I hope you are doing well.
I have some thoughts for you today that may be a little bit of a mental (or emotional) stretch.
You see, when I write about financial principles in these Notes that I post, I do so recognizing that my clients come from a wide variety of different attitudes, circumstances and means.
It makes for a tricky proposition, because I want to both meet people where they are, but also call them to a higher place when it comes to how they think about finances. Many of my clients (probably you among them) are already in that place where they “get” much of what I write about as it relates to debt, avoiding taxes, and other basic financial strategies.
But sometimes there are “non-financial” decisions we’ve made or attitudes we’ve fostered that creep into how well we are able to do with our careers, our finances, or even our families.
I think we could all benefit from thinking a little larger and playing a bigger game. This might be a bit controversial, but I do hope that it challenges you where it should … I know it does so for me.
Roger Menden on Why the DIY Ethic Can Hold Us Back
“The answers you seek never come when the mind is busy, they come when the mind is still, when silence speaks loudest.” – Leon Brown
I’m not as handy as I’d like to be around the house.
In fact, I only recently learned how to plug in a hammer. (Ba-dum-bum, ching.)
But I’ve embraced my limited ways, and have learned to see why this “deficiency” enables me to think bigger, and grow wealth for my family.
Look, admit that most things out there, you simply cannot do (with apologies to the very “handy” among us): You probably aren’t going to redo the roof on your house. You likely don’t have a clue how to knock down a wall to open up the downstairs. If the toilet stops working and the plunger and Drano don’t work, you’re calling the plumber. Likewise, you pay someone to work on your car because you either don’t know how to or you’d rather have a professional do it.
But one of the common messages which even the wealthiest among us find themselves adhering to is the DIY ethic: “Do it yourself to save money.” Don’t hire a maid, don’t go out to eat, don’t pay someone to do your yard. Do it yourself and save money.
Phooey to that.
I say: “Outsource everything you can and focus on building your wealth!”
Oh, and it’s not only good for you, it’s good for the world economy. It’s called “comparative advantage” and it’s why you aren’t a landscaper. Or a plumber.
Some people have the time or the motivation to do things other people would outsource. I know plenty of men that just *like* to change their car’s oil. But I also know people too busy (and productive) to mow their own grass. So you have to decide what aspects of your life are worth outsourcing.
For fathers & mothers, there’s plenty that you perhaps *shouldn’t* outsource: raising your children, engaging with charities, loving your spouse (!). But there’s likely to be plenty of tasks which sap your energy, drain your productivity (in the home AND in your work pursuits), and can be successfully handled by an hourly earner.
Personally, I hope to make it possible that I’m so productive I have to outsource just about everything that I’d rather not do. Said differently, I want to move to the place where all I do is work on great projects, help my awesome clients, love my family well — and pay people to do just about everything else for me.
And sometimes, it’s important to make some shifts in this direction before we’re as “ready” as we’d like.
Because we then free up the space to do MORE (not less), and we can play a little bit of a bigger game.
What do you think you can move off of your plate today?
Again, I welcome your thoughts…
Warmly (and until next week),
R. Menden Accounting & Tax Service