A few months ago my friend sat down with me to figure out a website issue I’d been stuck on for weeks.
Long story short: After weeks of Googling, watching screencasts, and getting lost in a seemingly endless trail of forum threads, I still couldn’t figure out how to fix this on my own.
We sat down at a coffee shop and he helped me out.
When he got started to get stuck, he Googled to figure things out.
He looked at forum threads and blog posts and poked around.
He did a lot of the same stuff I did.
Granted, he sorted through the useless crap a lot faster than I would have because he knew what information to look for. But he still generally did the same things I did in order to find the answers he was looking for.
Then it hit me: Techy people Google things too.
I’m sharing this because as I’m sitting here working on my own startup, I’m doing a lot of stuff on my own to get it off the ground. It’s all stuff I’ve learned after five years of working in startups, learning along the way, and Googling to learn how to do it — Photoshop, building a website, you name it.
I’m happy I know how to do these things now, but I wish I felt more psyched about the process of learning them.
There were many times I felt really intimidated working in a room full of engineers.
“Oh God,” I thought. “I can’t believe I have to look another thing up. They must never have to do things like this. I’m so stupid. I suck. I can’t believe I have to do this yet again. I’m awful. I should just quit and go do something else with my life.”
That attitude sucks.
I wish I realized how valuable my willingness to Google things was and how much I was absorbing by challenging myself like that.
Women are often the marketers, sales people, and admins at startups. Let’s face it.
My message here has a universal application, but I want women especially to hear it loud and clear:
Don’t hold yourself back with the misguided idea that no one else is figuring out technical skills along the way too.
Teach yourself new stuff by Googling as you go. Be really proud and confident in that process. Don’t get frustrated with yourself.
It can lead to exciting new projects within your own company and a ton of cost savings should you start your own company one day.