You may already know this about me, but at my core I’m a dyed-in-the-wool do-it-yourselfer. I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes from figuring out how to do something new, and then making it happen. Whether it’s painting a room, sewing curtains, knitting a scarf, or growing veggies, there’s tremendous satisfaction that comes from doing things myself.
I know that many of my readers are DIYers like me and probably for similar reasons. So I wanted to let you in on a little secret: You don’t always have to figure everything out yourself. There are times, when the DIY mentality causes more frustration than satisfaction. In these situations, you can actually get where you want to be faster and easier if you reach out for help, new ideas and a fresh perspective. To a DIYer at heart, this feels a bit like paddling a canoe upstream. It simply goes against our natural flow. But I know firsthand that it’s worth it.
How do I know? Well, there have been a few times in my life where I’ve stretched outside my comfort zone and hired a coach or mentor. When I took up golfing, for example, I took private golf lessons so that I didn’t create bad habits I would later have to undo. When I started simplify 101, I hired a business coach so I would get where I wanted to be faster and more efficiently. Most recently I hired a running coach to help me achieve my goal of running a half-marathon. In each case, the same hesitation came up. Shouldn’t I be able to figure this out on my own? It’s a good question, because there are excellent resources out there, some of them even free, to help with running, golfing, starting businesses and getting organized. But, when a goal is really important to you, it’s critical to find the fastest path to it. Doing it on your own can lead to endless hours of research and stressing over which approach is truly best for you. When you seek the guidance of an expert, you get on the fast track to your goal. When I started my business, for example, I knew that I wanted to send out a monthly newsletter. My coach knew the exact steps to take to make that happen, which meant I sent out my first newsletter months before I would have if I had done it on my own.
So when does this DIYer think it makes sense to reach out for help from others? Here’s when.
1) When you’re clear on your goal and it’s important to you, but you don’t know the most efficient way to get there. If there’s something in your life that you really want—to start a new business, get organized, or lose weight—then it just makes sense to find the fastest path to your goal.
2) When the cost of not changing is greater than the cost of changing. One of the motivations of many DIYers is to save money. But sometimes, it’s actually less expensive to go straight to an expert for help. To evaluate if it makes sense for you to invest in help, consider the cost of not changing. What is disorganization costing you? It could be costing you money if you’re paying late fees, buying duplicates of items you already have, or buying new clothes because you can’t keep up with the laundry. It could be costing you peace of mind or even sleep. It could be placing tremendous stress on your relationship, not only with others but also with yourself. If you’re constantly berating yourself for not being as organized as you’d like to be, what cost is that having on other areas of your life? Once you’re clear of the costs of not changing, the investment in help to change can often seem like a no-brainer.
3) When you need assurance that you’re on the right path. When I hired my running coach, my goal was simple. I wanted to run faster. I have long legs that I feel I’m not putting to the best use when I run. So, I did what any DIYer would do and looked for solutions. I watched Youtube videos about new running strides and strength exercise that would help me run faster. But I wasn’t sure which approach was right for me. One expert said one thing, while another had a different idea. I wanted someone to watch me run and tell me what I could do better. I wanted to make sure I was on the right path so I could train with confidence.
Your criteria for when to seek help might look different than mine. But if you’re a DIYer at heart and there are areas of your life you want to change quickly, explore if seeking help from a coach or mentor is right for you. With coaching, you still get the satisfaction of doing it yourself, you simply get there faster.
When do you feel its okay to get help? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Thanks for joining the conversation!