NNBA Featured Expert
Outsourcing for Busy Nurse Entrepreneurs
NNBA Featured Expert – Pat Iyer, MSN, RN, LNCC
You’re a busy nurse entrepreneur. You are holding down a full time job and also running your business in your free time. You’re not quite ready to quit the job, which gives a steady paycheck, but you are uneasy about what you are hearing at work. There are discussions of layoffs, mergers, consolidation of departments and changes in titles.
Your plan is to do something about your business every day. But you find at the end of the day there are tasks you have not gotten to for your business. You’re tired. The children, parents, pets or spouse need attention.
You know you should be posting on social media, creating image quotes, adding blogs to Linkedin, and looking for quality royalty free images that you can legally use. You feel guilty that you are not doing that. That is only the tip of the iceberg of your guilt.
You know there are people who would be interested in your services if they knew about you. How do you juggle all of these competing demands, while still working?
Busy nurse entrepreneurs are not always effective entrepreneurs
We like to think of ourselves as nurse entrepreneurs as being endlessly capable. We know we can multitask. Watch any nurse walk down a hall with 4 tasks running through his or her head. But there is a limit. We aren’t superwomen. We are distracted, tired, or stressed.
We cope with our stress by not taking care of ourselves the way we know we should. No one needs to talk to a busy nurse entrepreneur about the harmful effects of obesity or smoking. We get it. At the same time, we know nurses who weigh more than they should, don’t work out and don’t know how to manage their stress.
If this is all sounding familiar, consider the answers. How do you get more done for your business, your entrepreneurial dream, without having to learn brand new skills, stay up all night, or quit your job?
Outsourcing is invaluable for the busy nurse entrepreneur
I have faced all of these challenges and decided that as capable as I thought I was, I was not ready to take on the task of learning how to set up a website. My first outsourced assistant is my son. A computer science major with a masters degree from MIT, he is delighted to help me with websites. A side benefit is that we talk often and have a closer relationship as a result, even with him living in India.
But you do not need a child with this level of skill to get help.
What can the busy nurse entrepreneur outsource?
Here’s what I’ve found to be excellent uses for outsourcing assistants. Your tasks may be quite different depending on your business.
Editing and proofreading a book manuscript
Designing a cover, laying out a manuscript and uploading to CreateSpace
Recording a webinar and rendering the file
Editing an audiofile
Transcribing a webinar
Setting up a new shopping cart system
Designing image quotes
Designing a logo
Designing and installing a website
Posting on social media
Proofreading blog posts and inserting images
. . . and so much more
Skills you need to have in order to outsource
The biggest skill is the ability to recognize as a busy nurse entrepreneur you cannot do everything yourself. It is not worth the time and money you’d need to invest to become proficient in some of the activities others can do so well. Did I want to learn how to use Adobe Indesign this year or pay a guy $200 to lay out my book? No contest. Recognize you need to be able to let go of the idea that you’ll save money by learning how to do something.
Your second skill is to be able to clearly communicate your expectations and parameters of an outsourced assignment. Others can’t read our minds; we have to be explicit about what we want. That is one of the reason why I recommend using people with a great grasp of English. The time you spend being clear at the beginning of the assignment will return manifold as you see results.
The third critical skill is to be warm. Be pleasant to work with. Compliment your assistant. Be gentle. In my experience, outsourced worker want to go a good job for the people who hire them. If you are hypercritical, sarcastic, or rude with your worker, you may regret it. The outsourced communities often have a way of sharing feedback with other outsourcing personnel. If you are not happy with the person you’ve hired, just say “next”, and move on.
Lastly, recognize that you have a unique role in your business. There are aspects of your business that only you can do. Perhaps that is sales. Perhaps it is marketing. Perhaps it is coordinating resources. My thinking on this changed when I heard an internet marketer say, “There are 3 things I am really good at. I stink in everything else and I hire people to do those things.” Are you concentrating on only the things you can do?
Give others the opportunity to help you and then watch your business soar. Outsourcing takes knowledge, skill, and a plan for tapping other people’s talents. Gain the tips you need to comfortably outsource by investing an on demand online course specifically designed for busy nurse entrepreneurs. It is called Outsourcing for Nurse Entrepreneurs Made Easy. Get the details at this link: http://legalnursebusiness.com/out
Pat Iyer MSN RN LNCC started her first nursing business in 1987 as an expert witness and legal nurse consultant. She is a prolific author and coaches legal nurse consultants to help them make more money, get more clients and avoid expensive mistakes.
Great article Pat. I’ve recently started outsourcing a variety of tasks. Delegating tasks that aren’t within my skill set (like putting all of the bells and whistles on my blog posts) frees me up to do the things that only I can do! Thanks for the reminder that successful entrepreneurs are smart enough to know that they can’t do it all.
I enjoy reading this blog. It is very helpful.
Thanks for the wisdom!
Pamela Rasheed, RN