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How to Deal With Superman Syndrome

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There are lots of little cogs to my business: writing content, posting content, sharing on social media, creating invoices, tracking deals, sending emails, following up emails, managing sites and design and so on. When I had only my first site, I could handle this all easily, but as my business grew this became much harder. Despite knowing I could outsource almost every aspect of my blog, I was reluctant to let a few tasks go, especially the fun ones.

Living in New Zealand and having most of my clients based in the UK is basically a timezone nightmare. I’ve spent countless nights, awake until 2/3/4/5am to ensure that I get all emails replied to promptly, so there’s no hold up in getting deals started. This has wrecked havoc on my sleep, energy levels and has affected almost every aspect of my life.

It was becoming obvious that I needed some extra help, so I decided to hire a virtual assistant to handle my multiple email accounts. It’s only been two weeks, but it’s making a huge difference to my business turnaround, my stress levels and, perhaps most importantly, my sleep.

Stress is a major problem in nearly any workplace. Those who are suffering from stress are more likely to experience fatigue and lose their motivation. Not feeling motivated while running your own small business can be disastrous because it affects your health, which eventually will affect your bottom line.

What is Superman Syndrome? 
It’s when you try to do everything yourself, especially as a solo entrepreneur/business owner. It’s when you sacrifice other areas of your life, such as spare time, sleep, mental health and so forth to remain a one-man business.

After some time, if your workload is too big you’ll start to notice other areas of your life falling apart. For me, it was sleep – which really goes on to affect everything else. But for you it might be your marriage or relationship, time with your kids, your health, your happiness… or any combination of these.

It got to the point where I asked myself “Is this worth it?” and the answer for me was quite simply no.

I could simply leave the emails until the next day to follow up, but I knew I would be too curious and would want to close deals as soon as possible, so that simply wouldn’t work for me.

I admitted defeat, realised I couldn’t do this on my own and that it didn’t make sense to and hired an assistant on a trial. It’s been two weeks and everything’s going well. I’ve noticed a difference in the number of deals I’ve got, my sleep is improving and my energy levels are increasing. Because I’ve delegated this task that was taking up a lot of my time, I have more free time for other tasks I need to do such as expanding my business or writing posts on my blog.

It’s tempting to do everything yourself because that’s the “cheapest” way to go – but what is the real cost? Would you spend an extra $10 or $20 a day to  have your sleep unbroken, your stress levels decreased and to free up more time for other tasks? I certainly would!

Do you outsource tasks that are weighing you down or do you try to juggle it yourself? Do you think you have superman syndrome? 

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2 Comments

  • Superman Syndrome… excellent. I grew up on a farm so DIY earned respect. So to this day I feel like I have to prove I can do everything. It’s hard for me to outsource ANYTHING!

    Did you have a final breaking point where you hired someone or did you just eventually come to the realization you needed help?

    • Christine says:

      I actually hired someone before I even needed them, just because the book said so. I used to get her to help me find work on Elance which was helpful as I found browsing through the different jobs exhausting. I now have a few writers, a general virtual assistant who does lots of little tasks for me and someone to answer my emails as I’m on the wrong timezone as my clients. I’m really enjoying it. The next step is getting the email assistant to learn a few more tricks and then she can do everything for me, except writing posts 🙂

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