Buying vs. Building
When dealing with growing a business or a network, you will inevitably end up having to make the choice between what you buy and what you build.
So what does that mean?
When you buy something it takes very little time. If you are on Amazon, you do it in one click in as little as a few seconds. The result is getting something very quickly that you either want or need. There is also little effort other than the discipline it may take to save up the money to make a purchase.
When you build something, it usually takes a while. In some cases you have to learn how to build it and you usually need to spend time actually building. The result is that you have something at the end that is expected to last a while and you have a sense of ownership and respect for that item because you put so much into it.
You need to both of these things, but I have found that certain things are better to build than buy.
Better to Build:
A mailing list. You can certainly spend money and get 1000 names or 15,000 Twitter followers or Facebook Likes but, if you buy it, you have no idea who those people are and their level of engagement will not be the same as the people who signed up for your permission-based list. Many people don’t want to wait to have an audience that size, they’d rather buy it. The problem with this is that the most powerful subscriber lists are built brick by brick, one person at a time, and those lists are not for sale.
Better to Buy:
Educational experiences. You can always build your own classes, but there are people out there who have more experience, who have learned from their mistakes, and have access to information that may be hard to come by. I’m all for teaching myself a number of things but the one area I do not skimp on buying is education. I want to learn from people who have great content and figure out ways to grow my business through that.
These are just two examples but they illustrate a very important point: you need to make decisions every day about what you build and what you buy. Building something requires a time investment, while buying something requires a money investment. It’s important to look at the two and make clear-cut decisions about which one will serve you better.
It’s not always black and white but it is a decision that will affect your business.