In February, we’re talking all things Household Management, and focusing in this week on The Invisible Chores. Today, I’ll share some tips about hiring your dream team.
This topic sounds like it comes with a lot of privilege and in some ways it does. But I truly ask that you keep an open mind with me to figure out what you can outsource to other people and businesses to help streamline your life. I’ve been in situations where I have struggled to buy groceries, so I really do get being financially spread thin. But I still wish that I would have invested sooner in my team of professionals earlier than I did.
I’ve been hearing buzz over the past year that I’m truly grateful for—buzz that reminds us that we are not all required to be experts in every area of our lives. Praise. Praise. Praise. I am not an expert in any aspect of my car, including driving it. So, when I found a mechanic in Yukon, OK, that I trusted, who respected me, and who advised me with kindness and understanding of my finances, I brought him into the fold of being a part of my household team. He was someone that I could go to, by default, to check things out before I went on a solo road trip, to change my oil without messing anything else up, and to even help me patch that one tire while I was saving up enough to buy a new set. I’ve been a little lost since he sold the business, but my car and I are grateful for the years we had with him and his team, because they knew something I didn’t want to take time to learn.
Hiring a team of professionals as your go to doesn’t mean that you have a butler or live-in chef. It means that you have help with the things you could be doing better. Today, I’ll run you through what my team has looked like over the years, and add some suggestions for other life situations.
My team has included takeout restaurants, starting with the little Thai place I ordered from weekly when I was 16 and progressing to the pizza place down the street. Paying a few regular places for food is having making a meal taken off of your metaphorical plate and passed off to someone on your team. Food prep is an easy one most of us overlook.
But moving to more serious items, I try to keep a team of healthcare and wellness professionals that I trust on rotation. This has been tricky with moving cities, but in my hometown, where I have lived the most life, I had a medical team of a Physician’s Assistant who I trusted with my overall health, an optometrist who didn’t make fun of my passing out when I got my eyes dilated, a dentist who I could comfortably talk money and health priorities with, and a therapist who took me seriously and gave serious back. I hired them to be the professionals they are with my health, because I took time to find people who know better than I do. And yes, I saw other doctors before I settled on them—you can ask for someone new until you find someone you trust.
Similarly, I have a highly intelligent vet that I love and who loves my animals on my team. Even beyond that, I have made a point to only take my dog to the one nail trimmer at Petco who has ever snuggled him with love. She’s on my team, too.
Hiring a financial coach last year has saved me more money than I’ve spent on her fees. And I mean LOADS more. I wish I had invested in a financial coach when I thought I had no money, because what I’ve learned from her is that the sooner you get financial help, the better your finances are. I chose a coach versus an advisor, since often advisors have financial incentives to steer their clients one way or another. I wanted someone who could teach me to make these calls for myself, and she’s been great. However, speaking of finances, keep a point person at your retirement investing firm that you can ask questions of and learn from. If you don’t trust them, you can ask to be transferred to a different manager.
I don’t have kids. But if you do, keeping a few babysitters on your team, even if they’re family members, is building your team. Additionally, I keep up with cleaning my home in a way that currently suits my life, but it can be useful to hire a housekeeper to do a deep clean before a special event, when you’re moving, or frequently enough that you don’t have to spend your time and energy there.
Getting help from others is part of being a well-functioning adult. So even if you trade skills with a friend (you help her set an investment strategy, she helps you clean your house), I strongly encourage you to think through what your strengths and weaknesses are in your household functioning, and build a list of your dream team. Set a goal to find these people, and build your community of success one person at a time.
Do you have a team member that you wouldn’t give up for the world? Tell me about them on Instagram @nowthatimnotyourteacher, and if you connected with this episode, I would love for you to share it with a friend.
Now That I'm Not Your Teacher by Taylor Vogel is a podcast that offers insight about the real world stuff that teachers often want to say, but either don't have time to or really shouldn't.
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