I enjoy building things out of wood. Sometimes, I get lost in the power tool aisle, studying tremendously expensive pieces of equipment that do amazing things in the hands of skilled operators.

I could buy that equipment, too. But would owning and using it suddenly make me a skilled cabinetmaker? Would I be able to produce furniture like an artisan? Could I apply filigrees with the deft of a sculptor? Of course not. Despite my best intentions, what I produced would invariably end up looking something whacked together out of a couple sheets of plywood.

So what is it that makes people think that buying graphic design software gives them talent? What makes them think that the newest word-processing software transforms them into a wordsmith?  Like me and the expensive woodworking equipment, they may own powerful tools, but they lack the talent, experience, and even the eye to employ them to their fullest.

Don’t fall into the trap of believing the tool is a secret to success. It’s how the tool is used to meet the objective. If you don’t believe me, use your fancy design software to create a brochure, and hire a graphic designer to do the same. When you compare the finished products, you’ll see the difference between buying the right tool and hiring the right professional.