Have you ever wished there were more hours in the day? More days in the month? Or maybe you wish you had an extra set of hands or even an entire clone of yourself to help you get everything done. I think a lot of women, especially moms, do.
These days there are a number of options that can help. Learning to delegate tasks to colleagues at work and spouses or kids at home can be a start. Another option is hiring another set of hands, which you can do in the form of a Personal Assistant or a Virtual Assistant. If you like the idea of getting an assistant but aren’t ready for the commitment of a designated person to whom you have to give a certain number of work hours every week, you can start small with a service like Fancy Hands or Taskrabbit. Both services bill per task and the task can be completed by any number of different assistants on staff. No, you don’t get personalized service, and if someone does something for you once, it is likely you won’t get that same person again, but it is a great way to dip your toes into the world of assistants.
You can also learn to leverage yourself in other ways. I recently had the chance to speak with author, speaker, serial entrepreneur, and media contributor Jen Groover about some of the ways in which she has leveraged herself in her many businesses and projects. One of the techniques she has used which surprised me was licensing. Sure I have heard of licensing, but I usually think of that as something that big bands like Kiss do when they license the use of their images or what George Lucas did with the Star Wars toys.
Jen’s first business straight out of college was in the fitness industry. She soon realized that the only time she got paid was when she showed up at the center and taught classes or worked with clients. She wanted to have more time to focus on more things. In the fitness industry, there are a few opportunities for licensing when it comes to athletic gear or training DVDs/online workout programs, but that wasn’t really what Jen was interested in.
A great example of the kind of licensing she loves is her Butler Bag company. Shortly after her twin girls were born she needed a better way to organize a large purse or diaper bag. “I grabbed that silverware thing out of the dishwasher and put it sideways in my bag.” And thus, with a bit of snazzy designing thrown in, the Butler Bag was born.
But Jen didn’t want to be involved with manufacturing and distribution. She likes being the idea woman and networker. So she licensed the Butler Bag to another company who still incorporates her into the brand as the face of the business but takes care of all of the stuff she doesn’t want to do.
Another way Jen leverages herself is by keeping in close touch with a tight-knit group of fellow female entrepreneurs. “Even if we’re just having drinks, we talk about what we’re up to and ask each other what we can do to help. When one of us succeeds, we all succeed a little more.”
Becoming an author, speaker and regular media contributor also helps Jen to expand her reach and leverage her efforts by being able to communicate her message with more people than she could just by speaking to and working with others one-on-one. A book requires a lot of effort up front while it is being written, published, and initially promoted, but after that, it spreads authority and pays royalties for years to come. Speaking can also put you directly in front of the people you most want to reach and associate you with the organizations you admire. Appearing regularly on major media outlets as a spokesperson for female entrepreneurs gives her even more credibility and clout in her industry.
So what could you do this week to better leverage your time, effort, products or influence? I think we could all take a page or two out of Jen Groover’s book. If you want to hear my entire conversation with Jen you can find that here. And if you want to connect with Jen Groover in person, you can find her at her Jumpstart Connect Pop-up Store in the Soho district of NYC in October 2017. Get details here.