Running a business can be exhausting, and many business owners find it very hard to delegate miniature tasks and let go – fully, of those tasks. Fully, meaning letting go of tasks and not the entire business; letting go of the task(s) given out to be done without hovering or hindering the process.
For example, I got a call a few days ago from a concerned small business owner on the upper east side of Manhattan saying that some of the transactions she is entering into QuickBooks is simply disappearing and nowhere to be found.
When I got there she opened the QuickBooks file in question, and indicated to me all the transactions she entered and where they should have been. I told her not to worry that I would find the transactions, especially because it is impossible for them to just vanish into thin air.
I have been using QuickBooks for such a long time that it did not take much time for me to realize that there had to be another file housing the “missing” transactions, and so I set out to view the other QuickBooks files that are on the Mac. She, however, proceeded to impede me from exiting the current QB file in question and from opening other QB files, constantly informing me that “none of those are the one in question, this is” which kept me from getting to the source of the problem and finding a solution. Within about 20 minutes of me just sitting there looking around the QB file that I know will not solve the issue, she was getting very frustrated saying, “I told you they are nowhere to be found, you cannot solve it!” She then started pacing, and taking phone calls and during her brief episodes of distractions I was able to look at the files in date order to determine the latest ones used.
The problem was just as I thought!
She was using three different QB files to enter her data, and of course there were like 10 transactions in one file, then the next 17 in another, and another 38 in the next. She was using a Mac and it is very easy for a situation like this to happen because of the way QuickBooks for Mac works. Unlike the PC versions, each time QuickBooks is backed up on a Mac, it creates a different backup file with a “Disk Image”. This makes it particularly easy to use a different QB file each time an update is done, without actually noticing until you really need to. That is one very big difference between the Mac and PC versions of QuickBooks.
I then summoned her over to the computer, showed her the “missing” transactions in question, and explained to her what was happening. She was ecstatic, and of course I was happy too that I had solved the “huge” problem she thought no one could, but I had to bring it to her attention that if she was there redirecting me each time I try to do what I am best at, the problem would not have been solved. What could have, and would have taken me a few minutes, ended up taking over an hour.
My point to small business owners or any person seeking assistance, is to give professionals in fields you do not specialize, a little room to do what needs to be done to help the particular situation. You can sit and watch, especially in instances where you feel your privacy could be breached; however, do refrain from directing a process you are not knowledgeable about – one you have sought help for. Think about it, if you could have solved it, you would!
Delegate, and fully let go!