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I’m about to ruffle some feathers including my own because I’m guilty as charged … there I admitted it before the rant even begins. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hate entrepreneurs!

Why, you ask? Because WE are a pigheaded & illogical bunch of thinkers and business owners.ย  We have this deep seated belief that we can do things better, cheaper, or faster. A lot of the times, that’s what led us to starting our own business(es). We see things through a unique lens that centers around our own beliefs in our own abilities.ย  That’s not bad from a big picture perspective, but it’s idiotic when it comes to running a business.

We don’t see things like most people … most people tend to be a lot more logical in their decision making processes especially when it comes to business. Most people would say “I need a solution to this problem, and I need it as quickly as possible. My budget won’t exceed X.” Not the entrepreneur … we think, “I need a solution to this problem, but I don’t want to pay someone fair value to solve it for me because I know I can do it better if I put my mind to it.” It’s what drives us … we know we can do just about anything we put our minds to.ย  Why else would we sign up to run our own “show?” It’s not easy, but we cannot be deterred when the seed is planted in our minds, right?

If you’re an entrepreneur, you can relate totally to what I’m saying because you’ve been there … likely within the past week or two.

Here’s what I’m getting at … let’s say you’re looking to grow your business through better utilization of savvy advertising and marketing (no, there’s no pitch coming at the end of this). You evaluate several providers or partners and begin to reach out to the ones that seem like potentially good fits.

So far, so good, right?

You Can Do It Better, Right?

What typically happens after you talk with a few providers? You get that twinkle in your eyes and start to rationalize internally about how you can probably do this stuff yourself better, cheaper and faster! If you could just be shown the basics, you can take off from there. It happens more times than you’d like to admit.

How can I say this with such confidence? I’m an entrepreneur, too so I go through this every single time I’m evaluating potential solutions to any problem or obstacle. This is as much a “look in the mirror” exercise as anything. Luckily, I’ve realized that mowing my own grass, changing the oil on my car, or fixing a leaky pipe isn’t a good use of my time and others actually can do it more effectively and timely even though I could do the job. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Where’s My “Friends & Family Discount?”

So after you’ve convinced yourself that you can do something better, cheaper or faster, what happens next? You back-track to beat down the providers you’ve already talked to on price.

You immediately discount their knowledge, experience and abilities to the point you now believe they should concede a hefty discount or better yet, show you how to do it for free because you’re a “good guy” or “swell gal.”

You want the best deal humanly possible even if it means your new found “friend” loses money in the deal because you have convinced yourself that you know enough about the subject to do a reasonable job so you’re “not going to pay what everybody else pays.” You want the “friends and family discount” even though you just met your new “best friend forever (BFF).”

To hell with them if they dare ask you “are you the low cost provider in your market?” You typically scoff at such a question and reply with something along the lines of “look, we’d be out of business if we tried to be the low cost provider in THIS industry.” Hello!!!

What’s the Solution?

The solution to this dilemma is simple, but we entrepreneurs don’t want to face reality often times. Simply calculate the value of each hour of your time or the value of your team’s time if you’re planning to off-load tasks to your people.

Don’t skimp on how much time it’ll take to learn AND implement the stuff yourself or for your staff to research and test everything they’ll need to know to become successful. It’s often 50% more time than you initially estimate, and you typically discount your time somewhat when you’re on the front end of this little exercise so add at least 25% to whatever number you came up with to start.

When others ask us what our time is worth, we’ll go high with the estimate.ย  When we ask ourselves, we’ll go lower because we’re trying to “save money.” You know I’m “preaching to the choir” because you’ve been there, right?

Bottom Line

The next time you call in a third party to help you overcome an obstacle with your business, be realistic about your expectations before you make that first contact. Be HONEST with yourself!!!

Remember to evaluate what your time is truly worth and whether it makes sense to even call someone or if you’re going to try to be he-man and attempt it yourself.

Stop trying to low-ball everyone to “save a nickel” here and there because you’re so smart and gifted. It’s great that you’re smart and gifted, but you can’t do everything yourself because there simply aren’t enough hours.


PS–For the record, I don’t really “hate” entrepreneurs … I just have a supreme disliking for the trait we all share of believing we’re the best possible solution to our own problems. We wouldn’t have problems if we were already fully capable of providing the solutions, right?