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Techmare on Elm Street

Techmare on Elm Street“Techmares” hijack my dreams, disguised as terrifying little gremlins I instantly recognize as “can’t”

It’s really true…

there are those things…

I simply cannot do. 

So I try all day, hunched over my melting laptop, with the taunting echoes of children playing carelessly drifting in through my makeshift office window facing Elm Street … code this, embed that, integrate systems and platforms to make it all work.  When it’s all over, and the street is silent, and I understand that I just can’t make it work, I retreat to the comfort of a deep night’s sleep.

But sleep won’t come easily. 

Lost in the techmares of the day’s failures, I toss and turn.  The gremlins called “can’t” tug at my blankets and a deep chill arrests me.  Startled and dismayed, I find my fingers searching in the dark to turn on a dim light by my bed as I reach for that frightening little laptop, once again.

“Maybe if I try one more thing,” I think.

But my mind won’t stop, and I try to work my way out of the techmare that mocks me without mercy.

In time, I give in to exhaustion, hit the shut down prompt and turn off the light.

Haunted by the day’s failures, and the nagging knowledge that I must accomplish that which I can’t… I wonder if my techmare will return.

Have you ever lived through nights like that?

What solutions have you discovered to get past technical issues that hold you back from making your online blog or business move forward?

Here’s some of the solutions I’ve learned to turn to, so I can get back on track with my business… and return to a good night’s sleep, even on days when I sheepishly submit to “can’t”.

Hire An Expert

This is the most obvious thing to do, and I’ve done it many times.

Fiverr, Odesk and Elance all come to mind, but there are others, too.

I have to say, I’ve had a really good experience with Fiverr especially.  You just have to be sure to hire someone with an excellent rating, and someone who’s done a lot of Fiverr gigs over a fairly long period of time (at least a year). 

I usually just search a category I need help with, and start searching through the many people who offer the services I need.

So if I need a banner, for instance, I’d simply search “banners” and look through all the vendors who create banners for me.  I pick someone who looks good, then hire them for the gig.

Over time, I build up a list of people I work with on a fairly regular basis, so I don’t always have to go through the search process.  I just swivel my rolodex, and call on a trusted gig vendor through the Fiverr platform.

You could also hire someone you know from your online network of folks.  Who do you know that can fix your WordPress problem, or create an ebook for you?  Why not call on them?

Barter Away Your Techmares

Bartering your services for some technical assistance is another great way to put the techmares to rest.

I just mentioned hiring someone from within your circle of contacts, your online network of friends and associates.

Well, an alternative to hiring them to do some technical work for you, is to offer them a barter situation.

Here’s an example of the type of barter arrangement I’ve done in the past:

Hey Carrie [fake name, of course], you look pretty busy these days.  That’s good!  But you might be needing a little help.  Actually, I do too, and I know you could help me because you’re so great at creating landing pages.  I need a squeeze page for my free ebook offer, and I’m wondering if you could put one together for me.  If you would create a squeeze page for me, I’d be happy to write a blog post of 1000 to 1500 words for you… not a guest post, just a post in your voice that you can put your name on and use any way you’d like.  How about it, Carrie?  PS: Don’t be shy about saying ‘no’… I understand if you can’t do it at this time.

This is what you call a win-win.  No money gets exchanged, but I get my squeeze page and “Carrie” gets a good quality blog post.  It works because Carrie is much better at creating landing pages, and I’m much better at writing.

Win-Win, don’t you think?

My Secret Weapon

I’ve met so few people who make good use of a company’s “support desk” that I often tell my clients that it’s my “secret weapon.

Of course, it’s no secret to anyone that you can ask for technical assistance via support desks, but very few people I know really use this method consistently or methodically.

Do you have an autoresponder? A video upload service?  How about a hosting service for your blog? 

Just about any product, system or service that you ever buy into at any level at all will offer free technical support.

Before hiring anybody to handle technical issues you might be having, think of a service that’s involved.  Then, very thoroughly and completely document your issue and submit it to their support desk. 

