Know Your Worth

Reading The Millionaire Mind by Dr. Thomas Stanley reminded me of an interesting concept I first learned about several years ago while working in the homeless service field.

One of the main qualities Dr. Stanley found many millionaires possessed was knowing when something was worth their time. Throughout his book, he makes numerous mentions to the anti- “do-it-yourself (DIY)” mentality among the millionaires he interviewed because “they reason that it’s more productive to earn income from their vocation and use it to hire a professional” (Stanley, The Millionaire Mind, p. 284).

I flashed back to a conference I took as a housing counselor. During this conference, I listened to the speaker’s story about class differences. She said, “I was showing a friend from generational wealth my new flooring. Impressed, she asked whom I hired to do it. When I told her I did it myself although I didn’t enjoy it, she said ‘Why would you do that? What are you worth an hour? Now, think about how many hours you spent researching how to do it and purchasing materials in addition to the time spent actually working on the new flooring – likely more than a licensed professional. You also probably spent more on materials than someone who could have ordered supplies in bulk and already had the equipment. On top of that, you didn’t even enjoy it. You could have used those hours to spend time with your family or take a short trip, so that you could recharge and come back even more focused on your vocation.”

Thanks to sites like Pinterest and YouTube where you can figure out how to do just about anything, the DIY movement is on the rise. So, if it brings you joy, go ahead and do it yourself – you should be able to find a video or pin to show you how. And then you can return to your vocation feeling more energized.

But if it doesn’t, stop for a second and think about whether this project is really worth your time. If not, it may be time to call a professional plumber to do some repairs so you can focus on what you love.


Stanley, Dr. Thomas J. “The Economically Productive Household.” The Millionaire Mind. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel, 2000. 283-284. Print.