To DIY or Not DIY
I love it when coaching clients arrive loaded with self-belief, confidence, and determination. I sense it right away by the way they carry themselves and the way they talk. They meet life head-on, relish new challenges, take responsibility for managing their time and energy, and hold themselves accountable for their actions.
When I meet a truly scrappy, Do-It-Yourself type, I know half my job is done. I get to skip the basics—attitude, positive self-talk, productive daily habits—and get straight to fine-tuning. It’s like the difference between teaching an entry level-college class and a graduate seminar. The foundational knowledge and skills are there. My job is to take them to the next level.
There’s only one problem: they think they can do anything. They hate asking for help. Success in one thing makes them expect success at everything. When they try something new and things don’t go right, they think the problem is them—so they work harder. They put pressure on themselves to conquer any challenge they face.
Typically, this is an attitude I praise. With some people, though, it backfires: their greatest strength becomes their greatest weakness.
Available Means, Resources, Self-Awareness
No one can possibly know everything or predict what skills they’ll need to handle the curveballs life throws their way. Belief and talent only go so far. Specific knowledge takes care of the rest. Confident people often end up spending way too much time fighting battles they can’t win. Through no fault of their own: they simply don’t have the wiring, experience, or ability to do it all.
If I just described you, take my advice: know thyself. Know when to ask for help.
I once had a client who was very successful in her field. She wanted to share her knowledge with the world, so she decided to create an online tutorial. But she had no experience creating online teaching programs. That didn’t bother her, because she’s a self-starter. She showed me what she had—and it was a train wreck. I knew if she didn’t get professional help, at least three bad things would happen:
- Her customers wouldn’t get the help she wanted to give.
- She’d look unprofessional.
- She’d lose business.
Instead of the win-win she was after, she set herself up for a lose-lose.
I connected her to a colleague with high-level expertise designing online educational programs. They put their heads together and created an amazing tutorial. I got an email from her the other day—beta testing was complete, the course was wildly successful, and I was thrilled for her.
Always get expert help before you need it—otherwise, your dream might become a nightmare.