Cassie Mendoza-Jones has learnt the hard way about the downside of holding on too tightly and doing it all yourself in business. Since coming back from the brink of burnout and opening her mind to outsourcing select tasks, this naturopath and kinesiologist’s business is soaring.
Cassie has since landed a Hay House book deal and written her first book You Are Enough, created a popular series of digital courses, books and guides and built a thriving online army. Wellspring caught up with the talented natural health personality to find out what she’d learned from the rewarding yet challenging task of finding the right people to do some of the work for you.
Why are you so passionate about outsourcing?
I’ve learnt as a small business owner while it is crucial to be across every element of your business, you don’t always need to be the one doing everything yourself. You might be ok doing everything until it hurts, but when it starts to hurt, outsource it. I’ve found at its best, outsourcing can help people grow their business from a space of ease and flow, without burning out in the process.
Holding on to every task as a business grows can leave us in the throes of what I call ‘perfecto-whelm’, where it feels like nothing we can decide is good enough and yet every task in front of us matters. When this happens good decisions don’t get made – there is no space for them. It’s a dead zone for creativity, ease, self-compassion and flow.
Can you tell us about your outsourcing journey?
In the first few years of my business I didn’t mind doing everything myself and I loved learning what was required to run my business. It was when things really started to pick up I found I couldn’t keep up. I decided to hire a reception service, and I immediately got back a few hours in my week. It was an incredible and freeing experience.
Next up I got a bookkeeper and moved to an online accounting program called Xero. I just wish I had done it sooner, as I’ve found the ability to track revenue from the get-go to be priceless. I learnt so much about outsourcing through this process I funnelled all my lessons into my Business Guide for Solo Wellness Entrepreneurs.
What are the downsides of refusing to outsource?
You run the risk of not doing a particular task as effectively as someone else who is trained to do that job, or who is in their zone of genius doing it. It is also too easy to burn out because you’re doing too much, or not running your business as effectively as your time, energy and expertise could be better spent elsewhere.
What tasks do you personally outsource?
I have a virtual assistant who lives interstate, and she helps me with email and admin. I also outsource bookkeeping, website coding and maintenance and graphic design. I occasionally outsource to an Ontraport consultant (my CRM system) or hire their support team for certain projects that need to be built out from my system’s back end. I also love the patient order systems from the herbal medicine companies, so I think of that as outsourcing my dispensary too.
What would you never dream of outsourcing?
I can’t imagine outsourcing things like writing for my blog, newsletters or online courses. It’s just way too personal. In the past, I’ve hired copywriters to help with some website copy, and copy editors to polish my work, but only after I’ve written it all. Now I write and edit all my online content myself.
What advice would you give people looking for the right person to outsource to?
For design and development, find websites you love and scroll to the bottom – the designer and developer credits will often be linked at the bottom and you can look them up.
If you’re part of any wellness Facebook groups you can ask to see if anyone has any personal recommendations. When you find someone you’re considering bringing on board to help you, apart from trying to get a sense of their work ethic and personality, ask them these questions:
What are your working hours?
What are your invoice terms?
Do you charge hourly or per project?
For certain tasks, you’re paying for the outcome, not the amount of time necessary.
Are there any unexpected places you can find the right people to outsource to?
Consider reaching outside of your immediate industry. Speak with friends and family members, and people from other sectors. The first website developer I worked with was a recommendation from my makeup agency from the days I worked as a hair and makeup artist.
Should people expect to experience resistance along the outsourcing journey?
Absolutely. I still have to occasionally remind myself it’s ok to give my virtual assistant certain jobs I sometimes think I should be doing. It can be hard to ‘give up’ jobs to someone else, but if it’s something someone else can do, and it gives you time back to work on something important to your business and life, then it’s 100 per cent worth it.
If you can’t afford to outsource when you start your business, that’s ok too. Don’t give yourself a hard time. Just be smart about it and when it becomes feasible for you, choose one thing to outsource like your bookkeeping until you know what else you’re able to outsource as your business grows.
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