Attach supporting screen captures to help them identify your problem.  Give them access to your site so they can get into your back office and figure out your problem.

Keep copies of all your support questions and answers on separate documents on your desktop so you can readily refer to them as needed.  I use Evernote (free version), so I don’t even have to create desktop documents, and so I can more easily locate my notes on a wide variety of technical issues.

You’d be amazed at the high quality of very professional technical assistance you can get at absolutely no cost if you do this the right way, and that includes being courteous and giving thanks for good advice. 

You could even consider offering to do testimonials for companies that give you great, consistent technical assistance in this way.  It only furthers the working relationship between you and some really top notch techies.

My Personal Assistant

For quick fixes, I find that hiring a good mentor or coach is worth its weight in gold.  Find someone who will work with you on an “as-needed” basis to resolve issues that would otherwise bog you down and cause you techmares at night.

It’s not easy to find people like this because coaching is so often cost prohibitive.  But I don’t think I’ve ever come across a successful online entrepreneur who doesn’t have good coaching and technical assistance at the heart of their business model.

I offer assistance on many levels through the “Whirlwind Success VIP Club” that I operate with my wife, Donna.

One of the cornerstones of our VIP Club is to help people get past technical issues on an immediate, individual basis.  So, if you can’t get your videos embedded on a sales page, for instance, you just catch us on our “Hotline” and ask for help.  We talk you through your problem via Skype, email or even telephone so you can keep moving forward in building your business.

It’s pretty cool and members are certainly loving it.

Whirlwind Success VIP Club

So, what are your Halloween horror stories?

Tell me about your own miserable little techmares.

Do they keep you up at night?

Do you have a place to turn when you confront those things that you just “can’t” solve on your own?

Do you have techmare cures of your own that I didn’t mention in this article?

Or is all well for you on Elm Street?

I’d love to read your comments below.  Please share this article on your social sites, too.

David Merrill 101
I'm an Internet Marketer and Online Marketing Coach. My students learn no-nonsense, power strategies and techniques to build solid blogging and internet businesses. David Merrill+

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35 Responses to Techmare on Elm Street

  1. Sue Bride October 19, 2014 at 2:20 am #

    Ever since I saw that black screen on my first PC with only the C prompt C:\ I was determined to find out what I could do from there.

    So I tend to battle away at solving tech things myself as they’re a challenge to me and I feel good when I work them out. My web design course at college was prehistoric so I taught myself up to date html and CSS coding. But it’s easy to be motivated to work things out when they involve areas you are passionate about.

    If I have problems and get frustrated I leave it alone and come back with a fresh mind.

    So I don’t get tech nightmares but I do have to find help for some aspects of marketing and I use lots of tools to save time.

    I’m lucky to be a part of some supportive online groups where we help each other and I watch your Whirlwind Success webinars too.

    If I join an affiliate business I try to make sure that there’s plenty of teamwork involved so we can call on each others knowledge and skills. It’s more fun and satisfying than going it alone too.

    I’d love to get to the stage where I can hire people to do tasks that I find mundane or too difficult. I’m going to think more about your excellent idea for bartering and see what I can offer and to who. I find that when I offer help for free most people will reciprocate in some way, somewhere down the track, even though I don’t do it for that reason.
    Sue Bride´s last blog post ..Marketing Tips That Don’t Work

    • David Merrill 101 October 23, 2014 at 12:04 am #

      You’ve made some interesting points here, Sue.

      It’s a good idea to gravitate to groups that you can get help from. As you say, some affiliate programs give good team support, and that’s a great opportunity to learn how to get things done.

      Submitting support tickets for software and systems you’ve bought into is also a good way to get some collaborative support, as I mentioned in the article.

