Do It Yourself – by Mark Carson

I decided to build a car. I’d seen friends modify their cars. I wanted it to be something
that I could work on myself, so I bought a Volkswagen. I also wanted it to be something
that I could go anywhere in, so I decided to lift it and convert it to four wheel drive. But
then I realized that it would have single digit gas mileage, so I figured that I would put
skinny tires on it to reduce the road friction. Of course, then the engine would be
underpowered, so I started reading racing magazines, watching the Fast and the Furious
movies, and making plans to add NOS to my ride. I was excited. I was enthusiastic. I
was ready. Without ever consulting a mechanic, I got started spending money.

Even if you know NOTHING WHATSOEVER about cars, you can probably see some
flaws in my logic. If you DO know something about cars, it will come as no surprise that
after 6 months and thousands of dollars, I ended up with a pile of parts sitting at home
while I rode the bus to and from work.

Starting the first of the year, millions of Americans start on exercise routines with the
same logic, and similar results.

For some reason, we as Americans will religiously maintain our cars, our lawns, houses,
boats, RV’s, and computers. We talk to the experts, take advice, budget, plan, work,
step back to re-evaluate and re-prioritize. Then we start that process all over again. But
for some strange reason, we keep trying to use different logic for maintaining our bodies.

Once, while I was working on my car, it wouldn’t start. I didn’t want to pay a mechanic
$100 to troubleshoot the problem, and THEN the cost of parts and labor to fix whatever
problem he found. That’s a lot to work into the budget all at once. I just listened to a
friend who told me that it was the battery. A new battery later, I still had the
problem. Over the next few weeks, I tried replacing the alternator ($140), the starter
($75), the battery ($65), the battery cables ($25), and the ignition switch ($35). It turned
out that the $3 ignition key was worn out.

That turned out to be a REALLY expensive fix.

We look in the bedroom mirror and see that something is definitely NOT working. We
want to be healthier, trim, toned, and no longer embarrassed to take our shirts off. But
getting expert assistance is expensive: right? Instead, we listen to a fit and friendly
spokesperson on a 3 AM infomercial hawking home gyms, shaker weights, and ab belts
that promise a 6-pack while you watch TV and eat Cheetos. So we spend the cash. We
don’t see any results, and end up hanging our clothes on the contraption gathering dust
in the spare room.

Do you NEED an expert to do the troubleshooting for you? NO! It is just easier (and
often cheaper) than doing it yourself. Every year, millions of Americans join new
gyms. About half will start without a plan, get discouraged when the don’t see results,
and stop going within the first six months. This is where expert help is more time
efficient and worth every penny. It’s all about YOUR return on YOU time and money.

Whether you pay for help, or decide to do it yourself, you need a plan that is specific to
you. But just like building a car, having a plan, parts, and an instruction manual is not
enough to get you in trouble for speeding; you have to actually do the work. There is no

Olympic medal for “most desire”, or “best plan”; there is only “fastest”, “Strongest”, “Did”,
and “Did Not”. Unlike working on a car, nobody else can do it for you. You DO have to
the work yourself, but you DON’T have to do it alone. We are here; ready, willing, and
eager to help.