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Your Skills Are Holding You Back

When we do things we are good at, we sacrifice growth and settle.

For example, I started a home improvement project a few weekends ago. My wife has politely asked that we take care of it many times over the last seven years. It involved some tile work and painting.

In the early years, I learned these skills because, at that time in my life, I didn't process the skills and ability that allowed me to make enough money and to pay someone to do them for me. Needless to say, I am confident I could do the project myself.

The project was not large, and my wife had a deadline in mind. Seven years was long enough. Knowing how busy contractors are, I would pay a premium for a small job like this. So I decided to do it myself to meet that deadline and save cash. After all, saving money is always a good thing. Right?

I completed the project over three weekends, and it turned out spectacular. I saved a ton of money on labor and felt accomplished seeing the transformation. As I sipped my coffee and admired my work, it hit me. It hit me like Will Smith at the Oscars. I had fallen into the same old trap that repeatedly traded growth to save money. I saved money, but it cost me so much more.

Just because I possess a skill doesn't mean it is the most valuable use of my time to do it. Unfortunately, my possession of the skills and tools to do the job created a blind spot in my judgment. As a result, I focused on what I could do to save money instead of what I did to make money.

The project took approximately 36 hours, saving me, at most, $1,500 in labor. A skilled tradesperson would have completed it in less than half the time, and in less than half the time spent prospecting for clients or coaching existing ones, I would quickly produce over double what that tradesperson would cost me.

Before you jump to save money by doing it yourself, look at the opportunities you are giving up. What do you have to stop doing to do this? Does it make economic sense? Who could do it faster or better than you?

Business owners wear many hats in our journey. Some never really fit us, and some we grew out of long ago. Just because it fitted yesterday doesn't make it the best choice for today.

Before FireplaceAfter Fireplace

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