Stop trying to do it all yourself

Lee Jackson | September 20, 2016

Being super vulnerable here… I have wasted SO much time in my business trying to do everything myself. From administration in the company, to coding a profile edit page from scratch in a WordPress website build.

What is so wrong with that? Well put it this way:

  1. I am crap at admin, so why the hell am I messing around with paperwork?
  2. There are tools already to create a profile edit page, why am I re-inventing the wheel?

There are two things in play here:

  1. False economy
  2. Pride

False economy

I often fall into the trap of thinking I can save money by doing it myself. So I sit down with all my paper work and start doing what I am clearly terrible at, and I stress myself out with it all. Several hours later, I have made some progress but am likely stressed and even a little confused. In most cases I end up outsourcing it to our accountant or to one of our freelance admin assistants. (Hi Sarah W, you are AWESOME).

The net result of my “money saving” is:

  1. I have wasted my own valuable time which is significantly more costly than outsourcing
  2. I have been totally ineffective and potentially created more issues that I solved
  3. I’ve also had to spend out anyway on someone to clean up my mess AND do the work

What could have been a few hours from a freelancer and ZERO stress, turns into a stressful time wasting and costly experience.

Outsource your weaknesses and focus on your strengths and stop trying to do it all yourself!

Pride

As coders, we can become very proud of our code, and consider ourselves the cream of the crop. OK I speak for myself here… sometimes I can get a little snobby about how I am somehow better than other peoples code. Of course that is absolute garbage!

Therefore me spending a few hours creating (from scratch) a profile edit form is just an exercise in pride.

Let’s say I spent 5 hours creating and testing this page and then show it off, the net result is:

  1. I get to feel all proud and show off
  2. Client gets what they want

Now let’s say I spend 20 minutes using Gravity FormsFormidable Forms or ACF creating the edit form visually using the interfaces these tools supply. The net result is:

  1. I have saved 4 hours and 40 minutes
  2. Client gets what they want

I have shared three very stable, well supported and respected tools for WordPress that are widely accepted in the industry. Therefore there is absolutely no reason for me to re-invent the wheel and create a new set of unique code for something that already has a solution.

Conclusion?

I have had to learn to ask the following questions of myself daily:

  • Is what I am doing my strength
  • Is there a solution for what I am about to code

Confession time: I still fall victim to false economy and to pride, it’s a constant battle. Share how you overcome these in the comments below. I need your help! 😀

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Lee Jackson

Lee lead’s two digital businesses providing powerful WordPress solutions for personal brands, design agencies and event companies.

Lee’s core business is creating WordPress themes from designs supplied by designers and agencies around the world allowing them to do what they enjoy most, whilst he and his team get to geek out on WordPress!

He is the host of The Agency Trailblazer Podcast, which focuses on agency life and growing a successful business. He compliments this with a paid community focused on helping stressed out design/web agency owners fall in love with their businesses again. No 10x BS, just practical advice and support to help people undo bad decisions and create an agency they can love that supports the lifestyle they need.

  1. Puneet Sahalot on 20th September 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Hi Lee
    You have put this up very well in simple words. This is a commons problem.

    There’s another reason sometimes we prefer doing everything ourselves is because we do not want to explain the job to others then review it and then re-review it.

    • Lee Jackson on 21st September 2016 at 8:53 pm

      Hi,

      Thanks for the feedback. Interesting thought.

      If we are doing it ourselves because we don’t know how to communicate our need, or we are experimenting to evolve the idea, then thats great.

      However if you are concerned the idea would be stolen, that is much less of a concern. There are a million ideas, its all about delivery. We can have similar or the same idea, but the person who is able to deliver and market the best is the one that gets the traction. 🙂

      Cheers,

      Lee

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