note It's not that hard...
Forum: Liquid Lounge
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I have become accustomed to paying people to do things for me. Things that I believe are "above my paygrade".

Yet, over the last four years, I have taken the time to get to know the tools, machinery, house, plumbing, electrical, cars, trucks, dirt bike, yadda yadda yadda yadda. I had also been a landlord for two of those years, so I learned a lot about how people don't understand any of the machines they use everyday. They would call me and tell me that the dishwasher is broken. I would investigate and find that the drain was clogged with copious amounts of food matter. Fixed in 30 seconds. I hated being a landlord, but I learned a whole lot.

I felt great today. I built a ramp off my deck in the morning that my old dog can use to take a whiz on flat ground without having to negotiate stairs. He can't do the stairs anymore. Basically a handicap ramp for a dog.

I, for the first time, sighted in a rifle scope. I thought it would be complicated. It wasn't. Pretty straight forward actually. Got a quarter size spread of five shots at 30 yards.

Earlier this week I investigated changing my own oil in my truck. Holy shit. Seriously easy! Saved me $60 and took 20 minutes.

A month ago I watched a plumber making $100 per hour do something I thought would be hard and didn't want to handle on my own. It took him five minutes. I stood there aghast. Seriously? That's it?!?! Completely easy. I will never employ another plumber again unless it's an emergency.

I watched a guy do the flooring in my kitchen. Same outcome. Seriously?!?! Easy!!!!

I rolled out my dirt bike today. It has taken me two years of costly failures to realize how to properly maintain that bike. I learned though. It started immediately after sitting for six months, correctly winterized by me for the first time. Glorious ride today. I was getting it out today to sell it off. After learning so much about it, however, I'm not so sure it is going anywhere. I put on a new throttle cable, new brake cables, new choke cable, changed the oil, replaced the oil filter, fixed a hydraulic leak in the front suspension, and lubed all that stuff up with really cheap tools and a bit of patience. It was all easy. It just required time.

I tore my own deck out and had someone else rebuild it. I shouldn't have done that. I watched the rebuild. It was costly. It was also easy. I could have done it alone. It just would have taken me longer.

It just keeps going on like this. Building retaining walls, cutting down trees, replacing carbs, building custom shelving units, making my own ice hockey goal, tearing apart machinery and rebuilding it, doing car/truck tune ups, maintaining and tuning up our bikes, and just about anything else.

It's not that hard!!!!

I feel almost idiotic these days thinking of all the things I have left with other people to fix. Even more so when I have employed professionals to build stuff for me.

The hardest part about any of these things is this: Tools. Prep. Time.

Do I have the tools? Do I have the time? What is needed for preparation? If you can't devote the preparation or time to something, that's the time you need to phone a professional.

Much of my time spent in learning has been amassing tools. Most often, after amassing the tools and doing the job, I saved myself hundreds to thousands of dollars. And that is across so many spectrums. I received a quote at our office of $3000 to hook up a wifi sound system that would allow us to stream Pandora day to day. I did the work myself for $600. $460 of that was for one piece of equipment. The rest just rested on my time and prep. Prep = learning about what you are doing.

I have yet to come in contact with one single thing that a professional has done that I could not do myself with the proper time and preparation. The biggest factor in all of it is the tools.

Without a doubt, many things have taken me a lot longer than what I could have experienced with a professional. Much of that has been due to bad preparation and the lack of tools. However, the outcome has ALWAYS been worth it in the long run. Cheaper and cared for by me. And that, really, is the big payoff. Everything I have done myself is slower but cared for by me. It always means it was done to my standards.

The point?

We seem to be losing skills as a population. I, no doubt, thought I was not skillful. I have employed a lot of people to do things for me because I could afford to do so. I'm not going to stop doing this totally, but I will learn....

I will cut out so many things that I once believed I could not do.

It's not that hard!

Sure, I have failed abysmally at times. Yes, I have taken 6 trips to the local hardware store in one day and have been entirely pissed off at my inadequacies. I learned though. Through the cursing of myself. Throwing down tools. So much swearing.

It doesn't change the fact that I rectified a lot of issues that would have cost me so much more in the hands of someone else.

It has also left me with a nice cache of tools that I didn't have before.

I'll still employ the big boys when needed. I have someone cutting down six trees in my yard on Monday. I have 7 roofing bids in because I'm not going to try to do that alone.

Everything else though...

Not hard.

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