This morning I took a trip out to grab some amazing bagels, and on my way back I stopped off at my local grocery store to pick up a few odds and ends. When I check out, I always go to a self-serve lane. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I had a cashier check me out. But I’m picky. I’ve been both a bagger and a cashier, and I’m extremely particular about how I bag my groceries. Plus, when I do it myself, I can keep a closer eye on making sure all the prices are correct.
Today, when I made it to the checkout lanes, you would have thought it was the day before Thanksgiving. What was everyone doing there, and more importantly, why was everyone taking such a long time to check out?
I analyzed the situation while I waited. There were about ten self-serve checkout lanes open. But at least half of those were being used by people who probably shouldn’t have been using them. (Hear me out!)
If it’s a Tuesday, and it’s a late morning, and you have a full cart and there’s no one around and you have never checked yourself out before - great. Go for it. Get practice. But when it’s a Saturday and every parking space is filled, it’s probably not a good time to learn how to use the equipment.
This is the time to engage a professional. This is the time to get help so that you can keep moving along in your day.
I think we walk a fine line in our lives - when is it time to hire a professional, and when it is okay to DIY? If your fridge breaks down in the middle of winter, you can always put your food outside in some coolers while you order a part and fix it yourself. But, if it’s summer, and you’ve got a graduation party your hosting, it’s time to call a professional in to get your fridge up and running fast.
The same thing is true in business. There are times it’s good to do the work yourself, and then there are times when you should hire a professional. A lot of the struggle comes with the financial aspect of getting help though, doesn’t it? And businesses are constantly weighing time versus money. Do I spend time learning WordPress and then creating my own website, or do I spend money and hire a professional who already knows WordPress to build my website?
The funny thing is, it’s not Time versus Money. It’s Time AND Money versus Money. Because every moment you’re having to spend learning how to do something, you’re losing money that you could be earning using the skills you do have.
I’m not saying you should hire everyone to do everything for you. I absolutely think you need to learn how to do as much as possible, and never stop learning. But you need to be able to balance those times you DIY against those times to hire someone to help to ensure your business is constantly moving forward.
25+ years of business experience. 12+ years of virtual experience.