Apartment Therapy on Doing It Yourself

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My father complains every year that I no longer file my own taxes.

"You should do it yourself," he says, "If you don't do it yourself, then you will never really know how money works!"

He comes from a long line of do-it-yourselfers. I come from that line too, and for years I did everything by myself: taxes, painting walls, fixing cars, etc. In fact, I used to be so wary of asking for help that I would never ask for help in stores...and often had to make many trips back and forth.

Doing it yourself is a good thing, but delegating certain jobs and responsibilities is a higher art...

While it is important to know how something works, if you trust people and choose wisely, having others share their gifts with you not only creates a better result, but it also enriches your life in the relationship that forms, no matter how temporary. The best people you hire will be ones who teach you something new.

My accountant, Andy, is a genius, and I love going to see him once a year. He has given me insights into this particular subject that I don't think I would have ever had by myself. And he saves me money.

As for my father's advice? Well, if I had always done things by myself, I would never have learned so much from him now, would I? MGR

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.

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