Do it Yourself or Don’t You Dare?

I love the enthusiastic “I-can-do-anything” attitude that most entrepreneurs have. But, as with most gifts, it can also be a curse if it isn’t used LaptopWomanScreamingwisely. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should.

Recently, I’ve encountered so many new entrepreneurs (and even some who aren’t so new) that are spending buckets of time doing all kinds of projects that they really shouldn’t be–projects that they absolutely should leave to the professionals so that they can focus on their real responsibilities (like connecting with real people and growing their business).

I know when you are just starting out in business you may have a limited budget and may be confused about where you should invest your time, energy, and money. Don’t worry, I’m here to clear up the confusion.

Here’s a handy little checklist to help you determine if something is a “DIY “or a “Don’t You Dare”

1) Create your own logo.

Are you a graphic designer? No? Then the answer is “don’t you dare.” Creating a logo is more complicated than just putting pretty images together. Your logo represents your brand. Creating an effective logo (and overall brand) takes some thought and skill. Hire a professional and get it done right from the start.

2) Build your own website.

Do you build websites for a living? If not, don’t you dare? Your website is likely the first thing people are going to check out when they are researching your company. Anything that looks homemade or doesn’t function well just isn’t going to cut it. Hire a professional to create the look and functionality that you want representing your brand.

3) Make complicated changes on the back end of your site, move around files, etc.

Again, do you build sites for a living? Do you even know simple code? Nope? Then definitely, don’t even think about it. I have seen several business owners mess around with their websites only to have the whole thing disappear. Sure, some were lucky enough to get their sites back because they were backed up, but is that really a chance you want to take?

Here’s the long and short of it, if a project falls outside of your area of expertise, it’s a don’t you dare.

As a business owner, you need to be focused on doing what you do best, not learning how to do things that other professionals already know how to do better, faster, and more economically than you.

You need to know how to perform basic maintenance and updates on your website, shopping cart, email marketing system, etc., but you don’t need to know how to set this stuff up and become an expert in it.

It’s just like owning a car. You need to know how to perform basic maintenance like checking your oil, checking tire pressure, maybe even changing a spare tire. But, unless it’s a hobby of yours or you are a mechanic, you don’t need to know how to make major repairs, and you certainly don’t need to know how to build a car.

While you may think learning all of this stuff is saving you time and money, it really is not.

It’s keeping you from getting out there connecting with people, increasing sales, and serving more clients. In other words, it’s keeping you from your true responsibility of growing your business.

There are quality professionals that can help you at almost any budget level. I almost hate to say it, but if you don’t have the funds for basic start up essentials, you may not be ready for a real business. Doing everything yourself is great for hobbyist, but real business owners know that they are going to need some funds coming in and have to invest some money in getting their business afloat. You don’t have to make extravagant investments, but you do need to make smart ones that will improve your productivity and profitability right out the gate.

Remember to stick with doing what you do best and serve the clients that you are meant to serve, and you’ll be golden.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below.

About Tiffany deSilva

Tiffany deSilva is the founder, CEO, and visionary leader of BrightFire Women’s Business Network, LLC.

BrightFire Women’s Business Network is the premiere sales training and coaching resource for service-based women entrepreneurs who want to increase their sales, serve more people, and change more lives.

Feedback & Comments:

  1. Preach it! I say those exact words over and over to new-to-business owners. And usually the first one I use is “bookkeeping.” So I’d add that one to your great list.

    • Yes, you can definitely add bookkeeping to the list. Bookkeeping is one of those tasks that business owners SAY they are going to do but actually don’t keep up with.

  2. This is so CRUCIAL and you’ll often hear me say “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should.”

    Great tips. It often costs you more in the long run when you try to DIY and cut corners. I agree with Sue about the bookkeeping. That’s a must outsource for me.

    Write on!~

    Lisa Manyon

  3. This is so true. As I’ve been growing my business I’ve worked to get to the point where I can hire professionals to take over those things which are not my area of expertise. I expect people to hire me for what I know and do, why should I think I can do everything else myself? I feel moving into hiring a web designer, a graphic designer, etc has helped me to look more professional and has also helped me focus more on what I do best.

  4. This cracked me up. I would answer “no” to one of your questions and then in reading the next line, I heard a deep loud voice say “don’t you dare!” It’s so true, though! I was about to take on a HUGE project because the person who was supposed to do it is too busy. And I had to say “Don’t you dare!” to myself because it has such a huge learning curve and I just have too much to do. It took me a few months of sitting on this to finally say NO! And find another solution. Great “Calling us out” Tiffany!

  5. You are so right! And it goes the other way too!
    If you are doing ten dollar an hour tasks and charge
    four hundred dollars an hour – what is wrong with that picture?

  6. Thank you Tiffany! I could not agree more. As a new entrepreneur, and one who thinks I need to “do it all”, after working with entrepreneurs for over a year, I know when to let go and off-load to others. Working with a virtual assistant or someone for a specialized project is a great way to go. Thanks for sharing the importance of us virtual assistants.

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