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  • Ashlee Berghoff

When Outsourcing Feels Gross


Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

As I type, a wonderful young woman named Olivia is rocking my baby in the living room and a badass woman named Melissa is cleaning my house.


I feel like a jerk for even saying that out loud.


Who do I think I am to have someone else do these things for me?


It makes me feel pretentious and like I’m pretending to play with the big dogs when I’m not one.


It doesn’t bother me at all that millionaires outsource a lot of their home management, childcare, and business responsibilities. I think of them as a different class of person. They have the money, and they choose to spend it that way - no skin off my back.


And I would be pretty shocked to see Jennifer Aniston mowing her own lawn or George Clooney dragging his carry-on through a remote airport parking lot at 4:30 am.


But we’re talking about normal me here.


I have cleaned many toilets and am still paying off my student loans.


But I just finished recording a podcast with the amazing Colin Campbell, and we had a great conversation about developing the mindset of a leader and how hard that is when you’re first transitioning from scrappy freelancer to bona fide business.


It’s hard to think of yourself as a leader at first.


My first team member, Carrie, can testify how a lot of my initial delegation sounded like, “hey, so um, I’m doing this thing…does that sound like it would be fun for you to work on? Like, do you want to do this?”


I still have a lot to learn, but I’ve gotten better. I’m starting to grow into my role.


I had to become a leader to start learning how to be a leader.


That’s why James Schramko says, “with great responsibility comes great power.”


When the responsibility comes first, you step up to meet it.


Anyone who’s had a child can testify to this.


Act first, and your mind will catch up.


So for me, getting childcare means I can focus and show up professionally on things like podcasts and sales calls.


Getting help with cleaning helps me to focus on my work without this nagging feeling that I should be vacuuming the rug.


And treating my business like a company that’s worth taking seriously is helping me do the hard things, like getting visible, charging what I’m worth, and making important strategic decisions...thus turning it into a company worth taking seriously.


Colin introduced me to this awesome quote that sums it up perfectly: “I don’t dance because I am happy; I am happy because I dance.”


So today, as I’m feeling weird about outsourcing, I’m reminding myself:


I don’t outsource because my business is worth taking seriously; my business is worth taking seriously because I outsource.


Where can you start dancing even though you don’t feel perfectly ready?