When DIY Becomes A Liability

I recently moved from a small downtown office into a small house that I’m using as a studio for StevieSnacks. My wife repeatedly told me “You shouldn’t move your own stuff”. And while it made sense when she said it, I ignored her advice and moved everything except the furniture myself.

Today some movers are coming to get the rest of the stuff, but to prepare, I filled up my jeep with a lot of the smaller stuff to bring over. As I walked an entire block to and from my car, no less than 6 times. I asked myself two questions:

  1. Why is nobody helping me?
  2. Why am I moving this stuff at all?

The answer to both of these questions is that I am a chronic, but recovering do-it-yourselfer. 

When I started StevieSnacks I had to do everything myself. It wasn’t generating any income at the time, and I had all the skills I needed to make it go. At that point, DIY was an asset. I developed a strong appreciation for efficiency and quality by doing everything myself.

During the past two years I have offloaded several of my responsibilities:

  1. First-line customer support
  2. Premium lesson video editing and DVD creation
  3. DVD order fulfillment
  4. Free-lesson editing and publishing

I cannot imagine doing those things myself again. I have accepted that paying someone to do those things is part of my business. I am free from the feeling that I have to do them myself.

Why is it then, that when faced with something as large as a complete office move, my first reaction was to move most of the stuff over a period of weeks, one agonizing trip to the car at a time, in freezing temperatures, by myself?

Because I am a do-it-yourselfer, and that mentality has become a liability.

The movers that are coming today were available three weeks ago when this process started. Had I called at that time, they could have moved everything in a period of hours on the same day without my help.

I could have saved two or three work days by making one phone call and writing one check. I am recovering, but not there yet.