“I can figure this out on my own.”

“I’m not paying someone to do what I can do myself.”

“I’m a leader. I’m perfectly capable of doing this. It may just take a while.”

Heard any of this before? Or perhaps you’ve made at least one of these statements yourself. This is the language of people who are either in the early stages of their entrepreneurial/leadership journey, or really believe T & E is an effective strategy for getting their desired results. God help them!

What is T & E you ask? It’s something that has been known to work, although not over the long-term. It’s inexpensive, at least in terms of money. Of course remember, you get what you pay for.

If you want dynamic results and a high return on investment, T & E should not be your primary business strategy.

T & E is trial and error.

Many of us as small business owners, thought leaders, and game-changers have utilized the old T & E. Sometimes we’re able to make it work, despite almost going insane and dealing with just a little stress (that’s code for a lot of freaking stress).

However, I know a number of peers who feel like I do: they wish they would’ve spent less time on trial and error. That is because trial and error is overrated. Sure it’s hands-on. Sure it provides you an opportunity to learn. It just takes longer and is not a consistently effective strategy.
Trial and error means usually being The Lone Ranger. You go at it alone and subsequently take on all the risk and work that comes with that. What does “it” look like?

Perhaps “it” is building your own website. Been there, tried to do that. There was not enough trial and error, in my case, to lead to me building even a decent website on my own. And I used to think I wanted to throw my computer when it would freeze up. Trying to create my own website made me want to break it in little pieces…then throw it!

Or maybe going at it alone for you is attempting to go from a service role to a senior sales role (successfully) when you have little or no relationship with the sales division.

Of course you could be like a client of mine, who wants to write a book on a topic completely foreign to what he currently does professionally. He plans to self-publish but knows little about how that world works. Nor has he formed any relationships (that I’m aware of) with other authors, publishers, etc. Guess what we’ll be talking about during our next consultation.

These are all examples of people believing they can just figure it out. Eventually, that may happen. The problem is how long eventually may take. The opportunity cost of “eventually” can be significant.

The clarity, cash flow, and clients you may be missing out on while figuring it out cannot be ignored. It could also make the difference in it taking you six months vs. five years to get to where you want to be in your career.

Don’t make the rookie/arrogant/misguided decision to spend a lot of time on T & E. If it’s something you really think you can master in a few weeks, and you are COMMITTED to devoting the time needed for that mastery, I can give you a pass – maybe. If you know you’re not going to devote the time needed – perhaps you really don’t have the time to devote – and you want to fast-track your results, please get the help you need.

Whether that is a coach, mentor, consultant, resource, or tool, invest in what you need to decrease your trial and error. Think you cannot afford it? I urge you to change your mindset. It is likely you cannot afford to do it alone. Remember, there is a cost either way. You’ll either pay in time or money. Last I checked, money can be replaced. Time only moves in one direction. Once it’s gone, it’s…well…kind of gone forever.

Your business, stress level, ROI, and future (incredibly more) successful self will appreciate you minimizing trial and error as much as possible!