growing by teaching

Growing by teaching [PMP #295]

I’ve shared previously on this blog that my primary motivation right now (as it has been for years) is to make my business more efficient. In my business, efficiency boils down to:

  • Generating the same (or greater) revenue in less time.
  • Delivering the same (or move) value to clients, in less time.
  • Streamlining and outsourcing administrative tasks.
  • Removing myself as the bottleneck.

And a great side effect of improving efficiency is that revenue generally increases as a result; at least this is what I’ve observed.

Since reading Dan Martell’s book, Buy Back Your Time (affiliate link), I’ve shifted my mindset to focus more on teaching my team as much as I can in order to improve our overall efficiency.

This started with me hiring an administrative assistant which I spoke about on my last podcast. Not only does Faith help to process my email and draft responses, she’s now taking on more of the daily administrative tasks that would normally suck up my time.

Taking the time to teach these processes can slow things down and sometimes feels like an inconvenience in the short term. This is why so many business owners have the mindset of ‘Oh, I’ll just do it myself, it’ll be quicker if I do it”. I’ve made a promise to myself to stop doing this and to treat every question as a teaching opportunity.

Never say: ‘Oh, I’ll just do it myself, it’ll be quicker if I do it”. Instead, treat every question as a teaching opportunity.Click To Tweet

The way I see it, the more I can teach my team, the less they’ll need me and the more efficient we’ll all be.

When my team approach me for help when they get stuck or have questions about how to deal with a particular situation, rather than just giving them the answer, I’m now trying to teach them how to find the answer on their own, without me.

I’m teaching them how to think, how to solve problems and what principles we should follow. That way, they have a set of mental tools that help them to deal with situations without me.

I’m also teaching them how to help one another. For instance, Warwick on my team is our go-to Zapier expert. Instead of asking me a Zapier question, I’m directing people to him. And sometimes, we learn something new and I’ll have the person share this with the rest of the team so we can all benefit from this new understanding.

Finally, we’ve been documenting more and more of our processes (using Google Docs) so we have our processes written down. This helps to reduce mistakes and improves everyone’s consistency. I’m about to bring another consultant onto my team and having these standard operating procedures (SOPs) written down makes training new team members much more efficient and they’ll be less likely to make a mistake when they come on board.

While teaching can slow things down, what I’m finding is that my team are becoming more self-sufficient and don’t need me to hold their hand or spoon-feed them the answer. And this is where we’re starting to see some long-term efficiency gains. And best of all for me, it means I’m not as busy helping people or putting out fires and I can work on other, higher-value tasks.