Pay Peanuts Get Monkeys

In Blog, Stuff by Martin Sekel

Last week I did something that went against my principles and better judgement, and worse, against my gut feeling. I hired a monkey to do the job of an expert. Yep! “Pay peanuts get monkeys.”

I needed some professional coding done for one of my Google Maps platforms and did not have the time to do it myself, so I posted a job listing on a freelance job site that I often use. Within hours I received close to 20 bids.

The decision I made was bad, wrong, costly, stupid… and I knew it at the time!
Today, having lost a week (and thankfully only a few dollars), I am grateful that the job was personal and not for an edgy client. I am back at first base with no result except from the bruise of a slap in my own face.

Having had many years of experience in major construction management, dealing with literally hundreds of contractors, quotes and contracts, one would think I knew exactly how to evaluate skills, experience, expertise and price, to be able to make a good choice.

Yes. I do, and have done so also in the web development business many many times.

So why was last Friday so different from all other Fridays? What happened? What made me falter?

1. It was Friday. I was in (a no-need-for) rush to close it out. I did not give apt time to evaluate all the contractors and bids.
2. Price played too much of a role in my choice of contractor. Because I was able to do the code myself I couldn’t justify what I was spending so looked for a “cheap” solution.
3. I did not listen to my feeling of uncertainty about the decision I was making. It “felt” wrong. I knew it was wrong but pushed on, and fell.

How can one be sure to make the “right” decision?

1. I don’t think you can ever be sure.
2. Ask a lot of questions. Ask other professionals. Ask friends that may have an idea.
3. Review previous projects, evaluations and testimonials.
4. Remember the expression – “You get what you pay for” – There’s good reason why it exists.
5. Take your time. Do not hurry. Mistakes today will cost time and money later.
6. Listen to your feelings.

So why the photo? Simple. I have no photos of monkeys, nor gorillas for that matter. I do not have a photo of peanuts or even have any peanuts I could shoot. All that was left was this photo of this dear nut.