Yesterday I wanted to install a new piece of software.
I’d researched my options and based on what I need it to do, I chose a platform I’ve seen deployed successfully at another site I trust.
This is software I don’t know much about. I could sweat the decision for weeks or longer, hoping to make the perfect choice. But instead I bit the bullet and told myself “if it works well for them, it might work well for me.” I can course correct later if I find out I’m wrong.
My next decision was which subscription plan. I could choose from Standard, Business or Enterprise. The standard three tiered pricing structure which I’ve seen a lot. The project I’m building is starting small, so I thought Standard would be the best option, until I read on into the fine print.
Good news! This software is open source so you can install it yourself for free on your own server, or for a one time fee someone from the software’s community can install it in the cloud for you.
“For free” caught my eye, but “install it yourself on your server” sounded like it might be more complicated than my technical skills could handle. I can follow instructions well enough to set up a wordpress site and put together modest IKEA furniture, but anything that starts to involve lines of code makes my head spin.
The idea that someone who was already familiar with the product could set it up for me did appeal to me, and I clicked through to a related site where I learned that Jay could set up a self hosted installation for just the cost of one month of the standard plan.
I bit the bullet and decided to go with Jay. He’s there to offer me as much or as little support as I need. He got my software up and running within 12 hours of me ordering and provided me with exactly the sort of step by step instructions I needed to complete the final stages of the setup.
I spent $100 yesterday and saved time and money. If I’d subscribed to the standard plan it was $99 per month. If I had attempted to do the installation on my own (based on my personal software setup experience) I would have spent DAYS trying to work it out.
This was a great example to me of when it didn’t make sense to try and do it myself. I’m often guilty of not asking for help. Of thinking I should be able to do it for myself. But this time I spent a few dollars to save a lot of time and/or money which I can invest in doing the things I am good at.
It was a lesson learned for me and I share it in case it might serve as a reminder.
Where could you delegate or outsource a piece of your puzzle? How might tasking someone else to solve it more cheaply and/or efficiently impact the value you can continue to create doing the work that’s most important to you?