It happens to the best of us.

We are cruising along on our computers, working on our next great project or idea, when all of a sudden we hit a wall. Then, one little challenge becomes seemingly impossible to move beyond. We are so close to solving it, but it just won’t work. We try and try and spend hours figuring it out, but cannot triumph over it. We waste our time and energy for the sake of doing it ourselves, and don’t stop to think about what our time is worth.

We’ve all been there

I found myself in this situation when I was working on a personal website. I found a design theme I loved, bought a domain name, and got everything up and running in record time. Suddenly found myself faced with a little change that could only be made through writing some css code. Now, admittedly, code looks like the matrix to me and I avoid writing it like the plague. But I really wanted to make this change and move on. So, I spent an hour searching google and reading forum posts. I tried some of the suggestions. They didn’t work. I posted on two separate forums and even corresponded with someone from one of them at length. He just wasn’t able to explain what to do in terms that I would understand. I probably spent 6 or 7 hours trying to get around this one little glitch before finally, in desperation, I posted on craigslist.

I begged for CSS help and offered to either a)pay for someone’s time or b), trade someone for some home brewed beer (one of my hobbies). I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I got two responses within one hour. After chatting briefly with one of the people who wrote, he jumped into the back-end of my website and made the necessary changes within a half an hour of getting access.

Are you in the process of launching a business online?

Maybe you have an offline business and have finally decided to go after that “web presence” that everyone tells you that you should have. Maybe you’re just struggling to use technology to make your life easier. You’re talented, unique and creative. You have skills that most other people don’t have, but dealing with technology may not be one of them. And that’s okay. One of my key takeaways from my craigslist CSS experience is that you should never hesitate to ask for help when it’s clearly needed.

I have found that giving that help to other people is one of the most rewarding and satisfying things that I can do with my time. That’s why I’m launching cloud-coach.net. I talk to so many exciting small business people with fantastic ideas and lofty dreams who are slowed down by little technology challenges. Taken separately, they are no big deal, but in concert they can be enough to stop someone with a great idea dead in their tracks.

Leave a comment for a free month of coaching

In celebration of the launch of this website, I am offering one month of free coaching to two individuals.  Whoever offers the best answer to this question in the comments between April 6 and 13th will win:

What is your biggest frustration or

problem when it comes to technology?

What would you stand to gain by

solving it once and for all?

You can also tweet to win- Simply share this page on twitter. If you’d like to write your own tweet, make sure it includes this link:  http://bit.ly/cloudcoach. All tweets and comments must be written by midnight on April 13th, 2011.

Photo cour­tesy of Jill Clardy

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