Over the past year, I’ve done a lot of hiring and outsourcing as all of the projects in Impossible Ventures continue to grow.
I’ve outsourced graphics, coding, wordpress development, app development, UX, blog management,
I brought on a few different team members and let a few go. I learned a lot about myself, my team and management, but one thing I learned is that you can outsource a lot of things, but you can’t outsource responsibility.
It’s become incredibly apparent that this was one of my faults this year.
Instead of trying to delegate tasks, I was trying to delegate my own personal responsibilities.
It wasn’t until I dealt with this myself that I came to grips with it and started to fix it.
It’s been evident in a few different areas, but here’s a very practical example that is simultaneously all about design, but also completely not about design whatsoever.
For the last 18 months, I’ve been trying to get a good emblem for Impossible. The impossible logo is pretty iconic in my opinion, but it doesn’t fit together very well in a square configuration.
I wasn’t necessarily outsourcing the task as I was outsourcing my decision making process.
Instead of being proactive about getting the design I wanted, I’d tell a designer to come up with a few options after giving them ideas of other logos I liked, but not being straight forward about what I wanted.
Inevitably, I’d end up frustrated with the results and disappointed with my designer. Frustrated, I tired 2–3 different designers thinking that they were the problem.
I’d get the designed back and still be annoyed.
The problem wasn’t the designers (it was me). I kept heading after a new designer thinking that was the problem.
They weren’t the problem. They were the distraction.
I was the problem.
In the end, I ended up going back to Steven, the guy who mocked up Impossible for me the first time and did it in the same way we did it before.
I finally took the time to sketch out what I wanted and gave it to Steven. He came back to me with 4 iterations of what I had asked for. I picked two and asked him to isolate them for me. Then I narrowed it down to one. Within 48 hours of the first draft, I had my new logo emblem. #boom
End to end, it took me maybe a week to get exactly what I wanted.
The main difference here? I didn’t abdicate responsiblity.
- I took the time to figure out what I wanted.
- I wrote it down (and yes, it was ugly).
- I worked with someone I trusted.
- I got & gave quick feedback.
- I executed.
- I shipped.
Now remember the part where I said this didn’t necessarily have to do with design?
This happens to most people.
They push off the thing they need to do most because they think they can outsource it or blame it on someone else.
For me, instead of making it my responsibility to mock up a terrible looking drawing – despite how bad it might look – I did the easy thing and kept hiring other designers, hoping something would hit. I missed the effort.
Instead of making it your ritual to make it in the gym every single day without fail, you blame it on the program and switch programs expecting to find the magic one. You miss the workouts.
Instead of making it a goal to write every day on your blog, you blame the colors of your site, the theme design or how your sidebar works. You miss the words.
Instead of making it your resolution to eat clean, stick to a paleo diet, make a smoothie every day or some other measurable, actionable goal, you sit around looking for a magic pill to take or exotic superfood. You miss the basics.
Tired of missing the basics ini your own life in 2015? Here’s your plan of attack:
- Decide what you have to do.
- Take the time to make a plan and decide in advance what you want. Lock yourself in a room if you have to. It’s that important.
- Work your ass off to get it.
- Then, bring in people or products to help you get there (AFTER you’ve decided where you wan tot go).
- Get feedback.
- Execute, execute, execute.
Get it done..
Also, Steven is a busy man, but is amazing at taking your idea to reality. His schedule is packed, but if you beg him and he might be able to oblige.