The #1 Time Wasting Mistake Coaches Make (trying to learn how to do something instead of delegating it)

Do you know what your biggest time waster is? In this flight of Coach's Copilot our host Nicole Bandes walks you through 5 habits that have you wasting your time and they might surprise you! Nicole not only helps you identify these wasters but also gives you the fix. Tune in today, you'll be happy you did!

Key Takeaways from this Episode:

  • Nicole's largest personal time waster
  • 5 actionable fixes for your time wasting
  • Save time by utilize an OBM (online business manager)

About Our Pilot:

Nicole Bandes, founder and CEO of Virtual A Team, is intensely committed to guiding entrepreneurs and small business owners to find and OWN THE ZONE so they can overcome overwhelm and have more time for what matters most.

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Links & Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

MadTV Skit Bob Newhart

Coach's Copilot Horror stories of outsourcing episode


Time. Time management. Can we actually MANAGE time? Well, no. The clock is going to keep ticking no matter what you do with the seconds as they pass by. But we can manage what we do with our time. We can become more productive with the time we have. 
And, one of the number one things we can do to improve our productivity is to stop wasting time. 
Welcome to this week’s flight! Today I’m doing a solo cast and focusing on one of my favorite topics, productivity. In case you didn’t know, before launching Virtual A Team, I was a productivity coach. I LOVE helping people spend more time on what they love and less time on things that are a distraction or waste of time. 
But here’s an interesting little secret, this next tip is very personal to me. And that’s because I spent WAYYYY too much time doing this very thing. 
What is this time waster that I am personally guilty off along with many MANY other coaches and consultants? It’s LEARNING. 
Ok, I don’t mean ALL learning here. I mean the kind of learning you have to do to in order to do things in your business that aren’t in your zone of genius. 
Like learning how to do social media. 
Or trying to master website design. 
Or figuring out how to edit podcast audio. 
These are things that you should NOT be wasting time learning, that is, unless you are a social media coach, website designer or podcast audio editor. And yet, most coaches spend hours and hours trying to figure these things out. How do I know? Because that was me! 
When I first started my coaching business back in the early 2000’s, I had a lot of basic knowledge around things that were needed to build a business besides my core expertise. I had basic knowledge of how to build websites, how to set up social media, how to manage my book keeping, and I had a huge interest in marketing. What I did NOT have was a huge start up expense. I was reinvesting every dollar I made, which wasn’t much. While I didn’t have a lot of money, I had a desire to learn, in fact, learning is one of my top 2 strengths on the Strengths Finder assessment. So learn I did. I learned how to do all of those things because I believed I needed them to build a successful business. 
What I didn’t realize was that, while I was learning, my business was on hold. 
There’s only so much time in the day. While I was spending time learning how to do social media, I wasn’t out there finding and connecting with prospective coaching clients. I wasn’t building up my coaching skills. I wasn’t doing the things that made me a sought after, successful coach. 
Can you relate? 
By why do we do this? Why do we spend so much time working on things that aren’t going contribute directly in the short term? Why do we waste so much time learning about things we don’t need to be learning? 
There are 5 core reasons that coaches find themselves spending all their time learning how to do the things in their business. Let’s chat about each and see if we can’t overcome some of these tendencies. 
After each, I’m going to give you a quick actionable fix. Something you can do to shift the way you think or concrete action you can take. 
1. You love learning. This was part of the trap I fell into. I truly do love to learn new things and it was easy to get distracted by something I love to do anyway. If this is you, you probably tended to do well in school and still nerd out on documentaries or digging below the surface. While this is a wonderful trait to have, it can also do a lot of harm by slowing down your progress and success. 
What’s The Fix – Focus your learning on something that will improve your core skills. Make what you are good at even better. Don’t try to improve your weakest link or grow in areas that could be delegated to others. 
2. You don’t have a lot of money and you don't have a plan. This was another trap I easily fell into. I didn’t have the money to delegate and I didn’t have a clear plan for how I could grow my business without all the “extras”. Just like setting out for a road trip, it helps to have a plan and a budget. If you know you want to see Mount Rushmore but you have a stop in Door County, WI first, you have to create a plan that gets you from Phoenix, to WI to SD and back based on how much you want to spend. You may get there without a plan but the trip may take longer, cost more and you may run into a lot of road blocks or detours along the way. On the other hand, if you have your route mapped out, you can avoid a lot of challenges. 
What’s The Fix – Create a bare bones plan for your business. Avoid all the fluff until you have some profit that you can reinvest. In business, you CAN create a successful business without needing a lot of the “fluff”. You don’t HAVE to have a website or an email newsletter or social media, despite what all the people selling you courses want you to believe. You can create a plan that gets you started without having to spend all that time learning or all that money delegating if it doesn’t make sense in your start up phase. 
3. You are a perfectionist. You know what you want and have, probably, been burned by bad results of others before. Think of this like working on a school project with a small group. Were you the one that did most of the work but your overall grade suffered because of the work of the other group members? Was it just easier to do it yourself rather than let them have control and risk the results being bad? It’s your business and the final grade is your success or failure. That’s a high price to pay if you struggle to trust others to do a great job. 
What’s The Fix – Take it slow. Start by delegating small tasks or projects and learn to trust the outcomes. Work on your belief that things have to be perfect. Deliberately put out things that are imperfect to test the reaction. Is it less than you expected? Sure, you’ll always know when something isn’t up to your standards but I guarantee your clients aren’t judging as strenuously as you are. 
4. You think you have to know how to do something in order to delegate. This may be one of the biggest myths in the outsourcing industry. If you hire someone that is unskilled, you will need to know how to get them up to speed. But what is that old saying, that’s like the blind leading the blind??? Spending hours learning something like how to use WordPress to design your website only to then hand off the maintenance and spend another couple of hours training them how to use the program is NOT the best use of your time. 
