-year-old. When you think about what they are capable of, what is the highest and best use of their skills, and what is the highest and best use of your skills, you should be delegating to make sure that everybody is doing exactly the most compelling, interesting, challenging, useful, effective thing that they can do with their own time.

Sheryl Plouffe [00:03:08]:

It starts by understanding the value of your time. That's right. And so let me say the value of your time. Is it best to look at that from a monetary perspective? Like, my time is valued at let per hour, or is it deeper than that?

Lindsay LaShell [00:03:25]:

Yeah. I think that can help if you have a little bit of our syndrome, and you're not quite sure where it is your job and where it's not your job. I don't think of it necessarily as monetary value. I think of it more as, like, capability. like, where like, what is it that only you can do? And how can we maximize the amount of time that you are doing your particular zone of genius? Right? Your particular expertise should be used as much as possible And if that means that, like, triaging your email inbox or responding to DMs or something like that is something that you can have someone else do and get not even a 100% of the benefit out of it. I look at when I'm when I'm outsourcing stuff, If it can get done to, like, 80, 85, 90% of what it would be when I do it myself, that's good enough. Because it's absolutely worth it for me to free up my expertise instead of spending my time doing things that don't require my expertise.

Sheryl Plouffe [00:04:31]:

And that's a really good point because you have a you know, if you could bring that up to, let's say, 80 to 90% of how you would do it, it's not 100%. Mm-mm. And that's where I think it falls off because don't know about you, but I mean, I like to have control over certain things. I like control over certain things in my life and business. Yeah. And If somebody else can't do it 100%, then I'll do it myself. Obviously, playing devil's advocate here. But, like -- Yeah. It's I think one of the things that people struggle with and are challenged by is, like, well, how am I gonna find someone to replace me? and to do it 100% the way that I do. Yeah. That doesn't sound to be the goal. No. You can't. And that expectation is unreasonable.

Lindsay LaShell [00:05:17]:

And it's sort of, like, I'll I'll jump in, like, one of the core sorts of important understandings about the way that I teach delegation is that the asker has a certain amount of power and the doer has a certain amount of power. Right? And the asker gets to ask for what and gets input on when. And the doer gets to decide how. And we and as askers, we need to let go of that how. Because if they are clear on the expectation of delivery, what is it that we're actually after, then we should not have to care about the how. Right? And so this is the thing of, like, when you start to think about how as the expert, as the, you know, whoever the entrepreneur is that the leader of the organization. How their time can be most valuable? Absolutely. There are things I set up systems for my assistant where it's like, this is the script. This is the model. follow it every time. And then she does, and we're done. Right? Like, we don't have to talk about it. So when there it's absolutely fine to be, like, super, super specific about stuff like that. But the other side of, like, letting go of that and, again, very much focusing this message on women and people of color and queer folks who struggle with impostor syndrome more than your average says that white dude. Right? These this, like, we have this idea And it's often true, but it's still I don't think that important that, like, we're being nitpicked and examined and like every single detail has to be perfect and flawless. And as somebody who writes for the Internet for a living, I'm here to tell you nobody reads. Like, it doesn't matter. We don't have to be that perfect. We get to repeat ourselves, We get to make mistakes. We get to be human on the Internet, and it actually helps. It doesn't hurt. And so that it that 20% that I'm talking about that, like, the slushy bit that happens when somebody with a different brain tries to sound like you on the Internet,

Sheryl Plouffe [00:07:31]:

it's fine. Nobody's gonna know. But there's a difference too. I mean, I think You know, we certainly support people who want to and should be positioning themselves as authorities of what they do as subject matter experts of what they do. having thought leadership, meaning that you have ideas and maybe even possibly polarizing ideas to other people in your industry, Like, those are things that are singularly yours. They're your thoughts, your ideas, your insights that no one can have your experience and knowledge, and stories. Yep. Those are things you cannot hire someone else to do. Sure. Yeah. And so sometimes I think that there is a gray area, especially when to content. They'll say, okay, well, I'm gonna hire a copywriter to write in my voice. Yes. And then they expect that person to formulate all their ideas for them. Yes. You can't do that. You have to have your own thought leadership and then delegate tasks to someone else -- Yeah. -- and then take that and run with it. Absolutely. And there are 2 I use 2 really

