You Can’t Cut Your Own Hair

Scott Cunha, the celebrity stylist for Kendall Jenner and Nicole Richie, doesn’t cut his own hair. Neither does Kiyah Wright, the two-time Emmy award-winning stylist whose clients include Tyra Banks and Jennifer Hudson. Mara Roszak cuts for Emma Stone, Olivia Wilde, and Brie Larson, but not for herself.

The physical mechanics of a haircut make it clear that even top experts can’t do the job themselves. But in a number of other settings, deciding whether or not to do it yourself can be much more confusing.

I know several people who have represented themselves selling a home, only to regret it later. World-class executives who try to write their own ads are no match for a talented professional whose entire career is based on crafting effective marketing. Musicians who negotiate their own record deals are usually the ones that end up in contract disputes.

Being an expert at one thing doesn’t automatically make you an expert at everything, even if you’re wicked smart and have a wide range of knowledge. To avoid overstepping, the most successful people focus maniacally on what they do best and enlist others wherever possible.

Even if you’re highly skilled in a needed area, having an outside perspective can be crucial in avoiding pitfalls. By definition, you can’t possibly deliver rational, dispassionate advice to yourself. Whether you’re an investment advisor, home builder, or dermatologist, trying to apply your craft on yourself may, in fact, be the ultimate conflict of interest.

“A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client,” the old adage proclaims. Let’s not accept sub-par outcomes by overestimating our ability to do our best work for ourselves as the customer.

Whether tackling challenges or seizing opportunities, let’s bring in the experts. If you want your audience fired up at a corporate event, hire a professional keynote speaker.  If you want your house painted properly, bring in someone who does it for a living, applying your time and energy to your own craft. Remember, even if you can do something it doesn’t mean you should.

Jen Atkin is famous for cutting Chrissy Teigen and Gigi Hadid, but even Jen doesn’t cut her own hair. And neither should any of us. Apply your talents to serving others and bring in the experts to support your own growth and success. You’ll get a better cut, have a lot less mess, and ultimately shine as a result.