“I bet you can’t walk on your hands!”

30 years ago this month, I learned this vital lesson:

We all have our natural talents…and some things, we’re just not meant to do.

See, I was in a friend’s garden. A happy time. We’d just sat our final A Level exams, the guitar was out and the barbie was flaring. All good.

Until Val, my friend, laid down a challenge: “I bet you can’t walk on your hands!”

Well – for half a second, I proved her wrong. Then one mighty tumble and shoulder crunch later, it turned out she was right.


I fell, and my left shoulder took the full force of my then 8 stone hunk of a bod. Leaving my arm in a sling for that whole pre-uni summer. And 30 years on, I still can’t sleep on my left side.

All for being a tit.

Or rather – all for trying to be something I’m not.

Look. Some folks’ll tell you, anything’s possible. That if you want it bad enough, give it your all, you can do it.


There’s no version of my life where I’m an acrobat, because I don’t have the natural sense of balance. I could never be a carpenter, because I’m total crap with my hands. I was never gonna win Wimbledon, because my depth perception is pants. And I’ll never outrun Bolt, because my feet stick out like Charlie Chaplin.

That’s how it is. There are things we’re not cut out for – no matter what Guru Dave tells you.

So, far better to know your boundaries. Focus on the one or two things you can do better than anyone. And outsource the rest.

I learned this back in ’87. And again, when I set up the business. So now, I won’t do my own web stuff. Or dabble with graphic design. Or waste time on bookkeeping. No point.

I hire peeps who were born with the raw talent to do them things. While I write copy for clients who know copy ain’t their thing.

“Yebbut that costs money, dunnit?”

Yes. But so does failure.

Dick about with stuff, and you’ll go arse over tit like 18-year-old James…and get lumbered with the consequences.

Experts are worth a shekel or twelve.

Meet the Author

James Daniel

You might not know who James is...but you've probably read his copy. Through high street clients like Hidden Hearing, or big gun marketers like Jonathan Jay and Chris Cardell. His words are out there, pulling in new business every month. What else? Well his books, Do You Talk Like That at Home? and Direct Mail 101 will help you squeeze out more sales. Oh yeah - and his new book Before You JFDI will help you plan your next campaign. Grab a free copy here.

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