On many occasions we run into a problem that keeps on popping up again, but we continue without fixing or ignoring it thinking it will go away. Sometimes our phone is not configured and we just turn it on an off to get it running back again, on other occasions we have our DVR recording a show we no longer want it to record instead of removing it from schedule we go ahead and delete the recording over and over again to make space for other recordings.
On other occasions we make up an excuse as to what can be done just because we feel that we cannot accomplish what was asked of us. It is just easier to search for another alternative if we feel we can’t understand or master was has been requested. Especially when we don’t factor in how much time the quick fix can accumulate if we continue doing the same repetitive task.
Identifying the problem
On many occasions I get requests to create something that might be out of my comfort zone. I realize that the best way to approach this is by identifying the reason it makes me feel uncomfortable. In most occasions it might be the following like feeling it has a huge learning curve, not having the skills, not having the tools, not having the time, and or not having the experience (the easiest one to deal with). There might be other reasons but those are the main ones I might find myself in most often.
Looking for Solutions to the Problem
I usually deal with these 5 main reasons I get uncomfortable in the following ways:
1. Huge Learning Curve
I look at what needs to get done. If it has a large learning curve I look at the opportunities that can arise by overcoming that learning curve.
Will it help me serve my clients better, will it bring more income, will it help me improve and expand my service line, and overall is it something I feel like I can complete in a reasonable time. If the answer is yes then I go into research and learning mode to aligning myself to overcome the hurdle in the most efficient and effective way. If I can’t overcome the learning curve because of any other factors I mention I look for other options.
2. Not Having the Skills
Although I love to program and create small apps I do understand that sometimes I don’t have the skills to complete some projects on my own. I have a pretty good network of contacts that support my business and are trusted partners of mine, which I trust that my customers will get the best quality product or service.
A good example are the graphics and digital art that goes into the websites we create I make sure that my friend and very talented Digital Artist @ricklipsett takes care of that part. I will never have the talent Rick has because it is in his nature. But by working together I focus on my strongest skills (outside of the design aspect) and complement them with his excellent design skills.
3. Not Having The Tools
This one I handle similar to the learning curve I do a cost analysis and see if it is cost effective for me to acquire those tools. If the client has a need for software I make sure that they pay for the software license so I can complete the work. On occasions when setting up the functionality of a website it is less expensive to implement modules of code that have already been created. My clients are happier that I charge them for the module than if I re-created the wheel and charge them for the work.
4. Not Having the Time
My first approach on this one is looking for ways to make some time. Maybe you can delegate some of the easier tasks to someone else. For example in a very simple way if I can have someone help me with cutting the grass, clean my house, do my laundry, and probably review a few blog posts on my blogs it leaves me more time for me to take care of clients.
If there is a scenario where it gets out of hand and there is no way for you to take advantage of an opportunity because of time constraints or send business to your business partners. You can reach an agreement on how you will be compensated or do it out of good will. I have referred business to colleagues that might be my competitors and I have received gifts and compensation in exchange even when I was not expecting it.
When you don’t have time it might be a great opportunity for someone in your community that supports you to take advantage of it.
5. Not having the Experience
This one I find the easiest to handle. As human beings we are able to re-adjust and change if you have the previous four factors knowledge, time, skills, and tools then when an opportunity arises where you have no previous experience go for it with all your energy. It is the only way where you can diversify what you can offer others and your clients. Without being afraid of underperforming. If you have already gauged the first 4 factors you should be able to be successful in your first try.
Even if you make mistakes just be able to take ownership of them and make sure they are fixed as quick as possible leaving little or no impact.