The key to proper delegation is training (systems). The moment you start a new process, document it so that when you train the person you will eventually delegate it to, the onboarding time is shorter and there is more comprehension of the task.
It’s easier to delegate when your mission and goal are clear. Without clarity around why you’re doing something, it makes it 10x harder to transfer tasks because you yourself don’t know what’s going on.
As part of my series about the “How To Delegate Effectively and Be Completely Satisfied With the Results”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Renée Warren, an award-winning entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, author, and founder of We Wild Women, a platform that helps entrepreneurs start and scale their own businesses.
She’s also the host of the celebrated podcast, Into the Wild, a program that features curated interviews with women entrepreneurs. Its purpose is to inspire and give actionable advice to women who are launching or growing their own dream businesses.
In 2012, Renée founded a content marketing and PR agency, taking it from the ground up onto what would become a seven-figure, globally-recognized company with clients from South Africa to San Diego. Today, Renée is well-known for her PR strategies and business coaching and is sought after for her ability to validate business ideas, go-to market strategies, and business systems. She also provides founder mindset training.
Renée is also the co-author of Get Covered! How to craft, pitch and tell your startup’s story to get more customers. She is always challenging the conventional ways of garnering media and customer attention, and this book serves as a billboard for her tagline: “The best advice comes from someone who has successfully done it before.” Her approach to coaching comes from over 22 years of experience as an entrepreneur and unapologetic risk-taker.
When she’s not coaching or podcasting, Renée can be found spending time with her family. She also enjoys working out, reading business books, and refining her drumming skills.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
I started a restaurant when I was 17 years old, and have only ever really known entrepreneurship since that day. But nothing, not even hiring and firing my parent’s friends, prepared me for the day my best friend and business partner decided to leave the company with only 5-days notice.
This was off the heels of me coming back from my honeymoon and eyeing the million-dollar mark. We were growing rather quickly with clients from South Africa to San Diego, doing PR for funded technology startups, and I didn’t think I had it in me to keep going.
I was already exhausted after having two babies in one year (Irish Twins) and moving to a city where I didn’t know anyone. I kept asking myself what I did wrong, why someone would want to leave such a great and fun company. I blamed myself.
The worst part was that I honestly didn’t think I could do it on my own. There were several comments from people like “I didn’t think you’d keep going” and, “I thought for sure you’d give up and close down the company”. I quickly turned things around and made it into a $1M agency, but it came with way too many unnecessary dead ends, forks in the road, and speed bumps.
My drive came after I started to believe in myself. When I reflected back on the big wins of the company, they were all mine. The client list, mostly my sales. The smart team, mostly my recruiting. The huge profit margins, mostly my efforts. The 30,000 ft view showed me with clarity, my ability to move the needle.
That momentum pushed me further and got me through the slump.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
One year I won a free 4-month lease on a Jeep at an auction and decided to let a team member who had just graduated from university use the car for business tasks. The problem was that he was from India (with different driving rules) and had just received his license to drive in Canada. He was unfamiliar with the rules, although he graduated from driving school, and got into a fender bender. No one was hurt, but the conversation I had to have with the dealership after only having the car for a week was not good.
We laugh about it now.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Me. Not to throw my ego out there, but in a business like mine (coaching and training), the person is the product. I had someone recently tell me that it seemed like I was building something similar to Marie Forleo’s BSchool. I wasn’t sure if that was a compliment or not, but realized something with the remark; true or not, people buy from those they know, like and trust and if there is one thing I am really good at, is making women believe they are more than enough and can launch their dream business.
With every entrepreneur, mindset is or becomes the thing that can move you forward with lightning speed or stop you dead in your tracks. And the women that I work with have mentioned time and again, that my focus on mindset allows them to crush their goals. It’s rarely about spreadsheets and KPI’s — it’s always about beliefs.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
It’s simple: Prioritize. Automate. Schedule. Batch.
And perhaps more importantly, always show up. Consistency is your currency.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my husband Dan Martell. He has been there, holding my hand, coaching me and letting me feel the emotions of growth for over 10 years now.
In the bathtub not that long ago, I was having a moment — crying and feeling utterly defeated, when I texted him “I’m a failure”. He crept into the bathroom and slowly sat down next to me to chat. I spent a good 10-minutes crying my way through my emotions when he said (in reference to entrepreneurship), “It doesn’t get easier, you get better”.
He’s my rock!
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. Delegating effectively is a challenge for many leaders. Let’s put first things first. Can you help articulate to our readers a few reasons why delegating is such an important skill for a leader or a business owner to develop?
You need to delegate as a means to save time and money so that you can focus on the tasks that grow your business. Delegating things that fall outside of your zone of genius also helps to remove the likelihood of human error, expedites the process, and saves your sanity.
Delegation is not just reserved for big corporations with big budgets. Solopreneurs and small business owners must do it too if they want to gain the capacity to move the needle.
Can you help articulate a few of the reasons why delegating is such a challenge for so many people?
Many people, especially entrepreneurs, worry that by giving up control, they lose control. The opposite is true. When you can focus on your priority tasks and not get stuck in the weeds, you can grow faster.
Also, I see this all the time with my clients, that people worry about the cost to delegate. If you do it right, offsetting those tasks to someone else will make you more money. It’s not a matter of if you should, it’s a matter of when and the sooner, the better.
In your opinion, what pivots need to be made, either in perspective or in work habits, to help alleviate some of the challenges you mentioned?
Stop with perfectionism. Stop with the need to control everything. It just weighs you down and increases anxiety. When you have a certain and important skill set that is being underutilized because you haven’t delegated the menial tasks, it will inevitably end up costing you time and money.
Can you please share your “Five Things You Need To Know To Delegate Effectively and Be Completely Satisfied With the Results?” Please share a story or an example for each.
- Done is better than perfect. Thank you Sheryl Sandberg for that one.
Most people, actually 99.99% of people have little clue what’s going on in your head. So when something is done at 80%, just be OK with that. Most others won’t know that the other 20% is missing.
- Someone is working in their zone of genius with the work you delegate. Not only is there stuff you shouldn’t do, but there is also stuff you hate to do, most of which should be delegated.
- The key to proper delegation is training (systems). The moment you start a new process, document it so that when you train the person you will eventually delegate it to, the onboarding time is shorter and there is more comprehension of the task.
- It’s easier to delegate when your mission and goal are clear. Without clarity around why you’re doing something, it makes it 10x harder to transfer tasks because you yourself don’t know what’s going on.
- Develop a feedback loop so that the delegator and delegatee are constantly clear about the goal. This should mean weekly meetings (15 minutes) to provide critical feedback for both parties.
One of the obstacles to proper delegating is the oft quoted cliche “If you want something done right do it yourself.” Is this saying true? Is it false? Is there a way to reconcile it with the importance of delegating?
The saying is true only when you need to create a process around how to do a new task. With everything documented, you shouldn’t have to do it for anyone else ever again.
Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would want to see more women starting their dream business. My mission is to help inspire and motivate a million women to start a business and I take every opportunity, however big or small, to reach those women, and to make an impact.
How can our readers further follow you online?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!