It’s the end of the week. Are you feeling like you made a dent in that endless list of to-dos? Was it a productive and successful week or are you already dreading Monday? I’m one of those people who tend to think I can do it all. Part of the problem is that I nearly can do it all. I’m a one women Wonka factory! A ‘I’ve watched four videos on YouTube and now I’m an expert.’ kind of gal! It’s also one of the traits that has made me a good small business owner and helped me to survive the economic downturn without giving up on my dreams. In short, I’m a survivor!

neonbackhoe Illustration by RealityTC


LOOK OUT MIKE ROWE, NO JOB IS TOO DIRTY OR TOO SMALL FOR ME!

  • Package things up for shipping and drive to Fed-EX before the 8pm deadline? Check!
  • Make T-Shirts in my garage and ship them out! Hell yeah, with music cranked!
  • Lie under the car and see if I can tell where that oil leak is coming from? Hand me the box of latex gloves!
  • Split those fifty hostas and move them to the other end of Timbuktu? No prob!
  • Throw the dogs in the tub and then blow them out like a professional? Like a boss!

Call me crazy, but many of these things I actually enjoy. But—I’m starting to realize that by doing EVERYTHING myself, I’m missing out on opportunities to be creative which means I am missing out on opportunities to grow a business, spend time with friends and make my life more fulfilling overall.

Last weekend, a friend of mine who has a monstrous eight-foot aquarium that sprouted a leak called us for help to move it. It was so heavy; it was impacting the floor joists. I took one look at it, one look at my friend and my not exactly 25 year old husband and said, ‘Oh hell no! We do not need one of you guys hurting yourselves. My piano movers would be a smarter, less people-getting-crushed-in-a-stairway kind of choice!’

And that’s when it hit me. DO NOT USE A SHOVEL WHEN YOU NEED A BACKHOE.

If you, like me, are doing everything at once and sometimes inefficiently just to save money or because you don’t know who to call—

YOU NEED A BACKHOE BRO!

(And yes, I’m using bro in a genderless way and I know some people hate that—I am fond of saying dude as well.)

In that moment I realized that like my friend (cuz birds of a feather flock together) I am exactly that person who will try to do something insane (and potentially dangerous—hello branches on the roof) because I either don’t know who to call or I want (and need!) to save money.

The most important thing to remember is that people are your best resource!

With that in mind I’ve started a new habit: When I see repair trucks in neighboring driveways, I take a quick snapshot and make a note to ask my neighbor if they did a good job and if they would hire them again. I’m starting to rebuild my virtual Rolodex to get the people I need to get things done! I still have to be careful about spending, but often I find that hiring someone for a few hours is not that expensive and is worth it for some extra creative time and keeping myself out of the emergency room.

Old habits die hard and I like visuals. So I designed a mug for my shop in case you want one too! And then I created a t-shirt—cuz t-shirts! 😀 And no, I didn’t make them myself—because I’m working on my dreams.
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