Do you need to learn how to do something before you delegate it

Do you need to learn how to do something before delegating it?

This is a story of Jane. Jane started her coaching business after leaving her full-time job. Jane received her coaching certification through a great program but they didn’t teach her about building her business. Jane loved to learn new things so she dove into learning everything she could about growing her business. After all, Jane didn’t have any clients yet so she had plenty of time and no money and she felt like she had to learn before delegating.

My story wasn’t a lot different than Jane’s. When I started out as a coach, I spent a lot of time learning, and little time selling. I didn’t have money to outsource so I decided I’d learn how to do all the things that the big successful coaches were doing. But there was a big difference. They were doing it with teams. 

While I did eventually achieve success in my productivity coaching business before moving on to create Virtual A Team, what I really learned was how much faster I could have done it if I had made a few small changes.

First, I would have spent more time on the basics. Get out there and sell simple one-on-one programs instead of buying into the hype of creating massive evergreen systems for an audience I didn’t have. 

Second, once I had the one-on-one clients bringing in a decent cash flow, I’d outsource as soon as possible to begin building out the systems I spent a lot of time learning how to create.

I often see this discussion in online groups. Someone asks whether they should hire a coach to teach them how to do something or outsource the task instead.

Of course, the answers will depend on the person answering. Coaches tend to say you should hire a coach. People who do the work will tell you to outsource. 

I’ve been both the coach and the doer and I choose to focus on my Done For You business instead of Teach It To You business because time is the one thing I can’t get more of.

But let’s dig into this a little more.


Do you really need to learn how to do something before delegating?

Let’s say you want to start focusing on your social media marketing. You don’t know much about social media though. It’s one thing to hang out on Instagram and a whole other thing to know how to use Instagram to reach your business goals.

Knowing you don’t know much about the latter, you might think you need to first learn how to do social media management before you hire someone to help you do it. You might be thinking that it’s important to understand what someone else is doing in order to manage them, right?

Would Henry Ford have taken the time to learn how to run assembly lines before using this technology to build Model T’s?

The truth is, taking time to learn how to do something before you outsource might be a symptom of a bigger issue. 

Money, money, money...

You may choose to learn how to do something because you don’t actually have the funds to outsource. Unfortunately, this leads to a vicious cycle. You spend more time learning and less time doing the things that will bring in the clients. 

Let’s look at an example. Let’s say you pay a very conservative $297 to learn how to create an email funnel for your business. You then spend a few hours of your time learning from the program and 10 to 12 more actually implementing what you’ve learned. Let’s say that amounts to 15 hours total time invested to build your email funnel. 

Now let’s say your time is worth $150 an hour if you actually had clients. That would be a total investment of $2547 ($150x15+$297). There’s a good chance you could have outsourced this task and paid around $1500 for it and spent that 15 hours creating new programs or bringing in new clients.

But wait, you don’t have $1500. So isn’t it better to learn how first?

No. It’s simple. If you don’t have clients paying you at least $1500, you don’t need an email funnel yet. Spend that time networking and building relationships. 

Pro Tip

Hire experts that have systems already created. You are paying for both their expertise and their system saving you a LOT of time.

And that brings us to the next issue.


Spending time to learn skills like copy writing, social media management, email marketing or website design are distractions. 

When you spend time doing these things, it feels like you are working to grow your business. You FEEL productive. You FEEL accomplished. 

This is going to sound a little harsh but take a hard look at it, Are you doing things that make you feel successful so you can feel better about the lack of results you have in your business? 

First This, Then That

This one is a little less harsh. There’s this idea that you have to have all of your systems in place BEFORE you outsource a project. In order to build out your system, you need to have a better understanding of the system you are building.

This is a myth that’s spread by those recommending you hire low-cost VAs. Sure, if you are going to pay less than $10 an hour, you’ll have to invest a lot of your own time to make sure it’s done right. Having a system in place can help.

But that’s not the point of outsourcing. You should be outsourcing to free up your time or provide your business with skills you don’t already have!

Do I need to learn something before I delegate it

This is like saying you’ll hire a mechanic to work on your car but first you want to learn how to fix your car so you can pay your mechanic less and then teach them how to do it. It just doesn’t make any logical sense!

Pro Tip

Instead of creating processes for the actual task, create a process that allows you to check in and follow up on the progress.

The Blind Leading the Blind?

Here’s another one I hear a lot. How do I know if the person I’m hiring can do the job I’m asking them to do if I don’t know how to do it?

Do I need to learn something before I delegate it

Look, I’m not saying you shouldn't have an understanding of what you need to look for in an expert but you don’t need to go to medical school to have heart surgery. However, you would want to do some research on selecting the best doctor for the job.

Fortunately, there are excellent ways to hire someone you can count on without being fully trained in that skill.

For example:

  • Get referrals from someone who is having that person do the same thing you’d have them do.
  • Research how to hire for ___. There are some great articles on the internet helping you to determine the right questions to ask.
  • Ask about their process. If they don’t already have a process, they don’t have enough experience to manage the project without your guidance.
  • Work with an agency. Rather than hiring one individual, working with an agency can help you fill in the skills gaps.
  • Don’t pay the least amount available. Yes, you truly get what you pay for. If you don’t want to take the time to train someone, expect to pay a little more. It’s worth it in the long run.
  • Don’t hire the first person to apply for the job. Take your time and interview more than once.

Take some time and do a thorough job rather than hiring quickly. If you are buried in overwhelm, you won’t be doing yourself any good by settling on the first viable option.

Download our Ultimate Guide to Delegating Here for More Tips & Tools on How to Delegate as a Solopreneur



You DON’T need to be an expert to delegate. You don’t need to know how to create the best email funnels or even how many hashtags are best on what social media platforms. These things tend to change on the fly. It’s a full-time job just trying to keep up with it all. 

But there are some things you do need to know first so you can make the process as smooth and beneficial as possible.

What are your business goals?

Knowing your business goals and sharing them with those you delegate to can help them to better help you. They will let you know if something is off track or steering you in the wrong direction.

What is your brand voice or persona?

You might be hiring a customer service rep to answer your emails or someone who will write social media posts and blog content. Either way, helping them to understand your brand voice will help them be a representative for your company.

What is your management style?

You may be more hands-on and involved in the various steps of the process or you may want to just check in as you are needed. It’s important to know your management style and let your team know as well so they know what to expect.

What is the project or task goal?

While you don’t need to know how to accomplish the goal, you do need to know how to convey what the goal is. If you want to hire a social media manager, you need to know what you want social media to accomplish. If you want to hire someone for a landing page, it’s important that you understand what the landing page will do.

And that’s about it. You can leave the rest to a well chosen team of experts.

Let’s get started!

Are finally ready to let go of the excuses and start saving time while growing your business? Whether it’s a lack of knowledge or funds or a fear of making the wrong decision, there are solutions to your outsourcing fears.

Let’s have a conversation and get started.

The Ultimate Guide to Delegating

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