One of the most challenging things about being a business owner is making decisions about what to prioritize spending your time doing and what you should avoid doing yourself. What makes this difficult is that many businesses require so many different tasks that business owners need to complete on a daily basis. There seems to always be something left to be done which may make you feel like you are being buried by your business. 


Joe Polish, founder of Genius Network, has developed a method to analyze the various tasks you as a business owner have on your plate. This method is aimed at helping decide which tasks you should be concentrating on while delegating or abandoning the other tasks. The concept is actually made up of two concepts: HALF and ELF. These are acronyms with HALF standing for “hard, annoying, lame and frustrating.” The ELF acronym stands for “easy, lucrative and fun.” 

Identify HALF aspects of your business 

The first thing you need to do to start applying the HALF vs. ELF concept to your business is to identify the aspects of your business which fall under the HALF category. This means those things that you personally find to be hard, annoying, lame, and frustrating. Make a list of these aspects and the steps that need to be taken to improve these issues. 

If there are some things that need to be done that you do not want to do, you may consider delegating these tasks to somebody else, such as an employee, However, if you do not have any employee, you may consider hiring an independent contractor to work for you on a temporary basis to fulfill these tasks for you. 

Identify ELF aspects of your business 

Now, identify the parts of your business which you find to be easy, lucrative, and fun. These are the tasks and aspects that you should be spending the majority of your own time on. You should work with an overall goal of minimizing the HALF items and maximizing the ELF parts of your business. 

Making business decisions 

When you are looking to make decisions regarding your business you should always do a HALF vs. ELF analysis. If the potential decision you are considering pulling the trigger on will not assist in moving your overall business to an ELF business, then you should probably forget about the idea. This can really help you avoid indecisiveness which plagues so many business owners. 

Starting new business endeavors 

Once you understand the HALF vs. ELF concept, you should not make any decisions to start a new business endeavor until you have done a comprehensive HALF vs. ELF analysis. Also, you should make sure that you take into consideration all aspects of the ELF concept. Some endeavors may be easy, but they may not be lucrative or fun. On the other hand, some ventures may be highly lucrative and even fun, but very difficult for you to do. 

Other areas of your life 

Finally, you should realize that the HALF vs. ELF concept does not only apply in the business world. The concept is something you can apply to the other areas of your personal life. This can include personal relationships with others, hobbies, financial family planning or generational wealth management. 

Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice.

The attached information was developed by Redfern Media, an independent third party. Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily Raymond James. Any information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation.