I’m a proponent of learning new skills. I believe the sense of accomplishment are worth the frustration and time invested. Doing things that are difficult can, eventually, make you happier. But, I’m also starting to learn that paying someone to do hard stuff for me can make me pretty darn happy as well.
After seven years of running my own blog, I recently received an email from my web host letting me know that my site was no longer eligible for a shared server. It was “using too many resources”, an explanation that still doesn’t make sense to me, and I was to be “upgraded” to a virtual server that would cost five times my current monthly rate. I logged into my admin panel, took a look at graph bars that purported to be monitoring my resources, and promptly realized I was in over my head.
The support staff at my web host sent me emails with links to articles that might as well have been written in a foreign language, so completely indecipherable were they to me. I began activating, deactivating, and uninstalling willy-nilly, frantic stabs in the dark that I was told were making absolutely no difference.
I sent a plea for immediate help out to Twitter. Thirty minutes later, I paid $100 to have someone “debug my Wordpress installation.” I felt relieved and went to bed knowing the experts were in charge. The next morning, I awoke to an email from said experts letting me know that I’d have to do more than debug; I needed to find a new host and transfer all of my websites.
Fortunately, another Twitter friend had reached out to me following my initial plea was prepared to help me do exactly that. She broke my problems down into language I mostly understood and set me up with a long-term solution that will only cost twice what I’m currently paying. (Funny how double sounds like a deal after quintuple has been tossed around.)
The switch took a couple days and a few emails, but I mostly went about my life and simply waited to receive word that everything was fine. It was… strange. Not so long ago I would have stayed up until the wee hours of the morning searching forums and googling definitions as I tried to save money by fixing the problem myself. If I was lucky, I may have come up with an acceptable solution, but I would have never been able to “clean up the code” and make the behind-the-scene changes that the experts did. And, I would have lost hours (and probably clumps of hair) in the process.
Instead, I spent my weekend hanging out with friends, attending a fundraising gala, and starting a garden with my family. I suspect all of those things made me a lot happier than learning how to fix my broken site would have. Paying someone to fix my problems for me may not have been the most frugal choice, but I’m certain it was the best one for my business, myself, and even my family.
What problems do you pay to have other people fix?