      When things really get tough, though, and you just can’t solve your tech issues, I really like your idea to “leave it alone and come back with a fresh mind.” It’s amazing how helpful that is. So often, when I return to a problem or issue I struggled with so hard, gets almost easily resolved when I return to after clearing my mind from it for a while.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  2. Dexter Roona October 19, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    This is a great article, must of taken a while to write this…. also great use of images.

    When i have a techmare i tend to contact Sue Bride 😉

    regards Dexter

    • David Merrill 101 October 23, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

      Speaking of tech stuff, Dexter… I don’t do well with images at all.

      Fortunately, my JV Partner (and wife, Donna) is sitting on the other side of the room and is always happy to pitch in with my image issues 🙂
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Get The Best Email Marketing Results

  3. Donna Merrill October 19, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

    Hey David,

    Love the beginning of this article…it just pulled me into the “story” you have shared. Yes, I do have techmares lol. Well you know me well enough that I get the jitters just going into my back office on my WordPress blog!

    There have been so many times when things don’t connect, don’t work out, something I’m using goes down for a while and I freak out. Thank God I do have you by my side to fix them.

    The best part here is your secret weapon! I know because I’ve seen you in action doing so. When things go haywire, I’ve watched the way you have it all done so quickly.

    I also like that “barter” system. It is a great way to get things done, especially if we are on a group of bloggers, techies, marketers. In my own experience I have bartered several times with some of my peeps and it worked out so well.

    Thanks David for this awesome post!

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill´s last blog post ..Joint Ventures

    • David Merrill 101 October 23, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

      It’s funny you mention how I help you with your tech issues, because I just left a reply to another comment saying how I always get help with doing my images from you.

      Partnership is great, isn’t it?

      I really like bartering, too. We have built such vast networks of great online entrepreneurs and every single one of them can contribute to our business… and we can contribute to theirs. So before going crazy and looking “outside”, I always try to “hire within”. It’s easy. Just reach out to folks you know have expertise that you don’t and offer to do an exchange service with them.

      Life doesn’t have to be so hard as we sometimes make it…. lol
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  4. NT Izuchi October 19, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    Ahh do everything ourselves is one of the biggest issues. Guess what? I still to it til today. It’s almost as we are trying to make a point or prove ourselves when outsourcing and having someone do it is the best option and having a mentor is non-negotiable and a must! Great post David!
    NT Izuchi´s last blog post ..How To Start An Internet Marketing Podcast | 120 Free Minutes Using SoundCloud

    • David Merrill 101 October 23, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

      Thanks for jumping in here, NT.

      I’m glad you underscored the importance of a mentor or coach.

      There’s so many things that need to happen to make an online business thrive, and we do try to do it all ourselves. But it’s all so much easier and faster with quality mentoring and coaching. And as a coach myself, I find speed is essential for so many of my clients. If they can’t figure out how to get their online business going, and soon… they’re just going to get discouraged and move on to something else.

      So, in a business sense, getting good coaching really can be a “life or death” move.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  5. Sarah Arrow October 19, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    Tech nightmares… where do I start 😀
    I actually barter around skills to fix issues, and I’ve a local guy who works full time but is tech minded for anything I can’t negotiate for. That said my recent tech issue meant the only cure was to pull down the entire site and start again. Ouch.
    Sarah Arrow´s last blog post ..3 ways to supercharge your blogging

    • David Merrill 101 October 23, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

      Sounds like you’ve worked out a good system to get the tech assistance you need, Sarah.

      Pulling an entire site down is not fun, though. I hope you had backup systems in place, or even a clone to work from. That can be a costly experience in terms of tech repairs as well as lost business and contacts.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  6. Nathaniel Kidd October 19, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

    I wish I would have read this blog post months ago 🙂 That is a great idea to notate support ticket information on evernote. I have evernote but do not consistently use it like I should. This is much better than just opening up a text document.

    I also use Fiverr and love it. There are some great gigs there, you just have to find them. I have used them many tips for tech stuff on my blog and banners. Thanks for sharing.
    Nathaniel Kidd´s last blog post ..How to Save on Life Insurance

    • David Merrill 101 October 24, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

      Love to hear people using Evernote. It’s such a great tool isn’t it, Nathaniel?

