Do you feel like there’s something missing to this whole entrepreneurship thing? You found a catchy idea. You spent weeks talking to potential customers that had no idea what they really wanted. You took all that jumbled up data to create a product that’s really what you want them to need. You created tons of content and blog posts. You mastered Facebook ads from a Youtube course. And you sent some free product to a handful of half-assed Instagram influencers that made one measly post to their followers.
But somehow your business is stalling without making the growth you’ve wanted to see. And now you’re shitting your pants because you’re nowhere near the hockeystick growth you bragged about to your investors. Well I have news for you. You’re not alone. That’s pretty much ninety percent of all us entrepreneurs. And I say “us” because, I’m no multi-millionaire success story myself… yet.
But I’m pretty smart. And while I could spend another pointless paragraph listing all my credentials, I’ll just sum it up to this. I got you here reading this post right? Exactly. That being said, I’ve been struggling with this exact problem. Running a pretty awesome business with an excellent cofounder, subscription business model, and a few hundred paying customers. But the growth is mediocre. And we’re talking three years, not months, later.
If you’re feeling that same sense of “what the fuck?!” I feel you and I think I can help. You’re probably thinking, “But your business is different than mine. I could be killing it on all cylinders while you’re just slacking off writing cute blog posts all day.” And you’re right. But even so, there’s one thing that I can almost guarantee is holding you back from more success.
It’s called outsourcing.
Most people hear the word outsourcing and think cheap international labor in sweatshops.
But Google defines outsourcing as:
obtain (goods or a service) from an outside or foreign supplier, especially in place of an internal source.
That’s a pretty good definition. Getting something from somewhere else, especially in place of internally.
Them, not me.
That’s the key to your success. Bye. A good teacher never reveals all.
Outsourcing is so so so important in the scope of business and entrepreneurship for the following two reasons.
We have unrealistic expectations/goals.
Seriously, we’re all a little desensitized to how fucking outrageous our goals are. I’m not saying you can’t be a billionaire. I’m just saying to take a moment and think about how enormous of task that is to do. Think about the goals and things you often say you’ll accomplish. Write thirty blog posts a month. Get ten million visitors on your site. Make one hundred thousand dollars per month.
Then think of if you’d even think some of these things were possible had no one done it or even got close to it before you. Like, would you even fathom the possibility of getting ten million people on your app? It’s easy to say yes now. But if I ask you are their aliens or is time travel possible? You take a few seconds in deep thought. That’s because it’s so damn hard to envision.
But even further more of those big lofty goals, ask yourself… “Can I really accomplish this?” Again, probably a quick yes. How about asking, “Can I really accomplish this alone?” Things change. And I mean alone, alone. Like no help from anyone else in the world at any part of the process.
Even my goals don’t pass this test. My partner and I often talk about reaching and impacting at least one million people on our platform. One fucking million. Now think about me going out walking around no ad platforms, no internet, no team or partner, trying to sell a platform on a disc one by one… to a MILLION people. Granted, the average human will only interact with approximately eighty thousand people in their lifetime. And that’s on the high end. Our goals have gotten extremely exorbitant and high, especially as entrepreneurs.
We have human limitations.
The second reason is a pretty straightforward one. We’re all just humans that are bound by very real human limitations. We can only run but so fast. We can get but only so strong. And we can only last for so long. Not to mention we fight everyday just to survive under the perfect mixture of conditions. Thank you earth! And yes, our minds have limits too. Not your imagination, and creativity but think your focus and multitasking.
The example I like to use is The Olympics. We spend four years finding the worlds best athletes. The best runner, the best swimmer, the best jumper, the best whatever-er. We take four years to a lifetime training them in every manner of the sport to be exceptional. We then gather them all together, add some incentive, make it as fair of a competition, and grab our popcorn to see the show. And what happens?
Pretty much the same thing as last time. All the top runners run roughly the same speed. All the top swimmers swim roughly the same speed. All the top jumpers jump roughly the same height. And there’s a winner yes. But they usually win by the fraction of a fraction of a fraction. Like grab the super slow mo high-speed, high-tech camera to check the play, fraction of a win. And sometimes there’s an outlier that does well.
But rarely will you see someone run or swim five whole seconds faster than everyone else. You won’t see someone jumping a whole two feet higher than the competition. That’s because we have limitations. Human limitations. And we’re always getting better and evolving so those limitations may not be concrete. But there’s no doubting that we have some level of constrictions as human beings.
Put these two factors together and you get a recipe for disaster. Humans with limitations that have god-like ambitions.
And there’s only two things you can do about that.
Drop your goals, ambitions, and expectations by a lot a lot. (Which is of course not what I’m here to teach.)
Or figure out how to bypass those very human limitations.
And that’s where success and growth from outsourcing comes in.
When we talk physical competitions like the Olympics, the top are all in pretty much the same league. However, can we say the same for business? Yes, all of this still has to do with business. The top companies in the world are usually killing the game. And when you compare them to the competitors in their industry, they’re lightyears ahead. Look at the Fortune 500 companies. Look at the startups that skyrocket to success. The margin of growth is unreal in some businesses and that’s because they’re using outsourcing to bypass human limitations.
They aren’t trying to sell one million cokes with a team of two people. They’re selling 1.9 billion coke bottles a day with a team of nearly 700,000 people. You don’t go trying to sell one million dollars worth of shoes with a team of five people. You sell 36 billion dollars worth of Nike product with a team of 70,000 people. Imagine if two cofounders like me and my partner spends our whole life trying to achieve goals like this alone. We’ll forever fall flat on our face.
Outsourcing is taking the tasks and things that we need to create growth, and getting other people to help. It looks different for every business. It could be remote workers. It could be employees in-house. It could be a whole army of virtual assistants. But whatever it is, the truth is we can’t do it alone. We need help. We need a team. We need to outsource. Almost every business’s revenue, growth, and impact is positively related to the amount of people working on the task at hand.
And yes there are companies like Whatsapp making billions with a team of under twenty people. But those hundreds of millions of people sharing, and using their platform are just as much part of the team as the employees that show up to work. No matter how much hustle and drive we have we’re all just humans at the end of the day. And that’s the reality of a lot of entrepreneurs. We’re regular old humans trying to live like superhumans. When in reality, the goals we’re trying to accomplish don’t need superhumans, but rather just more humans.
So don’t buy that fancy new CRM software. Don’t go traveling on another company vacation. Don’t buy another course on building your online presence. Don’t go spending millions implementing the perfect new feature. The key to your growth and much more success in your career or business nine times out of ten is more eyes, more hands, more humans working by your side.