I can do this myself

Yes you can. There are very few things that we can’t do if we think about it. Plumbing, electrical, growing our vegetables, hunting and butchering our own meat (which many of us fishermen actually do). Yet we often hire other folks to do these tasks for us. Why?


The most obvious answer is profit. The cost of doing the task ourselves is more than the profit of hiring someone else to do the task while we do a different task. Bob hires a plumber to fix a leaky pipe while he writes code to manage automated investments. The cost differential between Bob’s income vs the cost of the plumber is profit.

Skill or resource gap

A less obvious answer is what is called a skill or resource gap. I can’t grow vegetables. I’ve tried. If I depended on my ability to grow veggies to eat I would be dead right now. Since I can’t grow veggies, I pay a farmer, by way of a grocery store, to grow vegetables for me. I’m sure that I could eventually figure out how to grow some lettuce but the wasted money would be far greater than I will ever spend on lettuce at the store.

Sometimes it isn’t about the ability to do a thing though. It may be about time, tools, space or permission. Between work, not owning a shovel, living in a second-story apartment and not being allowed to plant seeds in the office entry, there was a time that I didn’t have the resources to grow a garden even if I had the skill. Back to the farmer I go.

I don’t need to do this

My favorite answer though is … “I don’t need to do this”. Now hear me out.

In business, this hiring of a task is called “outsourcing”. We give it fancy names like “contracting” or “employment”, but at the end of the day, someone is outsourcing a task to someone else. No matter what we call the outsourcing, if the reason a task is outsourced isn’t profit or skill gap, it is simply I don’t need to do this. This isn’t a bad thing.

There is a point where profit and skill gap are indirectly related to the item that is being outsourced. I am an IT professional by trade. I used to write low level code for internet sites. Today I outsource nearly all aspects of my online presence. I know how to write the code. I can do it cheaper than I can hire someone else to do it. Thing is, I don’t have to.

By wasting a couple dollars on an IT developer for a slow website I can take time to build knowledge about CNC methodologies or improve my gel coat application technique or even develop new relationships in the fishing and boating communities. There is no immediate profit or skill gap. “I don’t need to do this” is an investment I make in my future. Sometimes these investments don’t work out (the average businessman fails at more business ventures than he succeeds).

That Guy’s take

Let’s be honest, everyone likes a paycheck. But, should you hire That Guy? I mean… he thinks so. But ask yourself if one of the three reasons above applies to you. If not, don’t. That Guy would rather talk about fishing, sailing, boat building or some other random topic than put you in a bad place. The good Lord knows how many times That Guy has stood in a shop and asked questions. That Guy can’t be standing on soap boxes now!