We googled it
Have you ever dropped a truth bomb on someone and seen the exact moment it explodes? Their eyes get bigger and their face opens up and you can almost see the thought bubble that says “Oh, shit, she might have a point”?
I witnessed a moment like that this summer when Joe and I were talking to an MBA student at a party. He had asked us how we did something or other and I said, “We googled it. We’ve googled everything. You don’t want to look back on your education and say, ‘I could have googled it.’”
I felt a little cruel. I too have plenty of student debt. But I’m getting the distinct sense that MBA programs don’t prepare you to start your own business--- maybe they prepare you to manage someone else’s? I don’t know, or really care to find out. My partner and I don’t study corporate America any more than is necessary to make our money.
When Joe and I were first founding our company, we went in search of business help to local nonprofits such as the Center for Women and Enterprise and SCORE. The most memorable piece of advice from the lady[JS1] we talked to at the CWE was that our first run of LSTs should be 100 rather than 1000. SCORE called us back about 6 weeks after we initially left a message. We were starting to get the picture that trying to find help was more work than looking for the answers ourselves.
“Just googling it” has the advantage that you save a lot of money by doing things yourself instead of going to experts. You become more of an expert yourself. Whatever you did, at least you have a handle on exactly what that was, rather than going back and puzzling over your own paperwork having to figure it out for the first time.
Sometimes, you have to hire someone because something is beyond your skill set and you’re honest enough with yourself to know it. But even then, it’s worth at least looking in to how to do it yourself, because then you’ll know exactly what you need to pay for.