Obstacles = opportunities i.e. don’t allow yourself to see obstacles as excuses. See them as opportunities.
My son and I have just finished a joint project to set up a new website for a client.
It wasn’t an easy project from the outset. The client’s existing website was in a bit of a pickle and remedial action resulted in two different designs on the same site.
My attempts to get login details for the existing site server failed. However, I was able to get login details for the domain name registrar.
We therefore decided to build a draft website on a directory of one of my existing domains to show the client what we had in mind to win the job.
My son did some research and we looked at the competition to get ideas before coming up with our initial design. (The image on this page is one of the rejected mock-ups I created when thinking about graphics for the site.)
We showed our draft website design to the client to get their feedback and managed to get approval to finish the project with a deadline of the end of September.
We met the deadline quite easily and the finished website was signed off by the client.
I now had the task of redirecting the domain to my server and setting up a clone of the website we had built on my server. This was a 29 step process as I did a manual clone and set up a new database for the website.
We carried out the work on a Sunday to minimise any downtime for the clients site.
Everything worked as far as the site was concerned. (You can view it here.)
However, we encountered a major problem.
Whilst, setting up the new site on Sunday afternoon, I suddenly realised that the client was using hosted emails and potentially their email systems would be down on Monday morning.
I rang my son who thought that they only had 3 email addresses when we initially discussed the project.
It turned out that they had 13 hosted email addresses and were using Microsoft Outlook, a system that my son was not familiar with!
As you can imagine we were a little bit horrified.
As my son had won the business, because it was local to where he works (but some 80 miles from me!) my son was doing all the face-to-face liaison.
Fortunately, on Sunday night I was able to gather a list of the 13 email addresses that needed setting up. I duly set up the email addresses on my server that evening.
After some tuition and guidance from me, my son attended the company at 7 a.m. the next morning and by 10 a.m. had everything set up on the clients premises to ensure that all emails were being received to begin their week.
We then discovered that the company was using Microsoft exchange and emails were being directed into 2 inboxes for each email account.
My son had to withdraw because he had his normal job to attend as a Marketing manager for an accounting software firm.
Needless to say, my son was frustrated and angry that we had encountered these problems – as was I.
However, I reminded him that the important thing to remember was that our client was getting all their emails, albeit in two inboxes.
After some online research, we managed to discover that we could set up a Rule in Outlook that automatically transfers emails coming into one folder to another folder. I did a video tutorial for my son demonstrating how this worked.
Implementing this for the company (another early morning call) resolved the problem.
The point of this story is that, whilst these obstacles literally made our blood boil with frustration, it was also an opportunity to demonstrate to the client how we could work together to resolve problems.
The result was that the client offered my son a job to work for them!
Whilst he his very happy with his existing job, it just goes to show how victory can often be snatched from the jaws of defeat.
This reminds me of a sign we had on the back of our toilet door at one time. It said something like
‘When you are up to your arse in alligators, it’s easy to forget that the initial objective was to drain the swamp.
So next time you and I meet an obstacle, let’s remind ourselves that obstacles = opportunities!