When you find yourself in need of help, there’s simply no substitute for going to the experts.
We’ve all been there – we have a problem that needs to be solved and we’re determined to do it the wrong way. Whether we’re trying to fix a broken appliance or navigate a complex legal issue, sometimes the urge to prove we can do it all ourselves is just too strong.
Earlier this week, I found myself in that exact position when my expensive, fruit-based computer threw a wobbly after trying to upgrade the operating system. Suddenly, on a busy Wednesday morning, I found myself unexpectedly locked out of my entire system – including ALL my files and accounts. As a freelance writer and blogger, losing email and word processing capabilities at zero notice felt like being flung into the sea without a lifeline.
Understand your limits
This was a dire situation and I was in urgent need of rescue. Did I immediately get on the phone to the manufacturer’s technical support boffins, or a local computer specialist? Of course not. That would take far too long and would just waste time, I told myself. Lots of people own these models and will have experienced similar problems. The answer will be somewhere on the internet.
To be fair, it probably was. But I didn’t know how to find it. After several hours of Googling variations on “why does my Mac hate me?” and working through suggestion after suggestion – most of which I didn’t understand – without success, the situation was not solved. I was simply more frustrated, more confused and more behind on my work. So, I cracked and called in the professionals.
Within approximately half an hour, the issue had been resolved. Sadly, it didn’t result in a magic wand being waved and everything being restored to the blissful perfection of 24 hours earlier. But the problem had been identified and dealt with; I could now move on and get back on track.
Know when to ask for help
The moral of the story is, you can’t always be Superman or Wonder Woman.
Wanting to take care of things ourselves is not always a bad thing. If you can find a YouTube video to help you fix a leaky tap, saving yourself money in the process, that’s great. If a reputable free resource answers the one brief question you had about contracts, who doesn’t want to save on solicitors’ fees?
However, we all need to understand that amateurism will only get us so far before it starts to become a false economy. A bad paint job on your shop sign might be cheap, but will it lure in passing trade? A blog or email newsletter that’s riddled with spelling mistakes might get your point across, but what other messages is it conveying about your business?
Self-employed people and small business owners are, I think, even more prone to this kind of approach than many others. This is because we’re used to relying on ourselves to get things done, so it can be hard to admit we don’t have the expertise for each and every project. Also, budgets can be a huge factor, especially in the early days.
Remote teams make the world your oyster
Often, finding great support from talented people can be more affordable than we realise – as well as potentially saving us a fortune by avoiding costly mistakes. In this emerging era of remote working, the huge talent pool that’s open to even the smallest businesses is wider and deeper than ever before.
So, whether you need a mechanic to keep your wheels turning, a freelance writer to bring your blog to life or an accountant to make sure your numbers add up, it’s wise to ask for expert help when you need it. The rewards usually speak for themselves.