I do it ALL the time.
One of the biggest lessons I
have learned am still learning is when to call a professional. And I don’t mean dialing the Maytag man to come fix your washing machine. I’m talking about hiring professionals who can help you move forward with your life, not repair your appliances (although this applies to those folks, too).
Don’t get me wrong, I am the self-proclaimed Queen of Do-It-Yourselfdom. Girls Can’t WHAT? was built from the ground up through endless hours of learning web design methods and pushing through the trial and errors of coding languages. I’ve paid my dues – I know what it means to start from nothing and make it happen. And it’s worth every second spent learning the ropes and tackling the challenge to make a dream a reality.
But here’s the difference. I love what I do. Web design is play time for me. I look forward to building sites for my clients and creating new things for Girls Can’t WHAT? shop. I don’t mean “Oh I love it because it’s a nice job and I get paid for my work…” I’m mean I LOVE it to the point that if I stopped making money at it, I’d still be doing it. It fascinates me and I adore learning new and creative ways to use web technology.
It’s like recess for me. Every. Single. Day!
So yeah, I’m all about doing things myself – when it’s something I like to do. Aren’t we all wired that way?
So what do we do when it comes to tasks we don’t like or are too complicated to Google? Just hire people to do them all for us? I wish.
We all know it doesn’t quite work that way unless your first name is Oprah and you have your own tv channel. Time and money are the two biggest challenges we face when it comes to making a dream happen.
What do time and money have in common?
Time is a limited resource. We all know that even though we tend to carry on as if we have all the time in the world to do whatever we want. Need proof? Look around and find something you are procrastinating on. Why are you procrastinating? Because you think you’ll get to it “someday”. But someday is elusive because time is limited. The “limited resource” thought should motivate us into moving forward on it right now, but it probably won’t. We can’t see where the “time” ends, so we tend to think we have way more than we probably really do.
Money has the same baggage. It’s limited. We always think we can make more, but it’s not a guarantee. And you need to have money in some form or another in order to get what you want, right? So again, we have no clear boundaries as to where the money stops and starts for us in the future so we tend to either hang on to every penny or spend as if we have all this extra time to make more. Sound familiar?
But here’s the thing… In order to gain a little more time, you need to give up a little of your money. And in order to gain money, you have to give up a little of your time – in other words do some sort of work and get paid for it. So it’s like a catch 22, or is it?
Our dreams are important to us. It’s kind of like carrying around a little basket of eggs all the time that we’re trying to protect. You don’t want to hand it over to anyone else so you do everything you can to keep your little eggs safe.
Now here’s the catch. Your egg needs two things before they can hatch. You can give the eggs one or the other but not both at the same time. What are the two things?
Time and Money
So what do you do? You need time to earn the money and you need money to buy time to hatch the egg. Hmmm.
This is the dilemma we often find ourselves in at the most critical moment on pursuing our passions. We need time to nurture and grow them, but we don’t have the time because we are out earning the money that we need to cover their expenses. It’s a vicious cycle of give and take and often feels like we’re getting nowhere and we’re arriving there at a very rapid pace.
But there is a shortcut, and it’s really not that complicated. You will have to share your basket with someone you trust, but that simple act of sharing can mean the difference between success and failure.
This is where hiring a professional comes into play. Not everything requires professional services, but don’t scoff at hiring an expert. It doesn’t mean you are less intelligent or that you’re failing on some level. Hiring a professional can be the smartest thing you do for yourself and your dream.
When you hire a professional for the right reasons, your investment can be worth more than you bargained for. A true professional knows their industry inside and out. They have resources and networks to make things happen. When you tap into that with a few of your hard earned dollars, you will often be amazed at what you get in return.
Here are a few ways to determine when you need to hire a professional.
No matter what your pursuit happens to be, there are a ton of elements that go along with it. You can be super smart and super talented, but you still won’t be skilled at handling all of them. As an entrepreneur, I not only handle the web design and the Girls Can’t WHAT? artwork, but I also do the accounting, marketing, customer service and much, much more. And I have to empty the trash and clean the bathroom, too.
If I can already do it all, why hire a pro?
In my world, web design can be a frustrating process. There are a lot of different coding languages involved and I will be the first to admit I don’t know them all. I have my strengths, but there are just some programming languages that I don’t fully comprehend. On the rare occasion that I need those types of scripts, I hire someone. It’s easier for me to pay someone to customize the script than it is for me to take a lot of time to learn a skill I will rarely use in the future.
Before diving into something new, consider how useful that skill will be to you in the future. If you’re spending 2 weeks learning photoshop just to make a business card, you’re better off paying a professional to make one. And we all know when it comes to graphic design skills, you can spot an amateur a mile away. Don’t be the amateur everyone is staring at. Use those two weeks to build up skills that will be pertinent to achieving your dream.
Note to self: Now triple that amount because you probably aren’t being realistic in the first place.
Next, compare that to the cost of hiring someone to do the same job in about a fourth of the time that you estimated (after tripling it). If you can earn more money in that time frame than it will cost you to hire an expert… hire them immediately!
If the person you hire is worth their salt (whatever that means), they will be well-connected within their industry. Oftentimes what we lack when we are getting started is a good, solid connection with someone in the field we are pursuing. The right connections are often worth paying for.
Now let me clarify – I’m not advocating that you buy your success. I wholeheartedly believe success should be earned. What I am suggesting is that paying for the services of someone who can help nurture your little egg, often leads to other professionals who can also help move you toward that blessed day when your little egg hatches into something bigger and better than you’ve ever dreamed.
Bonus: When you pay a pro to get the job done, you may find that they return the favor by hiring you to be the expert in an area they are less familiar with it. In my web design business, this has been one of the ways I’ve picked up new clients who then refer more clients to me and so forth. Investing in a pro can lead to bigger business for you.
What’s holding you back in pursuing your dream? Get some paper out and brainstorm that for a bit. Do you need to hire a consultant? A marketing expert? A lawyer? Your mom?
Who can help you get what you need to move forward? Review the criteria above and make that call.
Oh and if you need a web design expert or someone to help design your next media project, feel free to give me a ring.
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