Posted by: Reginald Cyntje | March 31, 2009

Do It Yourself!

The Do-it-Yourself Crew

Since I was a kid I’ve known many people that were part of the do-it-yourself crew. My father is probably the most influential of them all in my life. My father is an electrician. He showed me how to take apart and put together radios, television sets, and VCRs. I began my own explorations shortly after.

Though my father was a trained electrician, I would see him fixing other things. He would change the oil, brakes, and other parts on the family cars. He would always say that mechanics charge too much to fix simple things. He replaced the doors, windows, and tiles on the family home. Then he began assisting with different radio stations on the island until he became a radio personality himself.

Later on, when our home was badly damaged by a hurricane, I saw him on the roof assisting with building a new roof for the house. My father was my first example of someone doing it themselves. Even when he did not know how to do something he would read about it and learn. Sometimes when he hired a professional he would watch them, assist them then start doing it himself.

At first I thought my father was being cheap. LOL…Granted we were not rich, but why did he spend all that time learning how to do these things. He would tell me that even when you pay someone to do something they might not take the time and care that you would.

At first, I wanted to be someone that paid people to fulfill services (oil changes, car repair, computer repair, web design, promotion, career management, etc). As I began paying people for their time I started seeing my father’s point more and more. Granted there are people out there that take great pride in what they do, but there seems to be even more that are interested in turning a buck.

I began dabbling in the art of doing-it-yourself when I was a kid. My parents gave me a BMX bike for Christmas. It was great but I quickly started to grow out the BMX stage. So instead of asking for a new bike, I began building a cruising bike by changing some of the parts of the BMX bike. Before you knew it, I changed a white BMX bike into a black frame, white wall tire, chrome fender cruising bike. 🙂

As an adult, I began looking for managers/agents that would assist me in booking gigs for my group. I met some people that expressed their interest, but the actual work was less than I expected. I decided to go full fledge into the do-it-yourself mode.

Before I began designing my own website I met with web designers and asked how much they would charge to do a basic website. The price vs. the work was crazy. When I saw these web designer’s samples I was amazed how much they were charging for the little they were going to do. The first step was designing a website which was a long learning process. My first attempt was horrible but I kept reading and trying different things until I got it right for what I needed. It was a labor of love. This was the same for booking gigs, building a mailing list, acting as my own publicist, creating buzz, etc, etc.

Why did I do all these things myself? Well, at times when I sought the help of someone that I was paying for their service the financial investment seemed greater than the assistance received. At times in my career I’ve had to be the promoter, web designer, recorder, photographer, arranger, manager, booking agent, bandleader, financier, etc, etc. I don’t want to be all these things, but I now have a greater understanding of what it takes to fulfill these tasks. I believe that you need a strong team to achieve success.

There are too many people ripping other people off. If someone doesn’t present quality for a fare price, I will Do-It-Myself. LOL



  1. i have to laugh! this is so me. i bought a house that is a fixer-upper. i’m doing a lot of the work myself, partly because of money, and partly because i see no need to pay someone to do work i can do myself. most of the work i’ve done in the house i’ve had no idea what i was doing, but i used my brain and my braun and figured it out with fairly impressive results (if i do say so myself). it makes me feel proud to look at it and be able to say ‘i did that!’

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