Delegation Versus Do It Yourself… – Guest Blog

This week we have another guest blog  from Sian Rowsell. Sian’s last blog for me called,  “Tackling Procrastination“, generated lot’s of conversation from you folks, so I asked her to write another one. I am sure this one on delegation will prove just as powerful and useful as well as helping you see delegation in a different way.

So, over to Sian


Sian Rowsell

Sian Rowsell, coach and facilitator

Thinking about delegation…

I find it fascinating how the meaning of a word can change over time – in society as a whole but also for us as individuals.. – when I worked in a corporate environment, ‘delegation’ often felt like ‘being dumped on’ (similarly, ‘networking’ was a euphemism for staying up late in the bar(!)) – now that I have my own business, the word delegation has a different energy, a different connotation..

You can do anything but not everything”

This feels so true when you’re running your own business, particularly if you are a one (wo)man band.. We can drive ourselves to distraction and work long into the night and still not get everything done we feel we need to do…

But we can delegate even if we are the only person in our business – we can outsource, we can collaborate with others and divide responsibilities – but sometimes we don’t..

Perhaps we think delegation is too expensive, perhaps we are scared of losing control, or perhaps asking for help feels uncomfortable, or might be seen as a sign of weakness…

When I started my business, like lots of others, I hired an accountant because I really don’t want to get things wrong with the HMRC – this was a no-brainer for me – but why is hiring an expert in other areas, particularly things we feel we’re completely capable of doing, sometimes more difficult to do?

When I was first thinking about setting up my website, I looked around at what other new business owners were doing and it felt like lots of them were building their own websites (and sometimes six months later they were still busy building their websites…) – I asked around and the best advice I got was to figure out if I wanted to learn the ins and outs of how to put a website together for my own self-development or were there other things I wanted to spend my time and energy on – other things I could learn…

For me, this then made it a straight-forward decision – I would outsource the building of the website and I would focus on the message and the content.. For me, this has worked well – I had time to focus on my message, someone else delivered the website which I still love (and some of my friends who went down the DIY route are still battling with their website..)

So, bringing in an expert to do things we don’t feel confident doing, or don’t yet know how to do, is perhaps reasonably straightforward and may come down to whether or not we can afford the investment (thinking of course both long and short term and the ‘cost’ of not doing something well or ‘right first time’)…

But what about the things that we feel we are perfectly capable of doing..?

By saying yes to this, what are you saying no to?”

I have a coach who asks this great question: “by saying yes to this, what are you saying no to?”

What do you want to focus your time and energy on – where will you add value? There’s lots to learn every day as a business owner – what do you want to learn?

You can do anything but not everything” – David Allen

If I spend my time book-keeping, cleaning my office, booking travel, finding workshop venues… what am I not spending my time on? Delegation of these activities does cost money,  but they also take time to do – there is an ‘opportunity cost’ to be factored in…

And some of these things I find a chore, I find boring, and my heart sinks if I picture myself doing them – things to consider delegating…

What might make sense for you to delegate that you are currently doing yourself? What drains your energy or what are you perhaps not best at?

Ask yourself: would delegating this to someone else free me up to do the stuff I love, where I can add the most value..?

(Figuring out who to delegate to and how to ensure it works well is the next stage…)

Sian Rowsell is an effective coach and facilitator, helping people enjoy a more fulfilling life in and outside of work. She offers individual coaching on a one-to-one basis and runs confidential business development groups for women business owners. For more information, please email or visit


    • rachael

      Thanks for the link back – Sian blog is one of the most popular guest blogs on my website.

  1. Rachael Chiverton Ltd | Credit Control

    […] For example, researching and pulling together quotes, putting a picture behind them, it may take you five or ten minutes but for someone like me, doing the research, finding the quote, thinking outside the box to find a picture, putting it all together so that it works all channels and devices. That would take me an hour for what took you five minutes. It isn’t my strength. Don’t value yourself on your time. Value yourself on what you’re saving your customer. […]

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