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Jack of All Trades

© January 2008 Anthony Lawrence

I clearly remember reading The Jack of All Trades, New Ideas for American Boys by D. C. Beard. I think it had probably belonged to my father before me; it was well worn and my father was definitely the "Jack of All Trades" type.

I was reminded of this by a recent post and comments at IttyBiz.com. The post was about a survey over at ProBlogger - I had happened to have read that post too, so I was interested in the post and the comments.

Yeah, I know - interrelated posts - that's why we call it the web.

Anyway, the original survey had asked about who designed your website and it turned out that 57% of respondents had designed their own site. Naomi Dunford reacted to that with this:

I hope to God 57% of business owners don't also represent 
themselves in court when theyre being sued.

I understand, and agree to some extent, but..

If I were unfortunate enough to be involved in a serious legal issue (lots of money, threat of jail time), I of course would hire a lawyer. But I would also school myself thoroughly in every legal matter relevant to my case. There is no way I am going to trust someone else with something that important. I need to be informed and aware - if the case is lost, it wouldn't mean a great deal to my lawyer, but it would be very important to me.

It's the same with medical issues. I'll let my doctor deal with a physical exam, but if anything serious ever came up, I'm not going to trust him. If he's careless or ignorant, he loses a patient he barely knows, but I could lose much more. My health is too important to leave to a doctor.

I used to have accountants do my taxes. Good accountants, expensive accountants. People with lots of degrees and big name clients.. and they didn't do a good job with my taxes. I don't mean that they did a bad job, no, not at all. But they simply did NOT take the care and time that I take doing my own taxes. Again, I'm just a client to them.. I want my taxes accurate, legal, and IRS audit proof: that's why I do my own.

And this is why I do my own site design, coding.. this site is very important to me and is responsible for a lot of my income. I simply cannot trust someone else to do it. I can listen to advice, I can even pay for advice, but at the end of the day, I need to be responsible for it. Maybe that "Jack of All Trades" book and my Dad's self reliant attitude molded me this way, or maybe this is how I would have been anyway..

By the way, IttyBiz.com has some really good small business Marketing articles. That's an area that I do not know much about, and I like that IttyBiz is aimed at business with five or less employees.. most other sites seem to be speaking to much larger businesses.

Got something to add? Send me email.

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