When to Call for Help

Nov 28, 2018Stories, Video


Everybody should know that people have their zone of genius and that if they need to get somebody outside of that zone of genius that they should be able to do that.

Oh, hello, happy Wednesday, December 28th, 2018. It's Monica here and I wanted to talk t you about something that's happening to me right now. I have been trying to help a client optimize their shopify site and I am not really a Shopify expert but I am a coding expert. I've been coding since I was eight and so most of the time I can get in there and fix stuff, but this has made me want to like hurt people. I'm doing all of my tips and tricks, all the things that I know how to do to optimize a site, like changing the javascript, I'm pushing it down. I don't want to get super techie on you, but it's like this puzzle and you can rearrange it to make your site load faster and not lose any of the functionality and speed page is really important, right?

And my client got this pretty complex ecommerce site with like a bunch of different options and really cool stuff. He's actually like one of the coolest guys I know. He's got like all these fun stories and he's just so much fun to talk to. So like I really love him and I want to do a good job, but I literally had to call them today and be like, “I'm really sorry I've put lots of hours into this and I almost cried, good that I didn't. I was like, “I'm failing you, but I don't want to stop yet. I want to call it in some bigger brains than mine on this specific area.” So I am a full stack developer, which means I can code database level all the way up to what you see on a screen. There's lots of layers that go into that but what you see on the screen is actually my least area of expertise in actual coding it. So how you interact with it- I'm really good at that, but coding Javascript and CSS, which are the tools that sort of make it work together and make it work the right way- I'm good at that. I am not excellent.

So basically, I had to call him and say, “I have to hire someone smarter than me or you do.” One of us has to hire somebody smarter than me because you're out of my realm of expertise here. I need somebody that is a Javascript Ninja and I am like a Javascript- I don't even know what. I need a black belt and I'm like a green belt. So, that was a really hard phone call to make, right?

You never want to call a client and be like, “Hey, can't really do this. I'm going to need to get help.” And I debated whether or not just to hire the help and never tell him, but it didn't feel like that was fair either just for the relationship that we have, some clients you might want to do that with and some you don't, but just I've been really transparent with him about everything. And what happened actually, he was like, “okay, do it.” And then I have this other project that I think we should work on together. So I think it helped our relationship for me to be like, “It's time to get somebody smarter than me, like I am failing here.” And so what I wanted to talk to you about a little bit was to know when that happens to you.

So if you're spinning your wheels at something and when I say spinning your wheels, I mean you're trying something new or trying something and you're not making much traction. And I generally- depends on what I'm doing with optimization stuff, like it's a dark pit of yuck- So I normally give myself 10 to 15 hours and that's about how much time I've spent on this and I'm just really not succeeding. So at that point, that's actually too much time for other stuff that I normally [do]. Normally, if it's like five hours I've spent on it and I'm not getting where I want to be or at least not making progress, that's when I know that I need somebody better. So that's when I call in somebody else to help because this is where his zone of genius comes in, right?

I am a good overall developer. I'm good at, really good at, systems and spotting things and how they work together, but I'm not necessarily amazing at like this one little spot of it. And you need both kinds of people, right? So when you get stuck in, you're spinning your wheels, go out and find help and how you find how I talked to my video yesterday actually about how to hire so you can do it that way, but I'm also really using my network so I'm making a few phone calls to some great friends and asking them for help for who they know of Javascript experts. Because at this point in my career, most of my friends are management level or higher and senior management level. So they're not good at Javascript anymore. We've all been out of it for a little bit there where we could do it.

But I need like a Ninja, like a black belt. Right? So I'm going to go find this person and I'm going to get this project done for my client and I'm going to charge them reasonable money because he has been so awesome. And then maybe we'll work on this whole project again, which will be really cool because that's what happens when you work with good people too, is that they don't be like, “Oh, well that's terrible. You shouldn't, you shouldn't tell me these things.” I don't like to work with people like that. Everybody should know that people have their zone of genius and that if they need to get somebody outside of that zone of genius that they should be able to do that. So, that's what I'm doing. I'm going to find somebody who is way geekier than me, but I still bring skill to him because he can't speak geek, right?

So the super geeky people can't speak to business people. I'm like in the middle where I can talk to them both. So I'm going to be the translator and still charged for that. Don't worry. I definitely want to make sure that this project gets done because really at the end of the day, he doesn't really care who does it, he just wants his site to be fast so that his customers can buy things quicker. And isn't that what we all want- fast sites so that people can buy things quicker? So that's my fun business obstacle of the day. Is that a Hashtag on instagram, the ‘o' in ootd instead of outfit of the day, business obstacle of the day. Can we start? Is that a thing? All right, let's start that. So hashtag B O O T. Tell me your business problems and we can probably get them solved. Okay. Hope you have a great day. I will talk to you again tomorrow.