The Fine Art of Delegating

Updated insider information by Chellie Campbell, author of “The Wealthy Spirit: Daily Affirmations for Financial Stress Reduction”

157-June 6

“Successful people think up things for the rest of the world to keep busy at.”—Unknown


It was the time management session of the Financial Stress Reduction Workshop, and I had just explained how to prioritize activities: “A”: Most important tasks; “B”: Important task but can be delegated to someone else; and “C”: Unimportant task that anyone can do.

Cindy spoke up then. Kind and generous to a fault, She was a successful businesswoman owning two stores with thirteen employees. But she complained that there wasn’t time to get everything done. She’d love to send out more ships, but she “just didn’t have time.”

You must know by now that this excuse is useless. Everyone has the same twenty-four hours in their day. I thought for a moment, then asked her to describe a typical day. This was her list, which I wrote on the blackboard:

1. Open the store 6. Prepare bank deposits
2. Listen to phone messages 7. Got to the bank
3. Talk to employees or customers 8. Prepare bids
4. Return phone calls 9. Make sales calls
5. Go through mail 10. Attend networking meetings

The biggest problem business owners—and mothers!—have is that they are so good at everything, they have a problem delegating tasks to other people. They want to know everything that’s going on, have every detail carried out perfectly, and be in charge of the whole show. This works well when a business (or family) is small—and there’s only one person or two people involved. The minute you add a third person, however, the prime mover has to delegate.

(continued on page 157 of The Wealthy Spirit)

Today’s Affirmation: “I take time to be happy and to know that I am.”


Missed Opportunities are Like Missed Buses—There’ll Be Another One in 5 Minutes

Even our friend Thomas Edison wasn’t right about everything. He also invented the phonograph. Of that invention, he said, “The phonograph is of no commercial value.” Given the billions of dollars generated in the music industry now, I bet he’s rockin’ and rollin’ in his grave over that mistake.

Here’s another missed investment opportunity:

Walt Disney was passionate about his goal of creating Disneyland. Big dreams require big money, and he was looking for investors in his company. One potential investor’s account told of how Walt took him out to the site in Anaheim where Disneyland was just beginning to be built. As the tractors rolled, and dirt was dug, Walt spoke of his vision of the park. He described the different sections: Main Street with horse-drawn carriages, Tomorrowland with its rocket to the moon, Adventureland with a shooting gallery and Golden Horseshoe Revue, Fantasyland with Sleeping Beauty’s castle. The investor thought it all sounded too risky. He passed. He didn’t invest in Disneyland. He kept his ships safe at the dock.

Later, when Disneyland became a smashing success, the investor calculated that every step he had taken that day back to his waiting car had cost him a million dollars.

People are wrong all the time. The soap opera Santa Barbara deemed Julia Roberts “dull.” Sharon Stone was rejected by General Hospital and As the World Turns nixed Hugh Grant. Mike Medavoy, one of Hollywood’s super agents, told a young Steven Spielberg his career was “doomed” and passed him off to another agent. Cary Grant and Jeanette MacDonald did a screen test for Fox, but were turned down with this explanation, “We feel neither of these people has a screen personality.”

Let me give you a tip: Pay attention along the way. The goal you’re here to get might not be the goal you think you’re here to get. I set out to be an actor but turned left and ended up a speaker and author. Christopher Columbus headed for the West Indies in the right direction—he just didn’t know there was a New World in between.

Be passionate, follow your North Star, and the worst that can happen is you live a life full of great adventures. It’s all good.