Before you DIY, think DBI

Want to reclaim a big chunk of your life? Then change your default settings.

Entrepreneurs seem to be set to DIY by default. We don’t bother to change it even when we know time is money. Not changing it though, leaves us vulnerable to worse traps later.

Last year my business, Idea Momentum, rolled out something new, a series of User Experience workshops. For years we’ve been doing them with clients and customers as part of a bigger engagement, but now we wanted to offer them at our own space.

Since we already had the workshop pieces figured out, we decided to focus on scheduling and registration. So of course, I decided we’d do those pieces ourselves. Sure it required more work, but it would be the only way to get things exactly how we wanted.

Six weeks of cussing and a few all-nighters later, we still couldn’t go live. Fed up, my partner asked, why didn’t we use Eventbrite? The only argument I had left was, “it’s not exactly what I had in mind.” Appropriately, she responded, “so what?!” An hour later, she had us up and running with Eventbrite.

In the end, something more insidious was happening. I didn’t think I was wasting time. I actually thought I was creating value. Unfortunately, it was for me and no one else. I had become my own customer. Like the lawyer who represents himself, I had a fool for a client.

Some things should be DIY, especially if they’re core to your business. Just remember to choose wisely, and don’t treat yourself like a free and infinite resource.

Meanwhile, the workshops are up and running. I have also gone back and changed my default settings. Instead of DIY, they’re now set to DBI – don’t be an idiot.