Single Steps Strategies Blog

Know What You Know…And What You Don’t Know

MGM smaller file By: Mary Grace Musuneggi

Many years ago when I moved into my first home, it had a metallic black, silver and orange wallpapered bathroom. I had to replace that wallpaper.

Being a “type-A” personality, I cannot wait for anything. In fact, I am so bad that I don’t play board games or go golfing…I never like having to wait my turn.

So I had to replace that wallpaper immediately.

Money was tight back then, and I knew I could only afford the project if I did it myself. I rationalized that I was an intelligent, well-educated person, so I should be able to do anything. It’s a good thing I didn’t apply that same kind of logic when I needed to have my gall bladder removed or when I had to have a root canal. As it turned out, hanging the wallpaper was just as painful.

After three days of stripping, measuring, cutting and hanging, it was blatantly apparent that I had no talent for wallpapering. So in the end I did what I should have done in the first place: I called a professional who charged me twice the price she normally would have because she needed to undo the damage I had done before she could do it right.

That experience taught me the cheapest way is never the best way. Talent, expertise, and knowledge are invaluable tools that are worth paying for.

Being intelligent actually means being smart enough to know what you don’t know. So, I don’t hang wallpaper, I don’t perform surgery, and I don’t do root canals. My interior decorator, my surgeon, and my dentist all appreciate that. And in return, they do not do their own financial planning.

I also know that with certain things I can do, there are still people who can do them more efficiently. Filing, typing, housecleaning, yard work, changing the oil in my car…I certainly can do all of these, but they are not always worth the investment of my time.

I learned to delegate to people I know I can trust to do an excellent job. Being the best you can be means letting others be the best they can be at what they do. This leaves me more time to dedicate to my business without neglecting the other things in my life that are important.

In his Financial Literacy article, Hank Coleman explains eight tasks that are never worth anyone’s investment of time because the professionals can probably do them cheaper and faster. Plus, their expertise could guarantee a better outcome. Can you guess what made the list? Here it is:

  1. Mowing the lawn
  2. Cleaning the house
  3. Fixing anything that has to do with your car
  4. Cutting your hair
  5. Doing your taxes
  6. Financial Planning
  7. Building your own website
  8. Cleaning your swimming pool

And I have added some others to my list:

  1. Grooming the dog
  2. Washing and waxing the car
  3. Cleaning the outside of house windows
  4. Catering the big holiday party
  5. Researching anything

How many others can you add?

Take stock of your capabilities. Get a good understanding of what you can do…and then you will know what you can’t do. Do what you can do and delegate what you can’t.

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