Walking away

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“To thine ownself be true.”
– William Shakespeare

“You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em”
– Kenny Rogers, “The Gambler”

We all like looking at pretty things; especially if we’re the ones creating it.

It can be really hard to resist the lure of dabbling in Photoshop and Dreamweaver. Particularly on the web where part of the brief is to experiment, test and optimise, many digital marketers (myself included) love nothing more than to roll up our sleeves create.

In pretty much every case (unless it’s core business), this is a mistake.

We should learn to let go of those things we perceive as being ‘fun’ to do and focus on what really matters. This means letting go of tinkering and letting the experts do the work even if it’s going to cost you in the short term.

It’s cheaper to DIY

For some businesses this may be true, but for most, this argument doesn’t hold any water.

The cost imperative is often misplaced as the cost in terms of salary/lost productivity of you spending several days designing a new website far outweighs the financial cost of just getting a web designer to do it. Unless you have no money and there is no one else who could possibly do the job, there is no way you can say that the time you spend (a) figuring out how to do something; and (b) doing it at a suboptimal level, could be better spent doing something else that is more core to your business.

Having come from the NFP world where everything was done with shoestring, rubber bands and sticky tape, my thinking has shifted somewhat from trying to do everything myself and putting out an amateurish product, to engaging a professional who shared our vision and had a desire to work with us at a price that wouldn’t hold us to ransom. There are now so many design houses and agencies out there that its not too hard to find someone that matches your ethos and budget.

Ok, so what then?

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given was from the Managing Partner of a large Adelaide law firm who asked me, “What do you want to be known for?”

While slightly out of context, his point was that if you want to get ahead you need to be an expert at something – your competitive point of difference, if you will – and that if you aren’t clear about what your objectives are for both your career and your job, it’s easy to get distracted. But if you know exactly what you are trying to achieve, it becomes much easier to walk away from the ‘nice to do’ stuff so you can focus on the task at hand and get the job done.


Comments are open

Tom Williamson

Nicely said Mal. As a small business I can see the benefit (and follow through) in outsourcing tasks I don’t specialize in. Initially I was left with spare time to twiddle my thumbs. 6 months on and I’m left with time to concentrate on my core business and developing my business further. It now makes perfect sense to outsource a task to a business who is charging me less than I am earning for the time it takes to complete.

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Sarah Thomas

Much easier said than done, Mal, especially when new technology continues to simplify what used to be the most complex tasks. Excellent post. I guess the key is specialising in what you do find fun, isn’t it?

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Löysin tään hienon tekstin ja keskustelun vasta yöllä ja vastaan nyt ihan lyhyesti. Minun superkirjani on kyllä Muumilaakson marraskuu. Se on syvällinen, lohduttava, toivoa antava, kaunis, iätön, ihanan ihana. Luen sen yleensä syksyllä, kun pimeys ahdistaa. Jos pitäisi valita vain yksi kirja kaikista maailman ihanista kirjoista vaikka autiolle saarelle, niin se olisi MM. Ehaditomostt.

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à vos souhaits ! (c’est de saison).l’”atchoum !” : attention aux guillemets ouvrants, c’est : l’ »atchoum » qu’il conviendrait d’écrire, et encore mieux : l’« atchoum ».Un éternuement (éternûment) à répétition, est-ce grave ? une allergie, ou un rhume ? il est important d’en définir la cause afin de pouvoir se mieux soigner (les allergies sont légions, bien que ni romaines ni étrangères).éternûment : attention à la syncope !

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Truly a great loss. My condolences to the entire McCaffrey clan. It’s amazing how someone you’ve never met can leave an empty hole in your world when she is gone. I treasure the dragons and their world that she created, and it is a fine and fitting legacy for a kind and gracious lady.

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beitragsfrei gestellte lebensversicherung verkaufen

But we are not in type circles here.*That* is the point. "Lettering" is at best a confusing term. Not for you guys obviously. But for regular people, it's hard to put "lettering" in a blog post title and convey what will be seen. That's why I mentioned — I use *that* as a catch-all phrase/tag on *this* here blog as short-hand for a whole bunch of disciplines, including ornate lettering.

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Bună ziua, stimată doamnă Cleo!Am primit È™i am citit mesajele pe care mi le-aÈ›i trimis. Și È›in să vă mulÈ›umesc pentru disponibilitatea È™i dorinÈ›a dumneavoastră de a ne da o mână de ajutor. ÃŽn acest moment, echipa mea de campanie este deja formată. Dacă nu vor face față, vă voi contacta pentru a ne ajuta. Orice susÈ›inere din partea dumneavoastră este binevenită! Vă mulÈ›umesc din nou! Cu drag, Al dumneavoastră,Andrei Chiliman

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