Do-It-Yourself Is A Trap

Tiger Woods shot 66 yesterday (September 20th) to tie for the lead at the Tour Championship.  Tiger is a golf polymath.  He is at least good at every aspect of golf and he is excellent at many of them.

Golf is the exception.  You do not need to be a polymath to run your business or your life.

If you wanted to beat Tiger at golf and could organize the game your way, you would do it by having surrogates for each aspect.  You become the strategist/leader of a large specialized team.

Standing on the first tee, you might pick long hitting Bubba Watson to drive to a distant target area.  He can do that but not necessarily every time.  About 60% in the fairway.  On the other hand, Bo Van Pelt hits it 20 yards shorter but in the fairway 66% of the time. Option A is Bubba because there is an advantage when right.  Bo as Option B because less chance of catastrophe and not a lot of give up on distance.  Maybe you need to consider who will hit the next shot.  Steve Stricker leads in proximity to the hole and he might not care if he hits it 145 yards or 165 yards.  Brandt Snedeker or Luke Donald will be putting.  Brian Gay or Ian Poulter is ready if we need to scramble.  (Maybe a Bubba miss would not be that horrific)  Jim Furyk is the utility guy.  Big team.  Hard to think about it.

Nonetheless, you could expect to beat Tiger by using specialists who come and go as needed.

In our lives and businesses, why then, do we insist on doing so many things ourselves?  Even things we know too little about.

Do-It-Yourself is a trap.  It is leftover from our agricultural heritage where a successful farmer had to be able to do most of the tasks himself because he could not rely on others in remote communities.  That is not how it is in our interconnected world.

You should not prepare your own will, do your own tax return, prepare your own financial plan, invest by yourself or perform a root canal on a molar.  Funny how the plan, the will and the investments are okay but the root canal is not.  Do you think the others are easier or it will not hurt if you make a mistake?  You might want to think about that.

Things are more complicated now.  Our experience and old knowledge might not be very useful.  A few years ago, a mechanic told me that I should not touch anything under the hood of my car unless it was liquid.  Saturday afternoon mechanics are not allowed.

Our European friends seem to know this instinctively.  An Italian bricklayer is not likely to do his own plumbing and a German plumber is not going to build a rec room.

Independence is not a blessing all of the time.  You will not get very good at the things you do only a few times.  Buy Specialists.  It is cheaper.

Last of all, you can be good at things but not necessarily best at them.  Hire help that can get the mundane done, and spend your time on your best best.  You will enjoy it more and you will earn enough to pay someone else to do the other things.

End of lesson.  Dismissed for the weekend.

One Comment on “Do-It-Yourself Is A Trap

  1. Pingback: Be The Best At Something | moneyFYI

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