Commitment & Outgrowing Freelancers

In the last one week – literally – three awesome freelancers that I felt GREAT about have all told me “I’m not available anymore at this time, I’m too busy, so many clients” (some of which I helped them get) “…but in a few weeks I’m happy to help you with strategy advice.” 

For a moment I felt myself getting grumpier and grumpier about it. Grrr!! But then I used one of my favorite tools: Curiosity.  Hm. What does this mean? My frustration is a sign that I’m projecting. With projections, we think the problem is other people…. but actually, it’s us. We’re outgrowing something about ourselves, and it’s showing up as something irritating about others. Use this mirror, I thought.

Then it was so obvious – wow! The universe is really trying to tell me something! This is a clear wake-up call about how I’ve been treating myself and my business… which is clearly entering some new level where it needs a new level of support. So do I. And the support I need is for me to support myself. How can I support myself to do what I do with greater presence and ease?

How important it is for me to commit to people. When I only seek on-call help, of course, I can’t expect great people to be there every time I call – because I’m not committed fully to them, of course, they need to be on call for everyone! 

This “half-in” model of employing freelancers used to work great for me, when I had time to thoughtfully coordinate projects like new websites or launches, more time to do some of it myself, more time to approve and edit work before passing it on to the next contractor who needed it. But now that it includes designers, writer, developer, social media person, strategists, email marketers, ugh, it’s just way too many people for my otherwise simple business). 

In the last year what I’ve really committed to is living primarily in my zone of genius. For me, that’s coaching and facilitating and helping leaders create amazing world-changing organizations. I’ve been living this commitment by showing up for my clients. Ergo, I’m not committed to investing the time needed to play the marketing coordinator role I used to play anymore.

With this clarity, I am realizing that the commitment needs to come from ME. I need to commit to MYSELF. To my business. To my impact. To my mission. To take that scary leap of faith and HIRE the person I need to live the life and create the impact I want. I can’t “hedge” my way towards my audacious dreams.

I have shared my strategy brief with so many people, investing so much time in explaining it to so many people. While some have helped in the short term, none of them have worked out as a long-term partner because ultimately this is just not what they want to DO. The fact is that I don’t even have time to check my text messages a lot of the time (a sign that I’m needing a shift), much less do I have time to take yet another meeting and explain it all over again. I’m ready to find more permanent help – a long-term partnership.

I am finally ready to commit to people and have them commit to me… and there’s a business case for it.

I’m still working out the job description for this writer-producer-wordpress-social-marketing-and-project-manager, but what’s clear is that my person either:

1. Works only with me (especially if they don’t work full-time), or

2. Works only with me + one other client (and then, only if they truly work full-time)

They also can’t want to be a coach like me someday. This job needs to be the job they really want – it’s their career, not a stepping stone or side gig. They need to take over my role of being the hub of the wheel of all of these difference freelancers so that I can go back to doing what I’m great at, and so that I’m not the bottleneck in EVERYTHING about scaling my business. If I keep hiring in a half-in way (me and them) then I will never scale and have the massive impact on the world I want to have.

If you have any advice or ideas for me about that I’d love to hear it! And if you want to be that person we can talk about that too.