Don’t DIY

Don’t DIY

March 7, 2014

There are certain tasks we simply must do on our own.  I don’t need to enumerate them… let your imagination run with that one.  And, I must admit, when I have worked really hard at something and I “win” or accomplish the goal, it feels really good.  I pat myself on the back… my closest family, friends and allies applaud my efforts.  They all say, “You did it!”  Yep, that does feel great!

However, what feels greater still is when the accolade sounds more like, “We did it!”  Yes, when we work together to achieve our collective dreams it feels even better!  And, lately, I’ve seen others support this notion – that by working together, we grow the pie and increase the joy of the win.

For example, I had to chuckle when I saw RadioShack’s new “Do It Together” promotions.  It reminded me vaguely of Home Depot’s former slogan, “You Can Do It.  We Can Help.”  The RadioShack website reads,

“THEY SAY TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE. WE SAY THAT TOO.  Technology takes teamwork. No one knows that better than RadioShack. And no one is better at bringing your tech ideas to life than we are. It’s time for D.I.T. See what’s possible when we Do It Together.”

Then, on the heels of that ad, I read, “Why we DIY ourselves to exhaustion” by Whitney Sogol on the Project Eve site.  My husband even pointed out an analogy often used in the financial planning industry related to climbing Mount Everest – it has to do with preparing yourself for the journey… and bringing along a seasoned guide or “Sherpa” as your partner to lead you there and back rather than going it alone which could have devastatingly negative results.

So while there are those tasks that we may select to take on ourselves, we can still plan to form teams and/or buddy up to accomplish our goals.  How can we do this?  I offer these ideas as thought starters…

  1. Create a personal advisory board.  Who is your personal dream team?  When you make an important (or even a less important) decision, who do you turn to for advice and affirmation?  Gather them together… they don’t all need to be in the same room, but you should talk with them all.  And, remember that you are not obligated to take their advice… they will love you even if you go against their recommendations.  Lean on them for championship and support.
  2. Identify and engage a mentor.  Whether you work with an advisory board or not, you might choose to find a mentor – someone whose interests and experience you can learn from; someone who will give you the unvarnished truth; someone who will help to propel you and your efforts to success.
  3. Hire a coach.  Sometimes, it pays to hire it out.  A professional coach might just be what you need.  Someone who is gifted in listening, providing guidance and working with you while you work it through.
  4. Collaborate.  Some choose to take this to the extreme by co-founding companies or jointly investing in opportunities.  Those efforts are all well and good, but such measures are not absolutely required to simply work with others on select initiatives and projects.  Find others with similar visions, work together to bring your ideas to fruition.
  5. Offer to help.  I’ve said it before – I’ll say it again.  When you are generous with your time, information and resources, the long term benefit you receive back will amount to many times greater the amount you put forth.  Without expectation of payback or remuneration, be generous.  You’ll be amazed at the positive blowback you amass.

So, don’t go it alone.  Surround yourself with others.  In the words of RadioShack, do it together!