I was talking with a client recently. She shared that, before hiring Virtual A Team, she spent a lot of time (and money) taking webinars and online courses to learn how to set up her own online course. She kept thinking she wouldn’t be able to outsource this stuff until she had a basic understanding of it herself. It wasn’t until she had gotten so far into the depths that she realized she was in way over her head. That’s when she reached out to us, desperate to have someone take all of that off her plate so she could get back to what she loved doing, writing the content for the course. 
Had this client known about the alternative sooner, she could have actually saved herself time, money and stress! 
What’s The Fix – I’m probably going to seriously date myself here but Bob Newhart had this one right. In a skit on MadTV back in the early 2000’s, Bob Newhart played a therapist who could fix any problem in less than 5 minutes. His cure: Stop It. I’ll include the link to the skit in the show notes. It’s hysterical! While this may sound harsh, most people can easily let go of this belief once they realize they don’t have to. It’s just having the knowledge that it isn’t true. So, STOP IT! 
5. You don’t know how to delegate. The idea of delegating feels totally overwhelming and scary. The feeling of learning something new is exciting and fun or, at least, controllable. Given a choice, our natural instinct is to go with what is exciting or controllable over overwhelming and scary. 
What’s The Fix – If you are going to spend time learning a new skill, delegating wouldn’t be a bad one to learn. It’s an investment. Once you’ve mastered this skill, you can delegate all kinds of things! 
But there’s an even better fix. One that helps solve all of these challenges. 
Not all outsourcing is created equal. 
I love old sayings because they stick around for a reason. And this one is no different. You get what you pay for. 
For every story of someone that’s had success paying $10 or $20 an hour, there are easily 20 stories of experiences gone bad. From VAs that don’t show up to projects not completed on time. You can check out my Halloween Horrors episode from last year for more great stories. 
I’m not telling you this to scare you away from delegating. I’m sharing this as a cautionary tale not to make the same mistakes those individuals did. There are options if you don’t have the time or desire to learn how to effectively delegate. 
Online business managers are a great solution. These outsourcing wizards have a way of magically solving most of your delegating challenges. 
I love the movie Devil Wear’s Prada. It’s got everything a girl could want, romance, drama, fashion and a woman who stands up for herself. 
And, the idea that a CEO can have an Andy! OK, I do NOT think of myself as a Miranda Priestly, that over-the-top controlling and demanding boss that gets exactly what she wants no matter who turns into collateral damage. 
But Andy is a lot like an online business manager, only OBMs work virtually instead of showing up to Paris for the Fall Fashion show. 
In the movie, Miranda, the mean editor of a popular fashion magazine, doesn’t spend time learning how to do the things she wants Andy to do. She just tells her what she needs done and expects Andy to figure it out. Miranda’s twins need the latest copy of the new Harry Potter series. No, not the one that has been out for a few weeks, the one that isn’t even published yet… If Andy can’t figure it out how to get it, she’s fired. 
Virtual Assistants tend to need a lot more hand holding than OBMs. OBMs will take your requests and run with it. They are problem solvers and project managers. If they can’t do something, they find and manage the right person for the job. 
So let’s get back to our 5 challenges and see how an OBM, aka Andy, can help. 
1. You love learning. Because an obm has a deeper relationship with you, she’s going to be more open to helping you think through and understand some of the aspects of your business that you don’t have a handle on now. She’ll nurture your love of learning in a healthy way while helping you avoid going down the rabbit hole. 
2. You don’t have a lot of money and you don’t have a plan. An OBM can work with you to develop a plan for your business so you are spending the money you do have on the right things. While these wizards aren’t coaches themselves, they often have a lot of knowledge that can help guide you in the right direction. And they will definitely help you avoid those shiny object distractions that end up delaying your success and cost you lots of money. 
3. You are a perfectionist. OBMs are very detail oriented. And, when you have them working with the rest of your team, they offer a second set of eyes to help review things BEFORE you get your hands on it for a final proof. They aren’t going to offer therapy for your perfectionist tendencies but they can help you manage your expectations a bit. 
4. You think you have to know How to do something before you delegate. This may be one of the best gifts an OBM provides. She knows things you don’t. A LOT of things. Things you need in your business but that aren’t the best use of your time (or money) to learn. Trust her and you’ll stop spending all that time (and money) to learn all those things. She’s got it covered. 
5. You don’t know how to delegate. The beauty with an OBM is they will walk you through everything you need to know to work with them. They don’t expect you to come with all the knowledge and expertise, that’s their job. 
When you decide to go with an OBM, you have one task, find the right OBM for you. That’s it. Your new Andy will handle the rest! 
What next? 
Which of these time wasters did you resonate with the most? Take some time to reflect on how that’s effecting your business life and personal happiness. Is it still serving you to be that way? Is there a way you can adapt to honor that part of who you are without it continuing to harm the outcome of your business and personal life? 
Now, make a commitment to yourself that you’ll no longer waste time because of this.

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Coach's Copilot: Your Online Business Manager Podcast
Coach's Copilot: Your Online Business Manager Podcast
Virtual A Team

Are you struggling to build a successful coaching business without burning the candle at both ends? Do you wish you had a copilot or business manager that could help you handle the details so you could focus on the things that only you can do? On this show, Nicole Bandes and her team of experts will serve as your coaching copilots. We will share tips, tricks, and strategies that focus on marketing, outsourcing, productivity, and more! Whether your goal is to grow your business, have a business that’s built around your life, or both; Coach’s Copilot: Your Online Business Manager Podcast will help you manage the details to make it happen.

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