My dad is one of the people I most admire in this world. He is 65 and is always busy with his many hobbies. At one point or another my dad has been into remodeling houses, training horses, building boats from scratch, working on engines, competitive skeet shooting, competitive downhill skiing, and professional fishing, just to name a few.
This may just sound like a set of hobbies for any Midwestern male, but my dad takes it to another level. He doesn't just dabble in these hobbies, he masters them. Let's just take one of these examples; training horses. My dad purchased a horse that was already trained and ready to go about 15 years ago. He had a great time with her and decided to get another, but this time he wanted to pay less for a "green horse" (one that is untrained). Before the horse was even in his possession my dad read hundreds of books on horse training technique so that he would be ready to go.
He also invested in the proper training equipment (for example a bridle that has a rubber ball that goes on the horse's nose instead of a bit that goes in their teeth so you can tug on them rather hard during training and not injure their mouth). He even spent some time with the breeder, who had also trained my dad's first horse. My dad asked if he could watch this man, and he soaked up everything he possibly could from him.
Now my dad has trained two horses completely on his own, and you would never know they were trained by a non-professional. This has saved thousands of dollars, but it has also given my dad something to work towards, and a sense of pride (along with a few broken bones, but my dad doesn't seem to mind).
What I find so impressive is the attitude that my dad has through all of this. So many times I want to learn something new, but I feel like I missed the boat, I'm too old, or I could never be that good at it so why even try. My dad on the other hand, jumps in with two feet and never seems to doubt his ability to master the task at hand. He never says this to me directly, but I can tell by his tenacity, especially when things get rough. His horse throws him? I would call it a day. But nope, my dad thinks very critically about what he did wrong. He'll seek counsel in experts, and he'll continue to work on it until that problem is alleviated.
Also, my dad is a classic introvert (not unlike myself) but has this amazing knack for meeting people that he can learn from. My dad works in corporate America in the technology space, but his interests lie in the outdoors and building things. So my dad seeks out people with more expertise than himself, and he isn't afraid to ask questions, to ask for guidance or for help. I have seen first hand, how this skill sets my dad apart. Most people are too proud to admit that they need assistance or that someone knows more than them, but my dad doesn't hesitate for a second. He'll ask to watch and learn. He'll ask a lot of questions, and he doesn't worry about sounding dumb in the process. And funny enough, people love it. They love to talk about their craft and give advice, and my dad walks out with new knowledge and a new friendship.
The attitude that my dad has is one that I try to emulate in my own life. This weekend I tried cooking an Indian dish for the first time. I felt very much out of my comfort zone and worried that it wouldn't turn out. But then I decided to research some alternatives of the recipe to make sure I had the best one and the right ingredients and then I just dove in, realizing that it might not be perfect at first, but I could play with it over time to get it just right.
I also have been trying to perfect painting my toenails. I got tired of going for pedicures and finally decided to invest in the right tools and learn the techniques for myself instead of paying someone $30 each time my polish chipped.
I know these examples aren't as exciting as training horses, but in my own little way I'm honoring my dad and trying to learn from his amazing example. And what's interesting is that I see this same belief in your own abilities in Mr. Money Mustache. He's not afraid to try building a house, working on plumbing and electric, setting up a complicated satellite to transmit an Internet signal, and more. He does his research, learns all he can, and dives right in.
Think about all of the things you currently pay for like house cleaning, changing the oil in your car, computer repair, home repair, and more. Could you take on some of these tasks? Could you research them and give it a try, or could you ask a friend or expert to teach you? Are there other things you'd be interesting in doing but don't think you're capable of? My husband brews beer, ties his own fishing flies, and makes amazing pizza dough, using many of the same techniques that my dad uses.
So next time you hear yourself say "I can't take that on, we better just hire someone to do it" stop and think. Is this something that you could tackle or have the interest to take on? If so, why not give it a shot.