There are a lot of things that I have hired people to do and I get so frustrated because they are not good enough… why? because I envisioned things to be done a certain way and when that way is not exactly how I want I am SUPER PISSED. Like for instance when I used to own cellnn (cellular news network) I would update it once a day with the latest in cellular news. Then it was clear that I just did not have time for it so I hired many different people to do it. Everyone from my sister to various people I knew on IRC and while they tried to do a good job it was never good enough mainly because it was not EXACTLY how I wanted it done. Eventually the site died and I gave up on it… why? because I had bigger fish to fry and just lost interest. I mean to be fair the mobile industry was my thing. I knew a lot about every single phone on the market… knew where to find the latest info… knew people to talk to for the latest info etc etc… so why did I ever think someone could just jump in and do it who had ZERO knowledge of that area. Ya stupid.

This probably sounds obvious to people out there but its a lesson I have learned.. many times the hard way. Instead of finding jobs for people you need to find people for jobs. For instance when you need someone to just write about cellphones don’t look at the low hanging fruit (friends) just because they need some extra money… If I could have done this over I would have gone to and found the moderator with the most posts in every category and offered him the job… why? Obviously he has more contacts and knowledge then I do and if Howard Chui trusts him enough to be a moderator then that would be enough of a resume for me to give him a chance. O well, chalk that up to lesson learned.

Many times this blog is just my notes on what I have learned. A lot of times its not rocket science…

So with programming it was pretty simple. Dillsmack is frickin eons better then I am and makes a good CTO, but now there is the issue of how would we ever bring in another marketer or programmer… ??? The programmer is never going to meet dillsmack’s expectations and the marketer I guarantee will want to quit after 2 days of me riding his ass.

The hardest part is sucking it up and just realizing that while you want to do 90000 things you only can manage a few without going crazy. Recently when a VC firm contacted us and asked me what I would say if he wanted to give us a check for xx,xxx,xxx for one of our newest projects I said “well unless you can clone myself or dillsmack I really have no clue what we would do with the money”.

(ADD side note – Keeping few employees and working out of your homes makes for UNREAL profit margins)

Now this might sound egotistical or whatever and really I am not to concerned with how it comes out… its just the way it is. Its not that I am the best marketer on the planet I just have my views on how things should be done and I pity someone who would come in and try what I do. I do it for several companies and I do it 7 days a week. The same with dillsmack I would pity a programmer who would work under him because he sets the bar so high in that he constantly juggles tons of different servers, platforms, and projects and also has to listen to all my new crazy ideas (which about 5% we actually do).

Sorry not sure if this was a very helpful tip for success or more of me just rambling my thoughts 😉 anyway Shoemoney TFS 8

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

41 thoughts on “Do Everything Yourself – If You Can – TFS 8”
  1. I have the same feeling, but the problem arises when you try to scale out. Your thoughts?

  2. if you want the job done right, do it yourself.. except for programming that is..
    I’ve been paying someone to make posts on one of my blogs for several months and you’re right – they arent the way that I would do them.. but balancing the time needed to do it yourself vs not at all is tough..

  3. “Recently when a VC firm contacted us and asked me what I would say if he wanted to give us a check for xx,xxx,xxx for one of our newest projects I said “well unless you can clone myself or dillsmack I really have no clue what we would do with the money”.”

    you can send me an email and i’ll tell you what you can do with that money 😉

  4. The problem with hiring someone is that they will never live up to the expectations you (informal you, not you Shoe specifically) have because an employee will never be as passionate or anal as the owner. I’m willing to work hours on something that’s mine whereas I will only work to the specs if I’m working for someone else. Plus, employees can’t read minds. 🙂

  5. Good post Jeremy. I guess the real deal is finding the balance between doing stuff yourself and delegating what can be delegated. Also never forget to “put first things first”.

  6. Great post, and one that I believe a lot of people will agree with, even though many entrepreneurs believe the only way to make lots of cash is to hire staff to do the work.

    I completely agree that if you want something done properly – do it yourself!

    After saying that, I must agree that you are lucky to have such a great programmer – they’re so difficult to come across.

  7. I’m going through this now looking for quality content writers not just someone who will fill a page with keywords ands and thes.

    Finding someone of quality and understanding is very hard.

  8. Is Dillsmack available for freelance work? Or do you keep him locked in the basement?

  9. Shoe, while I agree with you in terms of doing what you’re good at yourself, I think people DEFINITELY should hire people to do things they aren’t good at. Why waste a week designing a site when a professional could do it in 2 days and probably better than you would have? Why take the time to research your content if someone else can do it quicker and more thoroughly than you? I’m a big proponent of making sure you spend most of your time doing what you’re best at. In my experience, that’s when I’m most effective and efficient.

