I’ve got a treat for you guys. I’m going to talk about firing my husband. Yes, that is a doozy, and it was actually not as bad as it sounds, but it kinda was a big deal over here.
This has been an asked-for topic for a while. In fact, in February, like months and months ago, I was sitting at a conference and a bunch of colleagues said, “I want to hear that story.” But first, we need to talk about why I started my podcast and how I came to outsource my podcast tasks.
Why I Created a Podcast
I want to start it off by telling you I started my podcast started in 2016. I launched it on April 1st of that year, because April Fool’s Day seems like a good day to start a serious marketing and business podcast, right?
But I did not want to start a podcast. Never was on my radar. I hate how my voice sounds on the recording, I think it sounds very nasally. And oh, we all like to think our voices sound different in our heads than they are in real life. But I did not like it. I hated voicemails. I have a lot of vocal tics. Honestly, I hate talking on the phone, too. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not going to hang out to chat on the phone. It’s not my deal. But my husband convinced me to start one anyway.
A little background. He’s an Emmy Award-winning audio mixer.
(And by the way, next time you are hanging out with me in person, or on Zoom, or whatever, you should totally ask me about the story where I broke his Emmy. I mean, really, it was our kid, but I kind of allowed it to happen. It’s a whole story by itself. You could also probably ask me how much it costs to replace that Emmy and why we have not done that yet. So there’s some fun little drama for you right there that actually has nothing to do with the firing of my husband.)
But anyway, he is an Emmy Award-winning audio mixer; he worked in television news for well over a decade in New York City and in 2016 he was running a podcast production agency. And he was like, why does my wife, who is an entrepreneur and has a whole online business, not have her own podcast yet? And I just looked at him and was like, no, hard pass, not interested.
Because I know him. And the thing is, he’s a perfectionist. And he’s busy, and he was working full time plus this agency. And we only had one kid at the time but it was a busy life.
He eventually wore me down, I started the podcast. I used it in such a great way to network. Everything was really lovely.
But even though I set out when I began always to be three or four weeks ahead on the podcast, most weeks, he finished editing the audio at 11 pm the night before it was published. I didn’t love not knowing whether it was actually gonna be ready in time to go live. But we made it work. And I mean, he worked for free. So surely that counted, right?
Once I hired a Podcast Producer to take some of the weekly work off of my plate, his lateness on the editing front started causing problems. So what does the story teach you? I mean, you’re probably not relying on your husband for serious business work. Or if you are, it’s something like setting up your new PC and not a regular must-be reliable type of activity, right?
There are four lessons I learned along the way.
And I want to share them with you. Because whether you have a husband or a spouse, or partner or child, or a friend working for you in your business, there are things that you’ve got to know about the process, and when it’s time to release it.
1. Free is good when you’re starting scrappy, but it limits you down the road.
Yes, keeping costs down is super important when you’re starting a business. Gotta keep those costs low if you want to pass that first year in business, or you’ll be one of those statistics, right? Even for the first five years, this is true.
When you’re counting costs, it’s not just about the dollar cost.
You have to weigh the opportunity cost.
This is also true with other tools that we use. Case in point, many people started with MailChimp as their email autoresponder because it was free or inexpensive. But once they start growing their business, they want to do more things, to segment their audience, they want to make sure that certain people are only seeing certain content, all of which becomes very difficult or very expensive. It limits the impact they can have down the road.
2. Just because it’s the way it’s always been doesn’t mean it can’t be better.
This lesson is also known as “just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”
Now, I’m a smart person; I’m very capable. (Unless it is building a chicken coop or whatnot, in which case I’m not capable at all.) Anyway, I can do a lot of things and I really enjoy learning. But just because I can transfer all my passwords from 1Password to LastPass doesn’t mean that is the best use of my limited time.
This is the $10, $100, and $1,000 concept, right? There are different jobs in your business. And I’m not going actually to say that someone is only worth $10. But there are certain activities that are a much lower grade of intensity, of strategy, of thinking, than other tasks. And you have to separate those out. So what, in your business, can you and only you do? Those are the $1,000 tasks.
When we’re talking about $10 tasks, compared to those $1,000 tasks, it becomes very easy to see what you can hand off. So with my podcast, for example, since it’s the major content arm of my business and the major marketing arm, I outsourced podcast tasks when I hired my Podcast Producer. I outsourced show notes, emailing guests, choosing quotes, transcribing, editing the transcriptions, and inserting quotes into graphic templates that I’ve created for sharing on social. But I didn’t outsource editing. And at some point, I had to question why not.
3. The third lesson is a control thing.
So that’s what I would say to you. Ask yourself if the reason why you are not releasing this thing in your business that is in your life is a control thing.
