As a business owner, should you outsource or do it all yourself? I learned the hard way that it's not always clear.
There are generally two streams of thought when starting a business. Focus on your product or services and pay others to figure out everything else (website, email marketing, social media). Or delve in and tackle it all yourself.
Regardless of how deep (or shallow) your pockets run, it’s important to know your weaknesses.
Believe me, I know it’s not easy to admit them. We all want to project strength, that we can do it all and confidently tackle our clients’ every need.
But it’s just not possible. Weakness always rears its ugly head.
What the experts say
You’ll hear successful millionaires tout the essential need to delegate. They argue you can’t move up - or move period - until you outsource everything from copywriting to cleaning your car.
As someone in the early stage of business, it’s hard to hear this. While I have unwavering confidence in my message and conviction for the valuable knowledge to share, I don’t have money to throw at all the things.
And yet, I found myself completely defeated last week when a website I’d spent seven months building vanished into thin air.
Live and learn
I’m efficient - scrappy, even. I couldn’t justify monthly payments for a website when I could build one for free. I thought, 'I’m smart, I can figure this out.'
And you know what, I did. And the site was beautiful.
But then I needed to add functionality. And that meant more research, more plug-ins. Days later, I couldn’t see how everything would integrate. More importantly, I realized I was spending way too much time on the site and not enough time on what I wanted to do - create content.
I surrendered. I came up with a plan to switch web hosts and generate a new drag-and-drop website while my old site kept running.
My inbox pinged with news that the domain transferred. Gitty with pride I launched the URL.
Error: This domain isn’t connected to a website.
Excuse me? I followed every step in the book. Did everything the six+ kind chat support specialists told me to.
New host: “I’m sorry, but [your old host] needs to retrieve the content from the pre-existing site.”
Old host: “You’ve already switched your domain so we can’t access the content.”
Me: “Ok, I understand.” Click.
Still me: Seriously?!? What the !?@* I’ve just spent months of free time I didn’t have, energy I could have used to develop content but instead used to generate this beautiful site. I researched SEO, mastered plug-ins, and went through numerous iterations of copy until it was perfect. And now you’re telling me it’s all gone? Ahhhhh!!!!!!!
Several days later, I’m in a better place. I’m choosing to look at this as an opportunity to rethink and retool the business. I’ve got to get the site up and running quickly. What stays, what goes?
Better yet, how can I use this experience to help others? How do I relay what happened in a way that connects with and serves my audience?
Oh, right. I admit to weakness and turn vulnerability into strength.
We’re all human, right?