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No you can’t (and shouldn’t!) do it all yourself

Posted by PointA_PointB on June 1, 2011

I have had the same conversation with several people over the past few weeks. It seems like all entrepreneurs – me included – need to remember that you can’t do it all yourself. I have spoken to business strategists stuck in their own heads not seeing the path forward for their businesses. I have seen branding experts with incomplete corporate images and brand confusion. I have seen marketing specialists with multiple typos in their materials or no social media presence.

Now I want to make this clear: these are all extremely competent professionals that I would hire but it comes down to this – you can’t and shouldn’t do everything yourself. We all need a second set of eyes to see the typos we will miss because we have seen the text too much. We all need someone else to vet our strategy because we are too close to it and can’t see the holes. We need someone else to look at our proposed brand and confirm that it says what we want it to say to our prospective clients.

I think these are the sticking points:

  • Being afraid to ask for help
  • Thinking you don’t need help
  • Feeling you don’t have money to pay someone to help
  • Having ego around your specialty (embarrassed to ask for help)

Maybe the things we actually need the most help with fall under our specialty? Maybe that is our blind spot? As someone who specializes in business strategy for other people’s businesses, I am going to reach out and have one or two of my fellow strategists sense check my short- and long-term business plans.

What are you going to do? I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.

18 Responses to “No you can’t (and shouldn’t!) do it all yourself”

  1. Catherine – your post seems to be spreaking directly to me. I have taken your advice and reached out to an amazing group of women entrepreneurs that I know. I think a workshop among peers is in order!

  2. This is wonderful Catherine. As women especially, we should pool our resources. Each of us has a piece of the puzzle that the other is missing. When we bring those pieces together, we can create a masterpiece.

    It took me a while but I finally realized the importance of outsourcing certain things, so I could spend my time on more “income producing” pieces of my business. Being a do it yourselfer can cost you way than it’s worth.

    • I completely agree, Sondra. I didn’t even want to dive into all the things we should outsource in this post. Entrepreneurs have to work together and support each other. Together we are so much stronger and more successful.

  3. Roxie said

    So true. At times it is necessary to start a project alone, but it should not always be that way. Getting assistance does not mean failure or giving up power.

  4. Catherine! So happy to find your blog today! Happy to follow you on Twitter and retweet this post, too!

    This is such a difficult lesson for folks but especially women to learn. Failing to let go and let others help cost me money, time, and even success. Only when I remember to let go and not do it all myself am I able to really do the work I was meant to do.

    Thank you for the reminder!

    • Hi Tamara, thank you for sharing this post. Originally I thought it would be men who did this more (since they hate to ask for directions) but it seems that women have trouble with this too! And thanks for pointing out the costs it can have. I totally agree. Add in feeling stuck and/or overwhelmed and we have a very compelling case for reaching out for advice or help.

  5. This is so huge. I’m having to learn that everyday. I was one of those people, who thought I could do it all myself. It’s helped me tremendously to learn more than I ever would have under any other hypnosis, but I realize the need to have people that are savvy in areas I’m not, help me.

    As simple as it sounds for people who really get it, this could save people hours of time and certainly massive frustration.

    • Yes, Ryan, me too. I am trying very hard to maintain a beginner’s mind. It isn’t easy but it reaps huge benefits. I get such tremendous value from interacting and learning from other entrepreneurs in all different phases of their businesses.

  6. Great post, Catherine… so true… I tend to think I can do it myself. And I get swamped and lose my focus. I need to keep this in mind… Thank you!

  7. Tami Smith said

    Thank you for this quick and perfect reminder. There is a world of support ready to catch us if we are willing to fall! 🙂

  8. Hi Catherine, this is true–I help my husband with our stationery business and I like to ask for help–sometimes it’s hard to find the person with the right information as the internet is so deep and every changing, so I find it helpful to work with individuals who shed a light on a specific area of the internet and then keep asking until I find the answers! Thank you for your blog. Hilda

    • Hi Hilda, the internet can feel like quicksand sometimes and it is easy to get sucked in and not find what you need. I too try to surround myself with a group of entrepreneurs with different skills. If they don’t know something, they know somebody who does!

  9. So true, I’ve started outsourcing website copy for clients, because I’m too busy designing to be a good writer. It sure takes the pressure off.

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