      You really need to keep organized when you’re dealing with lots of Support Ticket issues. That’s the beauty of integrating Evernote because you can capture and organize all your tech issues so quickly inside of it, and even better… you can retrieve them via keywords instead of looking all over the place for text documents on your hard drive.

      Another tip, by the way. Don’t count on Support desks to keep all your past tickets. I’ve seen many, many of them vanish into… somewhere called “away.” Keep them on docs, text files or Evernote. You’ll be glad you did!
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..8 Steps To Create Your Digital Information Product

  7. Kyle Holcomb October 19, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

    Great story! I am living in one of those nightmares right now! I just completed my new domain and I am working on the autoresponder that you suggested that I get. It is a lot of work, but it is going to be more than worth it in the end. I cannot afford to pay for services, so I am doing it all as I go and I am using Google for any support that I need. I just asked Donna to look over my new site to let me know what she thinks and what needs to be changed. Thank you for your support and advice because I know it is going to make a significant change in my business, income, and life. Thank you for sharing!
    Kyle Holcomb´s last blog post ..Free Webinars

    • David Merrill 101 October 24, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

      Great to see you setting up the autoresponder sequences, Kyle.

      It’s funny (not really funny, though) to see folks work so hard to build a list, then have no idea what to do with it. Worse than that, they don’t have any sequences prepared for new subscribers and don’t even give it a second thought!

      Those are the same people who usually complain months later that email marketing “doesn’t work”.

      Glad to have you in the VIP Club, Kyle. Don’t forget to contact us anytime you get stuck with anything. We’re here for you so you don’t get bogged down with a bunch of nonsense that we can quickly get you past.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Get The Best Email Marketing Results

  8. Karen Peltier October 20, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    I’ve definitely had my share of technical problems/nightmares! A few months back I switched my blog over to Go Daddy’s Word Press hosting system. My site was down for two days due to server issues on their end that were out of my control. Then when it was back up I was having problems with the new WordPress theme. Thankfully, things got back up and running, but to this day it seems to have hurt my site traffic. Not sure who to turn to on that one!

    I never heard of Fiverr or Evernote, but they sound like fantastic resources. Wish I had heard of these a long time ago. I’m definitely going to check them out.

    Also, the idea of exchanging services definitely seems like a great idea. I’ll need to try that one. 🙂
    Karen Peltier´s last blog post ..I Chomped on Some Crickets for a Quick Protein Fix. Would You?

    • David Merrill 101 October 24, 2014 at 10:13 pm #

      Sorry to hear of all you hosting problems, Karen.

      Go Daddy is always having issues, it seems. You might want to consider “managed hosting” which means someone will manage your hosting and all the related issues like if plugins are crashing each other, backups, security and the like.

      I started using KWW a while back and I love it. No more techmares on that front at least 🙂 You might know Kumar at gauraw dot com. He’s the KWW guy. Check out his services, you may like it.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Do Shiny Objects Drive Online Entrepreneurs Crazy?

  9. Joan Harrington October 20, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

    Hi David,

    Awesome post and share! Yes, I have had my share of techie issues as well lol

    Tons of valuable tips I need to implement….

    Thank you!!
    Joan Harrington´s last blog post ..How To Bond With Your Readers

    • David Merrill 101 October 24, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by, Joan.

      I hope you’ve learned a few strategies for dealing with your next tech issue.

      I have to laugh when bloggers, internet marketers and the rest get so freaked out about technical problems. I mean, it’s not fun, but it’s just part of the business when you’re an online entrepreneur.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  10. Nile October 20, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

    I avoid Fiverr at all cost, especially graphics. I make my own, but I’ve been seeing a lot of “graphic” designers pass off licenses graphics within logos and such, and even STOLE other artists’ works. This year alone, I’ve reported more than 7 dozen cases of stolen graphics that were taken from good artists from deviantart (including my own work), and put into themes, banner, ebooks, and logos.
    Nile´s last blog post ..Tag Cloud Do’s and Don’ts

    • David Merrill 101 October 24, 2014 at 11:15 pm #

      It’s always a great idea to make your own graphics if you can, Nile.

