One thing becomes clear very quickly when running a large project like releasing your own album – you can’t do everything yourself. Not if you want to stay stress free and avoid burnout.
So sooner or later, you’ll likely find yourself outsourcing jobs to other people, whether they be friends, other band members, or paid professionals.
Many creative people find themselves reluctant to do this. After all, we’re used to having full creative control, and that often comes from being the one doing the work. Maybe you follow that old adage: “if you want something doing well, do it yourself.”
It’s not surprising. So many of us have had awful experiences when we’ve asked someone else to take some of the strain off us.
I can certainly recall several times where I’ve brought in help, only to find they made such a mess of things that it took me longer to unpick their mess than it would have done to just get the job done.
So how can we avoid the mess while still bringing in the support and expertise we need?
The answer is in changing how we work with the people we give work to. It’s just a matter of good delegation.
You see, the way people normally work is like this: you meet up with the person you’re giving the work to. You chat it over together. You leave them to get on with the work. Then you don’t see or hear from them for weeks. Then, when the deadline comes they deliver the work. And it’s then that your stomach flips when you realise it’s not at all what you wanted. Eeeek!
All of which reinforces that”control freak” instinct, and it reinforces the belief that you have to try and do everything yourself.
But the problem isn’t with the idea of getting help. The problem is with the process described above.
So here’s a better way – when delegating work, keep the other person on a short leash initially to make sure you’re both on the same page.
It makes no sense to just send someone away and only find out that you’re not happy at the very end. At that point you’re trapped, because time and sometimes money has already been wasted.
Instead, try this Mini Milestone Method:
1. Meet with your helper
2. Agree the job
3. Set a VERY early “mini milestone” – by this I mean a few days maximum
4. At the mini milestone date, check out that they are on the right path – and correct their course if not
Then repeat steps 3 and 4 as many times as you like until you feel confident you are both on the same page and that they are working to the outcome you want.
Once you’re confident of that, only then does it make sense to let them get on unhindered to complete the job.
By following the Mini Milestone Method, you’ll be able bring in support whenever you want, knowing that it will definitely be a help and not a hindrance.
What methods do you use to help you overcome the burden of doing everything yourself? I’d love to hear from you so send your comments in to me.