Lindsay LaShell [00:08:38]:

great hacks for handling that situation. So option 1 is a simple content brief. Right? The person who generates the ideas, it's like it can be as complicated as an outline, it can be as simple as a content brief. I'll give you this is not supposed to be a marketing conversation, but I'll give you my, like, 5 content briefs to answer 5 questions. Who's it for? Which is the audience member? Right? Where are they in their journey that they are receiving this information? What do they care about as a result of being who they are in that place? Right? What is my offer to them? and what is the call to action? And if you just answer all those questions, then hand it to somebody who has read and consumed a whole bunch of your content, a skilled content, a skilled copywriter can turn that into thought leadership. Right? The other thing I do, and I love this is, like, if you are a thought leader who has a good body of work, send your copywriter out into your body of work and have them just go pull ideas and rewrite them and pull quotes and turn them into social media posts. And, like, if you've got a body of work to draw from, reuse it. The worst thing that happens is that you present yourself very consistently. Right? I know. It's like but I already posted that one story, that one time, 5 years ago. Nobody remembers it. You get to post it at least 10 more times this year. I have a client this morning. We were having a call, and

Sheryl Plouffe [00:10:13]:

she has recently hired her I believe this is her first VA. certainly the first VA within the construct of the business that she's building. Yeah. And so we get on the call today and she's It's amazing. She said, you delegate things to this person, and they actually, like, turn it around, and it's there the next day. Like, oh, I know. Isn't it amazing? Yes. And she was like, wow. It was as if she'd, you know, she was walking into a whole new world, and she is. She was walking into a whole new world, and I was so happy for her. Not everyone feels that they're at that stage where they can do that, where they should do that, and hire that person. But to your point earlier, the best time to hire and delegate out is right really any time, like, right away. Yeah. It may be. What are some of the key first things you should delegate and get off your plate?

Lindsay LaShell [00:11:06]:

That's a great question. You know, I always start with the smallest, most core, most repeatable things. Like, my management style, in general, is, like, I will give someone this much to do and be like, I don't care how you do it. This is your is your realm. Get it done. Right? And then as they show success, then it expands and expands and expands. And so I would always start with something that is easy to set explicit expectations for. I would start with something that is easy to turn into a playbook or a script or a method Right? I use Loom videos a lot personally when there's when it's, like, something that I do all the time, and all of a sudden, I'm like, what am I doing I will, like, do a Loom video of me doing it and then send it to my EA and be like, now this is your job. You have to do it three times a week or whatever. Right? And so but the thing that I love about that tool and the thing that is, I think, really important in a new EA relationship is really explicit expectations. This is one of the things we don't learn about delegating as managers or as managers. Right? Nobody knows What is like, if you are asking me to do a new task for the first time, I don't know what I don't know. And so the answer so, like, the way to make it better is, first of all, as much context as is needed. What are the contingencies? Where does this request come from? Why is it important? What is the timeline? All of the context helps to inform how and when it gets done. And then you have this really explicit checklist. What is the thing? Size and shape, budget, time limitations? Is it a Google Doc? Is it a Word doc? Like, all as explicit as possible. Because that way, it there's no question about you as a delegator, right, as the asker, you stop, like, setting up a system that reinforces your incorrect belief that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. That is a lie. The reason why we believe that is because we don't know how to tell people what we want.

Sheryl Plouffe [00:13:28]:

That's the key. That's the key. It's communication. It's a communication issue. It is. Right? And so if you shore up your communication skills and you can effectively convey your ideas, your desires, your wants, your the steps, the tasks, that need to be done -- That's right. -- it's a communication issue. That's right. And so the but the other piece of that is

Lindsay LaShell [00:13:50]:

if the doer doesn't have the power to say no, then their yes doesn't matter. Right. They need to the other thing about it is, like, yes communication, but, like, proactively and throughout the process because the doer needs to be both the asker and the doer. need to understand that renegotiation is a part of the process. I started this thing, and now I see I didn't understand these five steps, and it's gonna take me way longer. I said I would have it on Tuesday. Now it's gonna be Wednesday. Right? Or, no, I've gotta go pick up my kid from work. I can't do it right now, or I can do it instead of this other task you me. Right? The doer has to manage their workload because one of the really important things for me is that the doer commits to the delivery timeline. The doer has to be the one to say, it you will have it by this time. Because that helps them, I mean, literally, like, from the simplest things. Like, I I mean, I do this with my stepdaughter. Right? When is your room gonna be clean? you have between now and when you go to sleep on Sunday night. And I don't care when in that window, but before you go to sleep on Sunday night, You know the expectation of what it looks like when your room is clean. You tell me when you're gonna do it. You're giving them you're giving autonomy

