Photo by egavad / per
If you like dirty jokes, go check out this one from Penny Arcade, then come back.
Read it? Okay, look at that last panel:
They can’t cut out the middle-man! The middle-man is the whole point!
This is a good lesson for any small business owner, or the people who do marketing for them.
When you’re a chef, sometimes you want someone else to cook for you specifically so it’s not just like you always do it. Sometimes it’s not just okay to be a middle-man. Sometimes that’s exactly what your customers want.
Same for garbage collectors, travel agents, crime scene cleaners. You’re not doing anything your clients couldn’t do. They just don’t want to. If they don’t-want-to badly enough, you can make some serious money doing it for them.
This works for managers, too, but for a different reason. Don’t hire people who will do everything just like you. Hire people whose skills don’t completely overlap yours and let them use those unique skills. If your employees do everything just like you would, you keep hiring copies of yourself. That’s not a good strategy. (Unless you’re perfect.)