For as long as I can remember I’ve always enjoyed tinkering in order to fix or better understand how something works. An explanation is never enough for me. For better or for worse (more often the latter), I always seem to have to to get my hands dirty and see first-hand how all the parts fit together.
When I was very young I distinctly remember my grandpa telling me to stay away from the metal box next to the wall because it would burn my skin. Of course, I now know that box was a space heater and I also know from experience just how painful it is to touch one. :)
I also know how not to take apart a microwave to fix the fuse. You see, I decided to nearly completely disassemble my microwave when it was broken, only to find out afterward that the fuse is easily accessible from the front of the case. Doh!
And I know that dimmer light switches will make a humming noise when installed to control an energy efficient light bulb. That problem was easily fixed by switching the light bulbs, but only after several hours of amateur electrical debugging. Let’s just say I now have more experience installing dimmers than most contractors.
Why am I telling you all these embarrassing trial-and-error stories?
Because I want to highlight a key lesson that I apparently cannot seem to learn. And I’m hoping by reading this you’ll save yourself hours upon hours of hassle and headache.
The Missing Ingredient
In all three of my examples there is a missing ingredient that would have helped me avoid pain, frustration, and wasted hours of my life.
Can you guess what I was missing?
The answer is expert advice. In all 3 examples, I went off on my own to figure it out by brute force, trial and error. I reached out and grabbed the space heater to see what would happen. I removed screws and metal parts from my microwave until I found the fuse box. And I played with red, green, and black wires until I isolated the problem with the bulb.
I could have saved myself the hassle if I would have first talked with someone with experience in those areas. It’s obvious looking back, but when I was in the heat of the moment I didn’t want to take a step back to get expert advice.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
There’s a running joke in my house where the punchline is me saying to my wife, “Erin, I finally figured it out.” This happens about once a month where I finally have everything figured out.
I’ll bet that happens to you as well. We all think from time to time that we have things figured out, but later we realize there was so much we didn’t know before. This is why it’s so critical to get expert advice from someone who has already figured it out, at least more than you have to date.
Do You Need Expert Marketing Advice?
This is a rhetorical question. :)
Everyone needs it. That’s why in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m hosting a free Q&A webinar as my way of saying “thanks” for being a loyal reader. On Wednesday, November 26th at 12pm Eastern, I’ll be on the line answering as many of your questions as I can.
I hope you can make it!
Main Street ROI is a digital marketing agency based in New York City.
Our mission is to help small businesses thrive. With our services and training, we help small businesses succeed with marketing regardless of their budgets.
Since 2010, we’ve helped thousands of small businesses create profitable digital marketing campaigns.
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