Delegate as much as you can

Published on Nov 30, 2019

Last update: Dec 13, 2019

The more you delegate, the more you know

I’m the type of person who enjoys digging into any topic to learn the ins and outs. I love doing things for myself, from scratch. This mindset is useful in certain situations, but I’ve recently figured out that there are times to dive in and there are times to delegate.

I used to think that people who delegated were doing it because they were ignorant in some way. If only they understood how taxes, investments, graphic design, etc. works, they wouldn’t have to pay someone to do the work.

This is a terrible way to think about it.

I now understand the true power of delegation. Even when I’m digging into a subject learning as much as I can, it’s hard to match the experience and knowledge as an expert who does it full time.

By delegating tasks, you leave yourself more time to focus on your core competencies/interests. This is why it’s true that the more you delegate, the more you know.

What should you delegate

For a long time I think that I avoided delegation because I was cheap. I’d have rather spent my entire weekend learning how to send out K1s for an LLC Partnership than pay someone $400 to do it. Well, with age I’ve gotten wiser and those days are behind me. I realize now that in the long run I’ll easily make that $400 value back by spending my time on things I care about.

For most people, delegation is limited by cost in some capacity. I’d argue that you should delegate as much as you can afford to.

Good CEOs are master delegators—they make a lot of money because there are hundreds or thousands of people working beneath them that they can delegate work to. In fact, the only way most people achieve great things is by delegating. George Washington didn’t fight every British soldier, nor was he even at every battle during the war; Tom Brady is a great football player, but frankly he’s slow as shit and relies on his RBs and WRs to do the tasks he isn’t good at; and Bill Gates hasn’t written significant lines of code in decades, yet Microsoft has released hundreds of software products over the years.

When we delegate, we save ourselves time. And time is the most important resource in life.

That begs the question: when should you delegate and when should you bootstrap it?

I generally delegate the task if at least one or two of the following are true:

  1. The person I’m delegating to is equal or better than myself at the task
  2. The task is outside my core competencies and interests (i.e. I spend less than 10% of my time doing related tasks and I don’t want that percentage to increase)
  3. The cost to delegate is affordable for me
  4. Delegating will save me significant time in the long haul

Now, instead of toiling away for days learning the ins and outs of taxes, I’m writing more code that could create tremendous value for myself and the economy; instead of frantically scanning 10ks to keep up with a portfolio of micro-cap stocks, I’m taking time to write my fiction novel; and instead of slugging through writing every line of code I use, I now leverage Upwork as much as I can and spend that time being present with my family.

Delegating is a privilege, not a weakness.

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