The Superwoman Myth: How Trying to Do It All Is Holding You Back

As a female entrepreneur, you’ve likely felt the pressure to wear all the hats and handle every aspect of your business on your own. Perhaps the pressure has come from a lack of resources to hire a team, or maybe it’s a certain need of control. There’s a safety in that degree of control. Nothing happens without your signoff, so you can ensure that everything is perfect.

The myth of the solo entrepreneur who can do it all is pervasive in our society, but the truth is that trying to be a one-woman show is not only unrealistic but also detrimental to your growth and well-being. Believe me, I know. I’ve done it.

Done Is Better Than Perfect

“Done is better than perfect.” You’ve heard the quote. I loathe that quote. I always asked, why can’t it be both? And the answer is it can be – but as you scale and have more clients/customers – doing it all on your own will take a toll on your mental health.

We often see successful business owners portrayed as superheroes who can juggle multiple tasks effortlessly, sacrificing sleep and personal life in the process. But behind the scenes, the reality is often very different. Many successful entrepreneurs have learned the hard way that delegation and outsourcing are essential to sustainable growth and long-term success – especially if you have a family or want to one-day have a family.

One of the main reasons why trying to do everything yourself is holding you back is that it limits your ability to focus on your core strengths. As an entrepreneur, you likely have unique skills and expertise that set you apart from others in your industry. By spending time on tasks that fall outside of your core competencies, you’re not only wasting valuable time and energy but also missing out on opportunities to innovate and grow your business.

The Benefits of Delegation

Delegating tasks to others allows you to focus on what you do best, whether that’s developing new products, building relationships with clients, or creating strategic partnerships. By outsourcing tasks that aren’t your strong suit, you can free up mental space and energy to work on high-level strategies and big-picture thinking – and you ensure those delegated pieces are getting done by people who are using their core strengths on your brand. (Assuming, of course, that you’ve hired the right team.)

The Power of Delegation

  1. Focusing on core competencies
  2. Tapping into diverse skill sets and perspectives
  3. Saving time, energy, and your mental health in the long run

Aside from allowing you to focus on core competencies, another benefit of delegation is that it allows you to tap into diverse skill sets and perspectives. As a solo entrepreneur, it’s easy to get stuck in your own head and miss out on valuable insights and ideas from others. By collaborating with a team of experts, you can bring fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to your business challenges.

We’ve all had those moments of “why didn’t I think of that?” And the answer is likely because you’re trying to do too many things at once. Don’t get me wrong, I have respect for the hustle. It’s necessary in the beginning. But as you start to grow and scale – your operations have to as well. Your business is like a growing child. It can’t keep wearing old clothes when they’ve outgrown them. And they can’t be the best they can be if they are being held back because you’re being throttling them.

Saving Time, Energy, and Sanity

Outsourcing can also help you save not only time and energy in the long run but also your sanity. You can’t downplay the importance of work/life balance. And if you try, you will get burned out.

While it may seem like an added expense at first, investing in the right team members can actually save you money by increasing efficiency and productivity. When you have reliable people handling tasks like bookkeeping, social media management, or customer service, you can focus on revenue-generating activities and grow your business faster.

As a female entrepreneur, the pressure to “do it all” can be especially intense, with many women feeling guilty about taking time off or prioritizing their personal lives. But the truth is that burnout is a real risk for entrepreneurs who try to handle everything on their own. By sharing the workload and creating boundaries around your time, you can avoid burnout, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and grow a business that is capable of surviving on its own.

I can’t stress the importance of that last piece enough. I’ve been on vacations where I’ve had to do emergency work – because I didn’t have systems in place to allow me to step away. My business needed me in order to work. And when your downtime becomes consumed with your work and you don’t get your much-needed break – it takes an even greater toll on your mental health.

In the same sense that you want to raise a child that will be a rockstar and capable of making the right decisions without you, you want your business and your team running that business to be capable of that same thing.

Overcoming the Challenges of Delegation

Of course, delegation isn’t always easy, especially for entrepreneurs who are used to being in control – wanting to ensure things are done a certain way. It can be challenging to let go of certain tasks and trust others to handle them. However, with the right mindset and approach, delegation can be a powerful tool for growth and success.

So, how do we overcome the challenges that delegation presents us?

  1. Starting small and building trust over time
  2. Communicating clearly and setting expectations
  3. Providing resources and support for team members
  4. Conducting regular check-ins and feedback sessions

Start Slow & Build Trust

One key to successful delegation is to start small and build trust over time. Begin by outsourcing relatively low-risk and easy-to-delegate tasks, such as data entry or social media scheduling. As you build confidence in your team members, you can gradually assign more complex and strategic tasks.

Communicate Clearly & Set Expectations

It’s also important to communicate clearly and set expectations from the outset. Ensure your team members understand your vision, goals, and priorities, and provide them with the resources and support they need to succeed. Regular check-ins and feedback sessions can help ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same objectives.

Provide Resources & Support

Providing resources and support for team members is essential when delegating tasks and setting them up for success. This involves more than just assigning tasks; it requires investing time and effort into ensuring your team has everything they need to excel in their roles.

Start by developing a comprehensive onboarding and training process introducing new team members to your company’s mission, values, and goals. Provide training sessions to help them understand their roles, responsibilities, and the tools they’ll be using. If you can, consider pairing new team members with experienced mentors who can guide them through the initial learning curve.

Invest in the Tech

Ensure your team can access the software, hardware, and other tools necessary to complete their tasks efficiently. Invest in reliable technology and keep it updated to avoid productivity lags due to technical issues. Provide training on how to use these tools effectively and encourage team members to suggest improvements or new tools that could enhance their work.

In the beginning, it will require significant time and involvement from you. There’s no getting around this if you want to be sure it’s done the right way. And, if you’re thinking that feels daunting or overwhelming, that’s completely understandable. However, in the long term, your involvement won’t be as time-consuming – and you’ll have a team that is more than capable.

Invest in Professional Development

Invest in your team’s growth by offering opportunities for professional development, such as workshops, conferences, or online courses/memberships. Encourage team members to set personal and professional goals, and work with them to create a plan for achieving those goals. Recognize and celebrate their achievements, and show them that you value their contributions to your business.

Be Understanding of Personal Issues

Remember that your team members are human beings with lives outside of work, and be understanding when personal issues arise. Foster a supportive and empathetic work environment where team members feel valued and cared for. Lead by example by maintaining a healthy work-life balance and encouraging your team to do the same.

In Closing…

In conclusion, the superwoman myth of the one-woman show is a limiting belief that can hold us entrepreneurs back from reaching our full potential. By embracing the power of delegation and providing our teams with the resources and support they need to succeed, we can break free from the “do it all” mentality and create a thriving business that allows you to focus on your strengths, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and achieve your business dreams.

Remember, success is not about doing everything yourself but rather about building a strong team and fostering a culture of collaboration and growth. So, take that first step towards delegating tasks and watch your business soar to new heights!

Published in Business, Featured Articles
Founder & Editor | Website

Emily Sprinkle, also known as Emma Loggins, is a designer, marketer, blogger, and speaker. She is the Editor-In-Chief for Women's Business Daily where she pulls from her experience as the CEO and Director of Strategy for Excite Creative Studios, where she specializes in web development, UI/UX design, social media marketing, and overall strategy for her clients.

Emily has also written for CNN, Autotrader, The Guardian, and is also the Editor-In-Chief for the geek lifestyle site FanBolt.com