  10. There are a few good writers on elance. Only use the US writers though. They seem to have a greater vocabulary.

  11. You made this point in a round-about kind of way, but the key isn’t to do it yourself, it’s to hire people that can do it well (even if you pay a little more for them to do it than it would cost you to do it yourself).

    I’ve been spending some time reading books that talk about this, most recently Ferris’ 4-hour work week (go read it if you don’t have it already).

    Point is, I’m sure that are programmers just as competent as Dillsmack, but at the same time these sort of programmers are working on their own thing so they might be hard to come by.

    I’d consider myself in that category (not to sound egotistical or anything), but you just have to find the right people–they do exist.

  12. I definitely sympathise with you. Many times I’ve been stopped from doing something because I can’t find the right person to do something for me, and I don’t have time to do it myself.

    But in the end, what’s worse? Getting someone else to do an ‘OK’ job instead of a great job, or doing nothing at all?

  13. Jeremy, you need to have like a 30 day trial period for new employees, meaning you would pay them for a month of working for you (or however long they last), but they wouldn’t become an employee until after the month is up and you are happy with them, then you can set up all of the employee stuff.

    I’ll be your first trial case! 🙂

  14. Dude, I was waiting for you to post something about this subject. I had an issue recently with my rental apartments and it needed a new roof. I had a guy that worked for me for 1.5 yrs and I trusted him. I advance paid him when the job was 3/4 done and now that dick won’t return my friggin calls and the job isn’t done yet. I have outlined the whole ordeal on my landlord software page. It’s super frustrating trying to find someone you trust. I need to post his cursing voice mail. this dick is pissed at me for being upset with him??? I guess I need to learn to do my own friggin roofing now with my 1 yr old in a backpack or something. long story short, I feel your pain..

  15. Shoe, and I thought I was the only one left with the attitude of: if you want it done right, you have to do it yourself! Good to hear you feel the same way!

  16. I agree, trusting people with some things without telling them your expectations can eventually lead to a shutdown.

  17. This is one of my favorite TFS from you Shoe. I find the same thing, that no matter how well you think you’ve explained something to someone, it’s never just how you envisioned it. Frustrating!

  18. I agree with the need to do it yourself. The real tricky part comes when you don’t know how to do something well, but you still think you could do better than anyone else.

  19. The biggest things is pay people to do things it isn’t worth you doing. AKA writing content for sites you can hire it out for usualy cheaper than your personal rate woudl be so why not do it. Key is finding good people for decent (not cheap) price.

  20. I totally agree that you have to do everything you can yourself–but there comes a point in time that you just cannot spread yourself around too much to get everything done. So, even with writing and writers, you have to find the right person–or be willing to take the time to train them to do it exactly how you want it done.

  21. In order to really get people that are passionate you need to give them a sense of ownership. That’s where incentives such as bonuses, stock options and/or profit share come in.

  22. I agree.. its about building a team, finding people that can micromanage certain specific areas for you..

  23. I look forward to the day I hire some help. But having a B&M business, I know it’ll be a long hard process to find someone you can actually trust and someone who won’t screw up at every turn. That’s the only reason I haven’t hired someone by now. Just thinking about it makes my head hurt!


  24. When I ask someone to do stuff for me, I tell myself in the beginning that this might not turn out exactly the way I want it to. I just have to trust (or hope) that they do a good job. We all have our own niches and idiosyncrasies. The bottomline is you can’t please everyone nor can every single person meet/exceed your expectations.

  25. I’m exactly the same. I do marketing, Robin does my programming…

    Does that then make me Batman?

  26. It would be hard for me not to run with 8 digits. Especially if that is only 1 or your many many projects.

  27. Never had any luck with elance. All of those type sites have been nothing but trouble.

  28. I haven’t been able to find any good marketers willing to partner with a great coder. I keep finding bad marketers.

  29. Just wanted to say that I’m enjoying these tips tremendously Shoe. I feel exactly the same sometimes I just wanna handle everything myself because i KNOW i’ll do a better job but time is always a scarcity and its just plain hard to handle so many things at one time..

  30. I am learning this the hard way.

    We have a web design company with around 30 employees as well as using companies in India. I am here trying to figure out how to make money blogging so I can cut down to two designers.

  31. […] How did he know what I was thinking? […]

  32. I used to do everything myself as well but now that I invest time seeking talented people, molding them, treating them well, and forcing myself to give up some responsibility I can act on 30% of my crazy ideas versus 5% which was about all I could do before. There is a limit to how much you can do yourself.

  33. I think it’s every self employed person’s dream to employ their friends… jobs are scarce nowadays… you look like a king if you can help feed a family.

  34. I like doing as much as I can myself. I do my design, SEO and marketing but I am not a programmer so if ever I need a big project in the future which requires alot of programming I guess I’ll have to hire someone.

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