January 13, 2011


Now some of you are going to find this post a little strange coming from me. Reason being, over the last few years I have really built a reputation of being the indie artist, do-it-yourself-type. And yes, there are lots of things I can do...but do I really have to?

Truth is, there are a TONNE of things that I don't think I should ever have to do myself. Simply because I shouldn't have to do everything myself.

There's a whole D-I-Y following out there (trust me, there is). And there are actually lots of small businesses built around this concept (notice I said small). But the more I think about it, the less I want to get stuck in this way. Don't get me wrong, I love making things with my own two hands - there's something special and rewarding about that process. But if my business stays as a one-woman-show, how can it grow? It probably can't. In that case, I would become so wrapped up in it that it drains every ounce of energy and joy from me and alot of people would miss out on a bunch of opportunities because I've hoarded my talent.

It's easy to understand this concept as part of my business (I hire out alot of my sewing and some of my photography work) but I'd like to be able to apply it to my home life as well. Let's just face it, there are just not enough hours in a day for little me to do everything that needs to be done. Mark (my husband) is a huge advocate of finding help with home stuff. So I guess I can't pull the, "my-husband-doesn't-want-me-to" card.

What makes us think we need to do it all, anyway? What is driving us? Why do we torture ourselves with the endless amount of tasks we take on?

Of course there are times when you must do it yourself. But this mainly happens because of a lack of preparation or because of the way you think about the task.
For example, last year we painted our house by ourselves because it was cheaper to do so. Do you want to know how long it took us? With the amount of responsibility we both have and the pain of having to do something we really hate (did I say "hate"?...I meant, loathe), it took us about a year (maybe more) to completely finish the task. And you know what else...there's still a small section that needs a second coat of paint.
In our previous house we hired out the painting and it was done in two days. Two. Days. So, because we decided it was more economical to paint the house ourselves this time, it probably cost us MUCH more when you factor in the time we took and the headache we caused ourselves. SO not worth it. With a little bit of thought and planning, we could have saved alot by not doing it ourselves.

A few simple ways to stop D-I-Y thinking:

- recognize that sharing the load gives others more opportunity to grow (build their talents, make money, succeed, learn)
- start cutting out the things I really don't want to do - ask for help or pay someone to do it (most of us could easily start doing this, if we're not already)
- assess how much time and energy (as well as money) I'm actually saving by doing it myself
- plan ahead and make a strategy for getting help and hiring people
- learn how to ask for help (this is a hard one for me cause I don't plan ahead enough to know I need help until I'm already overwhelmed!)
- learn how to accept help when it's offered

So when should I D-I-Y?

~ When it enhances the quality of your life and the ones around you (I may not want to hire someone to bathe my dog, shop for Christmas gifts, or balance my money.).

~ When it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience, maybe.

~ When there's absolutely no one else who will do it.

The point is...I don't want to get stuck thinking I HAVE to do it myself or it won't get done right, on time, cheap, healthy, or good enough. I need to share the wealth! Right? Right.

Man, I really need to work on this.

And on that note...stay tuned...next week I'll be posting a D-I-Y project!! :O

...for you to enjoy!


Tammara said...

Preach it sista!

I also loathe painting and waiting til we could hire s/o to do the upstairs - all the yellow); however over 2 days I did our bedroom myself *with some help :) gotta live and enjoy life too right?

BTW - LOVE the leather bag! and the toile Mich bag. Are they still available?


Moni said...

diy can be fun tho... and super satisfying! you may never know how much you can do unless you try ;) now for the things you hate to do - get someone else to do it!