So I’m watching a cooking programme on TV Saturday morning. One of the chefs has decided to try his hand at Peking Duck, having actually been to Beijing and tried the real thing (looked delish). I was kind of interested in this segment because my own efforts at Peking Duck have been less than satisfactory. So I paid attention, hoping to learn the ‘secret’.
Well in the end I did learn how to make Peking Duck, but I also learnt something very important for my business.
OK, so here is the chef, he starts by cooking a duck the usual way, and it looks great but the skin isn’t crispy. So he goes to a duck farm to see if a different breed of duck will work better. He roasts the new duck, and the skin is still not crispy. So he decides what he needs to do is separate the skin from the flesh of the duck (using a drinking straw, don’t ask). He roasts it. It’s still not crispy.
Now he’s all fired up, and having spent two days and roasted three perfectly good ducks without getting a result he’s happy with, he decides to get radical.
He strips the skin right off another duck. He SEWS the skin to a cooling rack. Yes, sews. With a needle and thread. He roasts the skin for two and a half hours. He gets some BBQ chips and heats them to smoking point, paints the duck skin with a brush and some carefully prepared aromatic marinade he made meantime, and puts the lot back in to the oven for another half hour. Then he takes the skin, still stitched to the rack, and pours boiling oil over it (I don’t know why he didn’t just fry it in the first place). Hooray! Crisp skin.
Now, this was all very interesting. But completely impractical for me to emulate in my domestic kitchen with cats and children and deadlines and a distinct lack of the saintly Prue Leith in my demeanour.
I couldn’t spend 4 to 5 HOURS to make one piece of a multi piece dish, even if I wanted to. Not even at Christmas. I don’t have the skills, the time or the equipment to do it properly, and I certainly don’t have the time to learn to do it well. It’s not going to happen.
To even try would be ridiculous it seems to me, and even more so because for $10 I could just send out to a Chinese takeaway and get a perfectly cooked, delicious Peking Duck delivered to my door.
Got me thinking, if I can realise the futility of beating myself over the head for hours on end with something I don’t know how to do in the kitchen, why can’t I realise it in my business?
Do you spend hours wrestling with getting your blog setup, designing graphics, installing plugins, setting up social media accounts, uploading multiple copies of videos to different sites, etc etc etc instead of actually building your business?
Take my advice, unless you are already an expert at the task, don’t try and DIY. It seriously costs you more, even in the short term.
Your time is worth money, and that money is better spent making content, building relationships and closing deals than it is fumbling about trying to master the ‘under the hood’ stuff. Tasks that build lists (and so make money) are the priority. Outsource everything else if you can.
There are endless people, companies, scripts, softwares and experts out there (take a look at the Top Resources page on this site for just a few I personally recommend) who can do all the non-productive stuff for you in less time and at less cost than you can. Use them, and see your productivity (and hence your profit) soar.
So, three days, four ducks, disappointing results and a whole heap of frustration? Or a phone call, ten bucks and eat perfect Peking Duck right now? I know which I will choose from now on