I decided to take a couple of vacation days a few weeks ago to catch up on a growing “honey do” list. My wife had been dropping some subtle hints that she would like to have the inside of our house painted. Subtle hints like, buying three or four shades of a color and painting a couple of spots on the biggest wall in our house, then choosing a color and buying a gallon of paint. I could tell I didn’t have much more time to procrastinate, even though painting is one my least favorite activities.
I woke up early on a Thursday morning, threw on some clothes that I knew I could dispose of in a few days, went down the stairs and grabbed a cup of coffee. After some caffeine, I grabbed my painting tools, and the gallon of paint that my wife had selected, and proceeded to setup and prep the smallest room in our house. I thought, “I’ll demonstrate how quickly I can progress on this project by accomplishing a whole room in a short amount of time.” Some time around 7:30 that night, I wrapped up “painting” that smallest room in our house. Of course, the paint color that we had chosen was lighter than the color that was already on the wall, and the job required two coats – even though the guy at the paint supply store assured us that the most costly paint would ensure we only had to apply one coat.
By noon on Saturday, I had gotten so frustrated with my painting efforts that I put a desperate plea out on Facebook for recommendations on professional painters. My roller had “slipped” off it’s path in dozens of locations around my ceiling, and it “jumped” off the wall onto a roller shade that we had installed a mere six months ago. I ended up calling James the (professional) painter who came out the following week to give us a quote. After walking around our house for about five minutes, he asked me how long I had been painting the inside of our house. I told him I had been at it for about two and half days. He smiled and said, “what if I told you that I could get the whole inside done in just two days?” I thought to myself; “I don’t doubt it, but how much is it going to cost?” James must have read my mind, because he piped up and told me that he thought he could paint the whole interior for $1100.
Without hesitation, I extended my hand to his and asked him how quickly he could get started.
A few weeks later, James returned to our house and painted every interior room, along with all of our trim. He fixed all of the mistakes that I made and straightened out all of the lines. The work was impeccable, and it was finished in just two days – just like James promised. I could not have been more pleased with the work that was done, and I was relieved that I didn’t have to try and salvage the mess that I had made. I was happy to pay James the agreed upon result because the work that he had done was professional, and the results were exactly what I was hoping to accomplish. At one point my wife texted me a picture of the progress and exclaimed – “Look how straight the lines are!”
As I handed James the payment, he told me I was fired from ever painting my house again. I agreed and vowed to throw away all of my paint brushes, which I actually did before I took the trash out later that week.
As comical as my story and situation may seem, there is valuable lesson for us all. We can’t be a “professional” in everything that we do. We may think that we’re professional, and we may attempt to complete something in a professional manner – but the reality is that no one can be a professional in everything.
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