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To DIY or not to DIY!

Updated: Feb 11, 2021

How many Do-It-Yourselfs have you learned to do?

How many things could you learn to do yourself but decide that it’s not worth the time or effort so we outsource it?

We hire a photographer or financial advisor because we don't possess these skills ourselves.

We hire someone to hem up our pants because we don’t know how to sew and we’re short (that’s me!)

We don’t know how to do bookkeeping or mechanical work or finishing carpentry on our home or business so we hire someone else to do this.

I don't think there is a right or wrong answer or perfect way to do these things but there is potential for money to be saved from these outsourced skills. However, before potentially acquiring these daunting tasks, perhaps there are some questions that we need to ask ourselves before starting a DIY like…

1. Is this a safety issue?

Should I not do this task because I don’t have the knowledge, skills or ability to obtain the knowledge...for example, surgery on myself, or fixing the brakes on a vehicle.

2. Does it need to look Professional?

Am I going to be upset with the finished product because it doesn’t look professional and does it need to look professional? Example: DIY advertising that don't look professional and may hinder business profits. Ask yourself, what's the worst that could happen and am I going to regret this?

Once you have decided whether it is a safety issue and whether it needs look professional, next ask yourself:

3. Is it worth my time and effort to learn this?

For example, if I could read a couple books and watch a couple Youtube videos to learn a new skill and then proceed to do it easily myself, then it’s probably worth the effort! Especially for something that might be an ongoing task.

For example: oil changes, changing your vehicle's wiper blades or bookkeeping.

4. It is too overwhelming to learn at this point in my life?

Consider, could you start small and just dip your toe in the DIY pool and then build up your skills with more complex tasks. For example, start with learning how to change the filter on your furnace and then possibly work your way up to installing flooring in your home.

And if you are still not ready for that, then maybe look at another alternative:

Swapping strengths and resources with someone

Bartering! We have done this ourselves in the past with an acquaintance where we traded my husband’s mechanical skills for their electrical wiring skills. In this bartering situation, it saved us time, because both parties already possessed these specialized skills so no new learning needed to be done. And in this situation, we already had the necessary tools in our home and garage.

What if you learned one new skill each month or each year that could be useful towards your future? That could either save you money, or help you earn more money because you have learned a new skill and people now outsource to you! You could even use this new skill as a side hustle! Think about how much you have invested in yourself with this new skill!

Lately, I have been dipping my toe into the investing pool. I had been avoiding learning about investing for a long time assuming that I should leave it to the professionals because I didn't want to lose all of my investments by not being knowledgeable. However, since I have started reading and researching about investing, I have learned just a small amount about DIY investing. So I have started to dip my toe into that pool, starting with just looking at finding lower management expense fees to save myself money.

Think about children at school, and how they are constantly learning and building on their knowledge. I hear it from my kids everyday. Even though they have the usual complaints that school is boring and that they haven’t learned anything, they are of course gaining knowledge and skills and getting faster at those skills as well. Reading is the best example of kids getting better. I cringe thinking back to those early elementary years when it was so painful to listen to them learning to read just one sentence but as they progressed and got older, it was much more enjoyable to hear them read.

When you start learning new skills, you start to gain more confidence in yourself too!

Nowadays, we really have no excuse when it comes to learning because Youtube is available and full of instructional and informational videos. My husband loves watching videos on how to fix things. His suggestion is to watch several videos and compare them to find a common thread of information and go by what seems to make the most sense. He also seems to think that the more poorly edited the video, the more likely that the video contains good advice and instructions. Of course, there are always those videos out there with terrible advice so use your discernment and common sense.

We don’t have to get out the old alphabetized encyclopedias or call up the wisest man in the village, we literally have all the answers at our fingertips with Youtube! Or we can find resources from books at the local library!

By taking on the challenge of learning new skills, I have learned so many things over the past six months! Just by learning new technology skills, I have felt so confident that I even decided to update several co-workers phones at work. What a sense of accomplishment! I could have asked the IT guy to do it or another co-worker but by learning a few technology skills, it really helped me build my confidence.

Many times we stop ourselves with our own self doubt and that inner voice that says “I’m not good at ____therefore I can't learn how to _____” Show yourself that you really can learn a new skill! Prove that inner voice wrong!

Now Grow and Be Intentional!

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