      Most people don’t have that capability, though. So they have no choice but turn to 3rd party sources, but as you point out, nothing is fool proof. We always have to rely on due diligence.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..3 Ways Bloggers Make Money Online

      • Nile October 27, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

        Exactly… I wish they would be diligent at researching graphic designers, because I issued several DCMA last week and reported several gigs that stole some of my work. lol

        Great advice and the bartering is great as long as the exchange is equal.
        Nile´s last blog post ..#WordPressWednesday 2014 Volume 10

  11. Zach October 22, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    What you’ve shared is a valuable lesson in delegation. Those who start their own businesses or are self driven often have a hard time handing responsibilities off to others. However, the more successful they get, the more impossible it is for them to do everything.

    Great tips. Fiverr has been a good resource for me as well.
    Zach´s last blog post ..Abuse of Process and Frivolous Lawsuits Part III: Abuse of Process

  12. David Bennett October 22, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

    Did you draw the terrific image of the red fox?

    Well, let’s see – What do I do?

    I’ve never used oDesk but I have used PeoplePerHour for data crunching and research.

    And I use an application named Ulysses to store information in one place – much as you do with Evernote.

    And I definitely used tech support. And of course – Google is always a good lead to finding answers.

    Mentor – no, I don’t have one. I can see the attraction of someone to bounce ideas off but it’s just never happened.
    David Bennett´s last blog post ..Photographing With A Purpose, Framing To Add Text Later

    • David Merrill 101 October 25, 2014 at 12:08 am #

      The red fox, David, was snagged by Donna. It was isolated from urban graffiti, and she modified it as you can see.

      Sounds like you’ve got all your ducks in a row when it comes to your tech challenges.

      As for mentoring, I guess that’s what online entrepreneurs call it. In the corporate and institutional world it’s called consulting. In any event,it’s not common for people to reach high levels of success without the assistance and guidance of experts, teachers and consultants in one form or another.

      Thanks for your input, David.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Do Shiny Objects Drive Online Entrepreneurs Crazy?

  13. Siphosith October 22, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

    Very Informative post. I like the hire an expert and the way you go about it after you ‘ve found one. Also just using the support desk. Thanks for sharing.
    Siphosith´s last blog post ..Finding The Best Prospect Leads

    • David Merrill 101 October 25, 2014 at 12:15 am #

      Most people I’ve spoken with about this topic, have never thought of support desks as an important part of their technical “staff.”

      But they actually do function in that way, Siphosith. I’d say that an awful lot of the technical advancement that I’ve made online has come from the patient assistance of some very gracious and extremely talented folks manning a wide variety of support desks.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Do You Want To Rank Page One On Google?

  14. Chery Schmidt October 22, 2014 at 11:53 pm #

    Hello David, What an Awesome intro my friend! You really pulled me in LOL OH Yeh es, I have techmares all right. Alot of it has to do with my internet connection challenges.. I will have a training scheduled and cannot even get online to let anyone know.. The worst part is when I work with my Nigerian team!

    I can’t just pick up the phone and set a new appointment..OH YEH TECHMARES Happen to me more often then I care to think about..

    Well this is just something I deal with,, I love all your tips David and will keep them in mind. Bartering sure does make sense, I can see how this could be beneficial to all parties involved..

    Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt´s last blog post ..The Recipe To Become A Successful Online Entrepreneur

    • David Merrill 101 October 25, 2014 at 12:20 am #

      The funny thing, Chery, is that people think they’re all alone when they work on their internet business.

      In reality, our efforts are undertaken amidst a sea of highly qualified people that can be found in forums, masterminds, support desks and others.

