The Wrong Thing Well -OR- the Right Thing Poorly?

Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA

I’ve learned an important lesson this quarter, and it’s about the “Hard Work” part of the Big Dreams and Hard Work we talk about here. I’ve always been a focused, hard worker – you know that “Protestant Work Ethic” idea?  And I have a strong confidence in my own ability to do anything I set my mind to, and I pretty much always have done that (except for my forray into raising rabbits – I’ll talk about that next week).

The curse of being able to do a lot of stuff, like code web sites, sew clothing, can beans, grind wheat, make bread from scratch, clean house, create gardens, train dogs… that it just isn’t possible to enjoy all those things. I’m not a professional seamstress or a skilled web designer, but I often get myself caught in a “should” of since-I-know-how-to-do-that, I SHOULDN’T pay-someone-else syndrome. I know one thing:

“Many high performers would rather do the wrong thing well than do the right thing poorly. And when they do find themselves in over their head, they’re often unwilling to admit it, even to themselves, and refuse to ask for the help they need.”

I’ve been stuck for the last several weeks, trying to do some wrong things, and struggling to do the right things poorly.  Last week, I hired a professional to do some things that I know how to do, albeit poorly, and it’s an enormous relief to my schedule, to my creativity, and to my day.

What on earth have I been ‘thinking’ all these years? What are you able to do, albeit poorly that you could ask an expert to help you with?

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