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Q1 2022 Commentary: "I Do It Myselffff..." Thumbnail

Q1 2022 Commentary: "I Do It Myselffff..."

Pine Haven Investment Cousel, Inc.

Paige Johnson Roth, CFA®

I think some of my first words were, “I do it myseeellff.” As we grow up, we all want to learn and do things ourselves. Self-reliance and the do-it-yourself model are embedded into American culture. Part of this goes back to the Protestant work ethic. Additionally, many of us get satisfaction (my Mom in particular) from doing things and fixing things ourselves. Others get satisfaction from being extremely frugal. As Americans, we are taught that wealth is all about money in the bank and having lots of it is the American Dream.

As I have gotten older, I have shifted some of my focus to saving time instead of saving money (by doing things myself). This has been a hard habit to break. My coach has had me list out the things I enjoy doing and the work tasks that I don’t enjoy doing at work. Learning to delegate has been challenging for me. It has been a bit easier at home to get some help (not without some guilt initially – shouldn’t I be able to do it all?). At home, we have had someone help clean our house regularly (which is a marriage saver), and while my children were in high school, we had help with transportation. People have groceries delivered, and others have used personal chefs and meal delivery services. Businesses are popping up everywhere to help people do most everything.

A New York Times article discusses the growing science around buying time and experiences and its effect on happiness.1 A Harvard study done in 2017 found that people “that spent money to buy themselves time, such as by outsourcing disliked tasks, reported greater overall life satisfaction.” The study also found that the practice of buying time was not as popular as you might expect, even among millionaires.

In addition to businesses and people that help you save time to focus on your priorities, there are coaches that can help you get things done that you have always wanted. Been wanting to write a book? Do a Triathlon? Hire an employee? Take your business to the next level? Start a non-profit? One of the benefits I have seen with coaching is accountability. Additionally, I have found the best coaches to be ones who form a partnership with you to help you reach your goals.

The pandemic has forced many of us to reevaluate priorities – In other words, how we spend our time and money. As we approach our next set of client meetings, we will be asking questions about how you are spending your time? Has it changed at all? What are your pain points? What is currently aggravating you? How could you make things easier for yourself and/or your family? Can you outsource something that you don’t like to do so that you have more time to be with friends, family, or travel? What have you always wanted to do? After all, the goal is to have prosperous, happy, and fulfilling lives.

1 New York Times, 7/27/2017, “Want to be Happy? Buy More Takeout and Hire a Maid, Study Suggests”