I’m also confident in my ability to learn and perform most tasks. Frugality plus confidence creates a perfect storm: I’m the type of person who turns everything into a do-it-yourself project.
A do-it-yourself habit is a double-edged sword. At best, I learn new skills, save money and take pride in my work. At worst, I juggle too many projects, run myself ragged, and let my health, business and personal life suffer under the added strain.
When Will and I started buying houses in need of repair, we heard people say that our investment is great “if you can do the work yourself.”
So we did. We installed our own windows, doors and countertops. We chopped trees, replaced siding and even hung our own gutters. But we also stopped going to the gym, lost touch with most of our friends, and became sloppy at our day jobs.
Conversations with friends usually go like this:
“Hey, wanna get dinner on Friday night?”
“I can’t. I gotta wake up at 7 a.m. on Saturday to patch drywall …”
To a limited degree, I didn’t mind. After all, Dave Ramsey says you need to “live like no one else so later you can live like no one else.” I can’t create passive income without sacrificing many evenings and weekends.
But our “day jobs” are suffering, our hair is thinning, and we don’t get much sleep. Going to the grocery store is my definition of “taking a break.”
This isn’t just a problem that applies to fixing houses. I have friends who have started delegating tasks they never expected to hire out. Some friends hire people to deep-clean their home monthly. Others hire people to mow their lawn. Some pay people to code and troubleshoot their websites. What they’re really buying is time.
Recently we decided to start delegating. We’ll still do many things ourselves, of course, but we’re making a mental shift: We’re thinking less like solo-preneurs and more like a coach trying to recruit a winning team.
In other words: Success isn’t a do-it-yourself activity. Success comes from the team you build.
As Steve Jobs quipped, “this is not a one-man show.”
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