act helpMany years ago my husband and I attempted to wallpaper our dining room.  Of course it didn’t help that we began work on this DIY project two weeks before Thanksgiving and were under a time crunch.  I carefully set up a table in the garage where we applied the paste and carried the soggy paper through the house and into the dining room.  Needless to say by the end of the trip the paper was in shreds.  After we had pretty much mangled the project we called in a professional who just looked at us and shook his head.  He finally managed to ask why we hadn’t simply set up our table in the dining room.  Quite frankly the thought never occurred to either one of us, nor had the concept of purchasing pre-glued paper.

I like to think of myself as a fairly smart person.  However, I also know my limitations, and know when I need to call in the experts.  I’ve learned over the years that money I spend on a consultant, book or course is well worth its price when I compare it to the time it might take me to eventually wave the white flag and concede defeat.

To paraphrase Ben Franklin, “he who teaches himself is taught by a fool.”

I run into folks all the time who prefer the DIY route when it comes to software.  I understand the desire to tinker with software; after all, I do it myself.  Unfortunately, those same folks who teach themselves usually make the same mistake that I did when I tried my hand at wallpapering:   they didn’t keep it simple.  As I work to untangle the convoluted system that they created – which, by the way, doesn’t provide them with the functionality that they had hoped for – they often mutter something like, “Gee, that was easy!”  It’s amazing how simple tasks become when we actually know what we’re doing!

My suggestion is that if you really want to master a software title, learn from a pro.  There are a number of avenues available to you.  I’ve written numerous titles for Wiley Publishing who has created For Dummies titles on over 2,000 topics; they even have a book that covers wallpapering!  I recently created and recorded training videos for; for a yearly subscription you have access to online learning courses on hundreds of software titles.  If you prefer that up close and personal approach hire a good consultant; just make sure that the consultant specializes in the specific area you need help with.  Don’t settle for a computer guy who “is really good;” it’s your time, your money and your business.  Get help from an expert who will be able to simplify the learning process.