Sheryl Plouffe [00:15:18]:

in the sense of, you know, here's the frame time frame in which it needs to be accomplished. You're giving them autonomy to decide how and when and you know, the details of how they're going to get it done and when within the construct of that time frame. And to your point earlier that you know, it's not about telling them you've gotta do it my way or the highway. It's more about this is what I want the end result to be -- That's right. You can choose to get it done. However, you see fit. I find that challenging with technology because I nerd out with technology. I love certain tools, and I'm like, oh, but I would highly recommend that you use this tool. That's something I struggle with. with. Like, I need to pull back and just be like, I have my own tools that are my favorites, and that's fine. Yeah. But I have to be more willing to be open-minded They might have their own tools that they'd like to use. And frankly, they might know tools that are better than even the ones that I know and be open to that possibility.

Lindsay LaShell [00:16:19]:

Yeah. Absolutely. And it like, I think part of the trick there, is this is where, like, you know, leadership is about making choices. Right? And so part of the thing that I think makes that work is knowing when you are making a choice that that that affects them. Right? Like, I literally had this conversation this morning with somebody I'm supervising. It's like, we are going to use Trello for the editorial calendar, period. I don't care what else you've worked with. I don't care what else you like. There are reasons why I have made that choice, and this is the framework we're gonna use. And now it's up to you to go fill in all of the interviews that we know we need. What's that? Is it the is the better approach than as the asker,

Sheryl Plouffe [00:17:00]:

is the better approach to be just, like, hey. These are the tools we use, and that's there's no arguing it. It's like, we're gonna use Trello. We're gonna use ReStore. We're gonna use whatever. and you're gonna have to adapt to using -- -- live with it.

Lindsay LaShell [00:17:14]:

Yeah. I may be. I think it really depends on what the output is. it really depends on what the output is. Like so for me, it's like, if you're writing a thing for me, I don't care what you do, but I want you to deliver it to me in a Google Doc. Okay. That's that's right. So it's like, what do use whatever tool you want, but when I get it, it has to be a Google Doc. And so that so, like, that sort of can do that. But, you know, there's as an organization, there are reasons why, you know, we use Slack or we use Trello or whatever these things are. If you're not using them, if you're not engaged with them, then it just gets harder and more complicated. So I think there are moments where you're like, this is how These are the tools. But but within that and certainly, outside of that, you gotta let it go. Go for it. Yep.

Sheryl Plouffe [00:18:02]:

So, Lindsay, in wrapping up the conversation around how to delegate effectively as an entrepreneur, what is what does it really come down to? How can we be most effective in delegation? What is the key thing that we need to keep in mind?

Lindsay LaShell [00:18:18]:

It really is that it's that communication piece. When you start thinking about what you're asking somebody to do when it's a new task, a new thing You've you've never asked somebody to do it before, and they've never done it before. It is so hard to really understand everything that is needed, everything that needs to go in there. And so thinking it through incredibly envisioning your x your output, envisioning your deliverable, and then naming everything about it that you can. Yes. Timeline, but also the scope and also write, like, all of these different things. And then you gotta think through the contingencies Do I need passwords in order to execute that? Do I need other materials? Like, all of these things, like, we just spend a minute Going through I and I have a checklist pitch. Right? I have a delegation course that includes a script and a checklist that makes sure if we get alignment on the what, and right, And we are proactively communicating when something goes sideways. Right? That basically unlocks the whole that unlocks the whole system. I have a lot more to say about power and why this is hard for women. Right? I know that's a whole other station. Well, because we can be honest about, like, we aren't we are taught to yield soft power and passive power, and that is actually a really horrible tool in delegation. Right? It does not help us at all. In fact, it really hurts relationships. And so being proactive and being honest with what kind of power is in the relationship and how it's distributed just solves so many problems.

