Leave it to a Professional, or…Step Away from the Paint, Ma’am

I’m waiting for a upholsterer to come for an estimate to re-do my couch and remembering the last time he came to do a chair. I had a fairly clear idea of what I thought I wanted and would only look at the fabric swatches that  seemed promising for what I was thinking of. And not having much luck finding what I wanted. Finally, the fellow picked up another book, flipped to a color range that was nowhere near what I had in mind, and said, “Why don’t you look at these instead?” At first I resisted, but to humor him I did and, to my amazement, found something that was just right! It wasn’t anything that I imagined would have worked.

A couple of years ago, my walls needed re-painting. Instead of going to Home Depot or the paint store to study tiny chips of paint, I called a professional decorator to help me, and she chose wonderful colors based on her expertise in decorating. You see, a few years before that, I decided a hallway in my house needed sprucing up and so I went to HD and, from the “oops” table of paint, chose a raspberry color that looked lovely in the store and on the chip, but NOT, unfortunately, on the walls. And the more I tried to fix the mistake, the worse it became until I had to wallpaper over the entire mess.What I had started to do to save money by buying  cheap paint and doing it myself turned into anything but…and I have still not lived this incident down in my own family. Ouch!

The moral of the story? It rarely ever pays to DIY when it comes to things outside of your area of expertise. My experience in design in no way makes me an expert in home decorating. And anything I do attempt will take me twice as long as it would a professional to do. The illusion of saving money is eaten up by the cost of my time to do what I’m not good at and the results could be disappointing.  And when you are so close to the situation, you can’t always see the forest for the trees. It can take someone looking in from the outside to point out the obvious and better choice.

What are you not an expert at? If it’s design, then let a professional designer come to your rescue! Marketing your business is best handled by someone who does it every day and can be an ally for growing your business. Don’t “paint your walls” with something that will  have to be papered over to make it workable again. Save your time for what you do best—running your business.

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