This was definitely the case for my perfectionist husband. He wants to ensure I sound my best because he loves me, and everything was well-intentioned.
But that perfection wasn’t allowing my business to move forward.
I was constantly unable to email guests the promo things ahead of time because things were not done. When we started creating audiograms, they couldn’t be created until the audio was edited, for example. All of this made me look less professional than I wanted it to be.
It also meant I couldn’t schedule my social media ahead of time, which then meant sometimes things got missed because I wasn’t doing my part of the job on this. That right there is when the control, perfectionism, whatever you want to call it, actually becomes a hindrance.
There has to be a time when you say you know what, this is good enough. It’s not being lazy. It’s not meaning that you’re a bad person. And it’s not meaning that you don’t care for your business. It means that there is an opportunity; you have to look out here. And if you are losing out on the opportunity because of perfectionism, it is time to say that is too Type A for my business to survive. That’s not something I have to control personally anymore.
4. When you’re feeling doubt about releasing something, put a date on it.
I actually learned it from my four-year-old. I think it was before he was even two that we learned this. It was definitely pre-pandemic. We learned this concept from our speech therapist. First this – then that. I use it in everything, and no, not just for my kids. With my kids, it’s a lot of no first put your shoes on, then we leave; first, eat your dinner, then you get a treat. All of those little things make it a lot easier for a kid to cope. They understand what’s coming next, and they understand the order of things. And since the world feels so disordered, it helps them cope. Right.
Now let’s put that on us as adults. The world can also feel very disordered to us. Yes, we’re not toddlers, but we can feel out of control with things, and sometimes it really helps for you just to put a label and a date on something.
I’ve even done this with one of my friends. She’s going through men trouble. She was trying to decide, can I get away with blocking this guy? She was thinking, I don’t feel like I can do it. I feel like I’m gonna feel guilty. And I said, just block him for 45 minutes. That’s it, just 45 minutes. You can unblock him later; it’s fine. He probably won’t even know, but you’ll know that you’re capable of it, right?
It’s the same thing with releasing whatever this thing is; in my case, obviously, it was having my husband edit the audio of my podcast. It’s putting a date on it. Now, you can give yourself a milestone to hit. You can say maybe it’s when you hit a certain income level three months in a row, then you’re going to release or outsource this other thing.
Or, in our case, my husband and I – it was an outside event that made me take a second look. We were buying a house, and it was a project house, and I was looking at all the things that needed to be accomplished real soon, not over the years, but over a small number of months.
And I thought, if he’s spending time editing my podcast, he will not spend time doing things I can’t do in our house. I cannot put in an outlet, and we needed to replace a whole lot of outlets in the house. I can’t do that, that’s outside of my skill set, but he could. And if I were asking him to edit my podcast, then I would literally wait for house safety because of the editing time. And I just didn’t want that anymore. So an outside event helped me take a second look at things. And that is what allowed me to say, “You know what, my business can afford to pay someone to do this.”
I wasn’t sure if I was going to get the exact same quality level as what my husband offered, because again, he knows me, he’s very careful, and he’s done this professionally for years. But I had to take a hard look at the lost opportunities if he continued to do it.
So anyway, all that to say, put a date on this thing you want to release, this thing you want to fire, in my case. Say I will do it on this date, or I will do it when this other thing happens, or I will do it when it becomes such a bother to me that I’m actually feeling anxiety and worry over it on a regular basis.
These are all of the lessons I learned along the way of firing my husband.
Results of Outsourcing Podcast Tasks
Now, it’s been you know, more than six months since I’ve done this. And if you’ve been listening to the show on a regular basis, you know the quality hasn’t slipped. I can tell you that not only has the quality not slipped, I am far more comfortable with my podcast today than I ever was before. It was an area of stress prior to this because I didn’t always know when things were going to happen. And now I do.
In fact, my podcast producer actually just finished her maternity leave, and she had everything so dialed up on her back end, that there were hardly any hiccups. I ended up having to email someone on her team once or twice over the entire maternity leave that she took. And it really wasn’t a big deal. I knew it was gonna get done. It did get done. And we’re still working on all the projects in our house. I mean, everything has gone so much smoother since I did this.
So with that hindsight, I can tell you, if you are sitting in the land of ‘’maybe Yes maybe No’’, I’m going to tell you – your gut’s already told you what to do. You want to release that thing. You want to fire that particular outsourcer. You want to move on so that you can grow your business or grow your free time or grow whatever it is and you know it’s being hindered by this thing. So here’s my encouragement to you:
Do the thing, set the date, and get it done.
Are you ready to create a measurable content plan?