Sheryl Plouffe [00:20:11]:

How do people get in touch with you? I know you have a newsletter. People can subscribe to it. Tell us a little bit about that. Yep. So you can go check out my offerings at opendashlines.coas

Lindsay LaShell [00:20:22]:

we talked about. Like, I'm a marketer. The delegation is just a sort of a side passion that I have because of the types of entrepreneurs that I work with. This is a really relevant topic. But, honestly, I would just say just, like, follow me on LinkedIn, sign up for notifications. Starting next week, I'm gonna be publishing, like, a bunch of short videos with all kinds of tips and insights on delegation. That's, like, the thing I'm talking about for the rest of the summer. So, yeah, just find me on LinkedIn, and you already have if you're here. I'm all about LinkedIn. I'm loving that platform right now, so that's great. Speaking of that, I'd love to know what you think is really working in marketing as a marketing activist

Sheryl Plouffe [00:21:00]:

Yes. What is a tip, a tool, a tactic technique that's really helping you to market open lines, to help market yourself personally? What works today?

Lindsay LaShell [00:21:10]:

Yes. Okay. So I'm going to share one of my very favorites. This is another course I've got if you're interested. This is Yeah. But this one's it's literally, like, a 25-minute course, and there's a bunch I have a bunch of LinkedIn content about it too. I don't accept for LinkedIn, I don't publish content to the stream of Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, I instead have I I know most most entrepreneurs, their solution to their, like, lack of time in this case is to just put the same thing on all the channels. Yeah. Right? And it I say the same thing about that as I say about when you have, like, one newsletter that goes all of your audiences, it's like, yeah. It's great. It's equally irrelevant for everybody. Cool. Right? Like, not a good idea. The better choice in my opinion, and the thing I teach my clients is to turn them into landing pages. So think about your Instagram as a place where someone who is on Instagram and is thinking about you wants to go learn more about you. then how can you set up your Instagram in order to receive them and answer their questions and move them to the next step. Right? So for lots of organizations, that means, like, literally, I updated my Instagram for open lines one time last year. Like, one time, it's a 3 by 3 grid. The very top square says go find me on LinkedIn. Right? So what happens when somebody comes to look for me there? They get a good overview of of my work and what I'm about based on the, you know, design I've chosen. They can validate whether or not my aesthetic is pleasing to them, and they think they might like me. and they know where to go to find me for their next step, and it's LinkedIn. And so I the amount of time that I don't spend on Instagram because it's a rat race and a and a right. Like, I the that it just I call it the hamster wheel. It's a hamster wheel, and there's so many, the smaller your audience is, the harder the grind is to get any new exposure in any audience growth. And so getting like, if you don't have ad dollars, to spin up that audience, it's real tough going. And Facebook I mean, it's all the same. So yeah. So my advice is don't spend your time on defeating the beast. Don't spend your time on social media channels that you are not sure are helping you to build your audience. If they're not moving the needle for your business, put them on ice, turn them into landing pages, and reallocate that time towards things that are more productive.

Sheryl Plouffe [00:23:43]:

Yeah. They're turning it into landing pages. It's really intriguing. I I like that idea a lot, and I'm I'm with you a 100%. I'm not against social media. But I just think that in light of the changes that have happened and just the functionality of really what it's built to do is to keep people addicted and just kinda streaming through all the stuff. You know, it is it is really challenging to make inroads there, especially as a as a smaller creator or someone who's, you know, growing a business. There are outliers and there are people who see great success, and that's wonderful, but I don't think that's most people's experience. I would I would rather see people focusing on building genuine relationships and putting their time and energy into high touch activities at scale.

Lindsay LaShell [00:24:27]:

and and work those things. So yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, that's that's the if you had a large audience before some recent rate. Like, if you already had 10,000 people -- Yes. Right. -- a year or 2 ago when the most recent algorithm updates will start really suppressing organic reach. You're probably fine. But if you're under $10,000 and you don't have any ad budget -- Yeah. -- tough. I don't feel like it's worth my time to spend to build my audience there, and I advise my clients to do, just be a little bit smarter about where you focused. Yeah. It's it's having a good strategy.

Sheryl Plouffe [00:24:58]:

Yeah. So I this is great. Thank you so for come so much for coming on the show today and really sharing your expertise and your insights. And and I too am all about LinkedIn these days. I'm I'm digging that platform. I think it's where business is happening. And so Just been really great to get your insights on how to delegate effectively as an entrepreneur. We really appreciate you being here. Yeah. Absolutely. Thanks for having me. Thank you.


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