      You’re never alone out here, it just seems that way sometimes. Especially when faced with seemingly insurmountable technical issues that we’re ill equipped to handle on our own.

      That’s when it’s time to reach out to others.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..List Building With Video | Introducing Breakthrough Video

  15. Mark October 24, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    Really sound advice Coach!

    I can still remember my very first foray into trying to learn the basics of using WordPress as a blogging platform.

    You talk about techmares! What an understatement! But like you going forward, I’ve learned to either as you wisely pointed out.

    Either pay them for their expertise, which I’ve done. Or barter with them in some way, which is really my preferred strategy of choice for the smaller incidentals.

    And I to had had lots of success finding some very skilled techies on elance as well.

    And closer to home, about a month or so, you shared a very simple solution in one of our Facebook groups, to apply to capturing an image.

    You merely suggested that I use Jing, which I had completely forgotten about! Because it was so much easier and faster than the over complicated solution I was thinking our pursuing!

    So that’s exactly what I did and the task was done in less than two minutes!Thanks! Coach! Great tips!
    Mark´s last blog post ..So How Would You Build A Really Big Mailing List On Just $20 Dollars A Day!

    • David Merrill 101 October 25, 2014 at 12:25 am #

      Glad to hear that the tidbit of Jing advice solved your problems, Mark.

      Sometimes it’s the simplest little things that can stop us in moving our business forward, when some 2 minute advice from a coach can get you over the hurdle and back in the race without skipping a beat.

      Keep in stride, my friend. I see you doing some great things out here!
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  16. Sonia October 26, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

    Oh boy David!

    I came to read your article at just the right time! I am having a Techmare right now and am tearing my hair out trying to solve it!

    Can’t is not in my vocabulary so I will persist until I find the solution.

    What I found inspiring about this article is your choc a block value about how to source solutions and to not get hung up on trying to do everything yourself.

    However being very budget limited, I’ll keep persisting myself for now 🙂

    Thanks heaps!
    Sonia´s last blog post ..Prepare To Sell From Pinterest II

  17. David Merrill 101 October 28, 2014 at 11:52 am #

    Well hopefully, Sonia, what you can take away from this article is that there are very affordable and even free methods for overcoming your techmares.

    The most important thing is to overcome the “can’t” in your vocabulary, and you seem to have that well under control.

    There are, of course, things that we don’t know how to do, and things we don’t want to invest a ton of time in learning how to do. That doesn’t mean the problem can’t get solved. There are people, software, services and systems that can help us get past obstacles.

    The important thing is to keep moving forward, and not allowing yourself to get stuck for too long on any single issue. Get it solved, whatever it takes, and keep moving forward.
    David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  18. Rachel Lavern November 23, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    Hi David,

    Your post title made me smile. Never heard the term ‘techmare’ but is is very appropriate.

    I am different from most people in that I love technology challenges. Now, having a technology degree and having worked in the IT field for many years makes the things most consider challenging not so to me. The challenge that I have is WANTING is solve the problem myself just because I enjoy doing so. I do enjoy troubleshooting but my time can really be put to better use so delegation would be smarter (but less satisfying).
    Rachel Lavern´s last blog post ..Business Lessons Learned While Hiking

  19. nick catricala December 15, 2014 at 6:56 pm #

    David,
    “TechMares” I say to my self… what is this? Well while reading further, soon I found out and recognized my self of being part of it hahah 🙂

    This is a big issue issues for me… because I am doing it as we speak. I still to it til today. Not 100% certain why.. but deep down it may be because I have always been this way and making a change to allow others to do what I believe I should know how to do it my self and asking anyone else means that I do not want to learn or I may admit that I cannot learn and for some reason that is hard most times hahah 🙂

    Having a mentor is part of my plan and at times I find one that suit the situation and that is always welcome..

    Thanks for sharing this essential article to wake some of us up david.
    _nickc
    nick catricala´s last blog post ..Be Grateful and Happy Vegan ThanksGiving

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