The Consequences of Unintended Consequences


A few weeks ago, I wrote about why you shouldn’t try to do everything yourself and what can happen when you do.

I wish my husband, Ron, had read that newsletter.

Last week, our dog Trevor got power washed! No, I don’t mean he had a spa treatment at the groomer. Nope! He was on the receiving end of the spray, as Ron was power washing the outside of our deck. 

At first, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Our cute little Westie looked like a drowned rat. My husband was too busy working on another one of his DIY projects even to notice. 

I was left to dry off our pup.

I know my husband didn’t intentionally spray our dog just like he didn’t intentionally spill paint on our beautiful hardwood floors when painting our daughter’s bedroom.

Yet, stuff like this keeps happening whenever he insists on taking on projects that he’s not qualified to do. He could surely benefit from engaging a DIY coach. 

Do these people even exist?

Those of you who have been following my work know I’m a huge believer in coaching. I’ve had a coach on and off for over 10 years now and have avoided countless mistakes by working with someone who has been where I’m going.

The school of hard knocks is undoubtedly one way to learn valuable lessons. 

But why get knocked around if you don’t have to?

So, before you’re like my husband Ron, when it comes to critical business decisions, here are some things to consider.

  • Admit You Need Help. If you’ve known for a while that you need to make a change in a specific area, and you’ve yet to do anything to move things forward, then admit it, you need outside help.
  • Consider the Risks I went along with my husband when he told me he wanted to paint our deck. I saw this as a low-risk move. Worst-case scenario, we have to hire an expert to redo the painting. That’s a bit different from revamping your entire business strategy, only to discover you’ve gotten it wrong. Here’s where having a real expert by your side can save you considerable time and money.
  • Recognize the Half-Truths. Are people in the organization telling you what they think you want to hear, rather than what you need to hear? In this economy, it’s risky for an employee to tell their boss the truth. Given the choice of transparency or continued employment, most choose the latter. Of course, this won’t help you make the best decisions possible. Having a trusted advisor who will tell you the truth no matter what is priceless.

Many executives I’m talking to are second-guessing themselves. They’re wondering if they’re acting too hastily or not taking action fast enough. There’s no shame here. My clients trust me to help them make the right decisions. You may be spending hours thinking about the same things repeatedly, which is not only exhausting but also counterproductive.

In the end, Ron didn’t do a horrible job. 

But last night he told me he was thinking of calling a paint company to paint the outside of the house. I just smiled and told him it was a good idea. Trevor, sitting on the floor listening to us, seemed to have a smile on his face. I guess he was relieved as I was, that we were going to leave such a massive project to the professionals!

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