Do It Yourself Once
I moved into a new house over the summer. The thing I loved most about the house the first time I saw it was the trees. Two giant oak trees in the front yard and a row of sycamore in the backyard. They’re amazing.
Then, the temperature started to drop — along with all the leaves from those trees.
Everyone said to me, “hire someone to do the leaves,” but I couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger. I had to do the job once myself before I asked someone else to do it.
I’m a big believer in this.
When you’re getting your startup off the ground, do all of the jobs you can before you hire someone else to do them.
You need to be the expert at your business.
In the early days at ShowClix, I was sales, marketing, client services, and customer support. Along with accounting, legal, and HR. I had no business doing those last three jobs — and I absolutely hated doing them.
I suffered through it all. I took hours and hours of customer support calls. I pushed sales agreements through. I stuffed envelopes and ran them to the post office (and I have Post Office Anxiety). I paid our clients out weekly.
I learned SO MUCH about my business doing these jobs. There’s literally no downside to getting your hands dirty.
You’ll learn a ton about your customers, the market, and your competition. You’ll identify partnership opportunities that you didn’t know existed. You’ll find new channels for customer acquisition. You’ll start to know which questions to ask, and which responses to give, to sign the big deal.
And when it’s finally time to hand over the reins, you’ll have all the info to make sure your hires will be successful.
I didn’t do all of the jobs because I wanted to. Trust me, I didn’t want to do a lot of that stuff.
I also didn’t do them because I knew it would pay off down the road — but it did.
You won’t do all of the jobs because you want to. You do them because you don’t have any other choice. And I think that’s a good thing.
It took 12 hours of work to rake and bag my leaves. By the end, I had a pretty solid process in place. The bags started to stack up faster and faster. Next thing I knew, the leaves were cleared and I could see my grass again.
Will I hire someone to do it next year? Probably. But at least now I know what it takes to get that job done.