I am an unabashed, unapologetic proponent of small businesses. And I’m afraid that amid the hullabaloo about stimulus packages and corporate bailouts, insufficient attention has been paid to the real engine of our global economy — small businesses.
Until John Jantsch. Yep, John. The dude who started Duct Tape Marketing. John has declared March 9 -13, 2009 as Make A Referral Week. John’s goal: to generate 1000 referrals to small business during the week — thereby creating a bunch of money for a bunch of people. A grassroots wave of generosity. A tsunami of stimulus.
Hell yes, I’m participating. I just love this idea. It’s something I can do at a time when there doesn’t feel like much I can do. And I’ll bet that between you and me and all my other readers, we can generate 1000 referrals all by ourselves. Won’t you join me by making a pledge to refer one person to another person this week? It’s equally as valuable to ask for a referral during the week, too, so if you need something all you have to do is ask. I, for one, am happy to oblige.
How often have you said, “I just don’t have enough time to…”? Or, “there just aren’t enough hours in the day”? You’ve got a lot to do, I’ve got a lot to do, Aunt Tilly has a lot to do. Add in the grim financial realities many of us face, and not only is there not enough time — but there’s not enough money.
Let me expose you to a bit of counter-intuitive thinking. When you lack time or money to get stuff done, what’s the best thing you can possibly do? No, you can’t squeeze three more hours out of the day. Nice try.
No, when you don’t have enough time or money, the thing to do is to delegate. To outsource the thing that takes up your time and attention so you can free up the time to focus on making money.
Sure, this is clear if you’re a business owner — I get someone to take care of my taxes, for instance, so I can use that time to sell more services. But it’s just as true that salaried people need to delegate. When you delegate, you make the space to focus on your priorities. And when you make progress on your priorities (and do what your boss thinks is important), you’ll perform at the top of your game, leading to raises, bonuses and promotions.
And the best part of delegating is getting great help — finding someone experienced and trustworthy and talented — to take some of your load off. That’s the point of asking for a referral, by the way.
Little niggling voice: “But I should do it all myself. I’m going to look weak if I delegate. People like me don’t hire people to do work we can do ourselves.” Go ahead. Hold onto that mindset. And continue to lack enough time or enough money. Your choice.
When it’s humming on all cylinders, the referral game goes both ways. I benefit when someone refers me work, and I benefit when I refer work to others. How? I have to tell you, when I give a recommendation to someone — “here, hire this person. You won’t be sorry” — there’s no feeling like it in the world. It sparks a recognition in me that I live in a great, generous place where good things happen for me, and I help good things happen for others. Goes a long way toward zapping those nasty Recession Blues.
Yep, I thoroughly love making referrals and I’m going to be making gobs of them this week. Got some time? I think I’m going to be referring you.