I can remember a time when I felt really special as I opened my email. It was the hotmail era and all those bolded links, date stamped, with tiny unopened envelopes sitting there in their glory.
I’d get joy from the messages they were bringing, this was before email marketing and rampant spam, and it was also long before I became a business owner. Back then, email meant messages from friends, invitations to parties and more than anything else, it was this new, cool thing.
Fast forward 15 years and I used to dread that feeling that would come as my emails downloaded each morning.
Not only that, they didn’t just download once in the morning, they now came with fancy sound effects as they dropped into my inbox. I didn’t want them because before long their fancy sounds translated to “more work for you to do, more people for you to talk to, more questions to answer, more time to spend.”
I shouldn’t be doing this…
It wasn’t until I REALLY realised that spending time with my head in my email inbox was not an example of me doing my very best work. In fact, it was an example of me doing my worst work.
I was caught though, was this deluge of emails just what being a business owner was all about?
Was I forever going to be trying to keep my head above water and, was I going to have to be doing extra hours every day just so I could deal with my emails and THEN have time to do the real work that I was passionate, experienced and GOOD at?
Could someone else be doing this for me?
The answer was “yes.”
I get it. I have had a past as a bit of a control freak, of feeling like no one else could answer my emails quite the way I could. Then it dawned on me, pretty simply… yes, yes they could.
It might have taken a strong conversation with myself, something along the lines of: “Sorry Charley, you are good at lots of things, but not so good that someone else can’t be better.”
I think someone is better than me at this!
It sounded too good to be true, and I have no doubt that those of you who haven’t yet handed the responsibility of emails over to someone else find it hard to believe that you CAN find someone who is capable, trustworthy and well… possibly a lot better than you… to look after your email.
If you don’t delegate your email you can’t scale up
So I said it. I will let that sink in for a bit.
I know you might feel resistant to reading this but it is my honest truth. I would not have been able to scale my businesses up if I had not dropped the really heavy, time consuming weight of my email inbox.
Likewise many of the best business people around today wouldn’t have been able to build successful businesses as a one person show. You HAVE to be able to find people you can trust, who are capable, that you believe in and feel supported by, to do the work that distracts you from the real work. By real work, I am talking about the stuff that you are good at and love doing.
My fail proof process to having a VA master your email
You may already be doing a great job of delegating in other areas of your business.
In my business I use a VA (Virtual Assistant) to manage my email for me.
If you’re ready to let go (it’s okay, you can leave some claw marks as you leave) then you can try my fail proof process to having someone master your email. This process can easily be adapted for any business. In fact, I have seen friends and many clients of Outsourcing Angel using the same process with amazing results.
1. My VA checks my emails and reduces them to a list of things I need to deal with.
2. Upon receiving this list I dictate (this works for me as it’s quicker than typing) my replies and send through to my VA.
3. My VA then books in any calls or meetings into my calendar if needed and replies to the emails which require action.
Control the outcome without getting lost in the detail
As you can see my process doesn’t deny the fact that your emails are super important. After all, they are very often the gateway or reception area to your business, particularly if you operate mostly with a remote or online presence. You will still be controlling the outcome or the response to emails and actioning what needs to be, but you won’t be getting bogged down in the details, spam, sales emails or insignificant detail of every email.
Finding a VA can be the biggest part of the battle, once you have a great one you will find you will be delegating more than just emails to them. Remembering to not get lost in the detail and to releasing some control means you will have more time to concentrate on working on the tasks that make you the money.
Bottom line, you need to delegate and email is a great place to start.