Analogies are an effective way to help illustrate a point, so let’s use one to illuminate the self-service vs. as-a-service debate.
Some folks like to wash their own car, mow their own lawn, and do their own home improvement projects. They have the skills, aptitude, and preference for self-service in these areas and they’d much rather do it themselves than pay someone else to do it for them.
Others, however, will gladly pay to have their car washed, their lawn mowed, and their home improved—even while they may have the skills to do these things well themselves.
People with a do-it-yourself approach to domestic chores may think this way because they believe they can do a better job than someone else, or simply because they take pride in self-sufficiency. Both are good reasons, and such people often know exactly what they want and how they want a job performed—and they’re totally fine handling it on their own. For them, it’s a belief that, “If you want a job done right, do it yourself.”
Likewise, it’s often not the case that “do-it-for-me” people don’t have the skills or fortitude to handle a job on their own. Rather, they believe they have other more important things to do with their time, or understand that someone who specializes in certain tasks can be more efficient and effective than themselves. It’s a worldview that, “I should focus on what I do best and not spend time on things that I don’t personally need to do on my own.”
Which Is Better?
Is one approach better than the other? I don’t think so—that is, assuming the strategy you choose aligns with your goals, skills, and priorities.
For example, if I spend time doing something that is not truly necessary for me to do (say, mowing the lawn or trimming the shrubs around my house) and simultaneously I am not spending time on another task that only I can do (such as improving my health by going to the gym and exercising), then that may not be a good match because I’m achieving one goal (nice yard), but not two (nice yard plus good health).
Taking care of the landscaping—something I could probably pay someone to do—can be personally rewarding, but if by doing so it means I’m not taking care of my health, then there’s a mismatch between total resources allocated and total benefits gained.