I once heard a doctor explain, simply but eloquently, why someone might want to see a psychologist. “We all have something we’re not good at,” he said. “Sometimes we just need a little help learning how to hit the curve ball.”
The analogy helps erase the stigma that many associate with seeking help. Many a major league batter has a glaring weakness with certain pitches. Why should we be ashamed of our own shortcomings?
So as a business owner, ask yourself, “What’s my curve ball?” The skill sets of the many remodelers I’ve met over the years vary widely. With some, I’ve talked marketing for hours; for others it was clearly not a strength. Some were incredibly tech-savvy; others would be hard-pressed to navigate to their own website. And any regular reader of this magazine has seen numerous articles about proper profit margins, business-planning, and bookkeeping, none of which are in the wheelhouse of many who have come into the business swinging a hammer.
Truth is, the flip side of the self-confidence that leads someone to launch his or her own company is often a reluctance to seek outside help.
The irony here is that we’ll sit across from customers and explain all the reasons why they should hire a pro. But when we head home, we’ll spend an entire evening trying to teach ourselves how to keep the books or design a website or figure out online advertising.
Sticking with the baseball metaphor, hitting your curve ball might require hiring a coach to teach you a better swing, or it might mean finding someone who regularly pinch-hits for you.
Whether you use a paid consultant or someone from a peer group to act as a mentor or sounding board, your time is almost certainly better spent working on what you’re good at. Step out of the batter’s box and think it over.
—Jim Rafferty, principal of JMRketing, provides outsourced marketing leadership to companies in the home improvement industry and beyond. jim@JMRketing.com
More REMODELING articles about mentors and business coaching:
From Surviving to Thriving: In moving your company from survival mode to thriving mode, coaches and mentors can make all the difference
Leading Authorities: Time to seek the help of a business coach?