Spreadsheets Give Me The Fear
Spreadsheets give me the fear.
Ever since studying Office Studies at school in the 90s, where I excelled (no pun intended!) in hand written accounts and ledgers (still how I do my accounts now), yet instantly detested computer spreadsheets and declared I would never use them and flounced out of class, I have been spreadsheetily challenged.
The figures geek in me LOVES that other people actually understand the formulas and create amazeballs spreadsheets! About everything, there’s nothing can’t be spreadsheeted! But my brain has a big red NOPE over my spreadsheet brain cell, and it’s a Hard nope that has never shifted.
Usually, I just say “I don’t do spreadsheets” and either find a non spreadshitty workaround, or just abandon the task in hand. I find that very easy. I have 215 things to do every day, and I’m great at prioritising. I’m also great at simply ditching anything where the negativity will massively out balance the positivity. So I’ve never once found myself in a corner where I’ve had to face spreadsheets. The occasional dabble I’ve had, I understand them less and less each time, and I don’t really mind, cos it just reassures me that I do the right thing by refusing to engage with them 😂
Anyway. This is a great huge tale to say that I’ve recently outsourced some work to a VA - a Virtual Assistant. Get me.
What was it? It was a very simple spreadsheet that I needed split into 10 smaller spreadsheets. Now, if I didn’t have this complete arrrrgggghhhh in my brain, around spreadsheets, it would probably take, like 7 clicks, 90 seconds, job done. But I DO have this arrrrgggghhhh in my brain, around spreadsheets, so I pondered it for a couple of days, but knew I'd already made my decision. I could either sit for days, trying to work it all out on my own, and no doubt manage after a fashion...eventually, and with a bucket load of swearing and negative vibes, maaaan, OR, I could outsource this tiny little menial task, to someone who could do it as quickly and easily as pouring a cup of tea. So that's what I did.
With the exception of printing labels and stuff, this is the first time I've outsourced anything since day one. I don't really 'need' to outsource anything - I even enjoy the admin side of running a small business, which would be the part most folk would/do outsource if they can. But I can tell you, having done this once, I will never, ever, ever even OPEN a spreadsheet with the intention of doing anything with it. I will instantly forward them to my VA, with a wee 'please and thank you' and not trouble my non-spreadsheety-head about one single cell of the evil thing!
And the cost? For this tiny (for her) task, which would have cost me many, many hours, over many, many days, of struggle and frustration? £20. Twenty pounds for an instant and painless way of achieving my goal/needs, whilst avoiding untold hours of wasted, negative, pissed off-ness. I don't know if it took her an hour or 90 seconds, and I really don't care - when we contract anyone to do anything for us, in exchange for money, we're not just paying for their time in this moment, we're paying for their years of experience AND the benefit of the outcome - whether that's an amazing handmade item, or saving you untold hours of confusion and frustration.
Spreadsheetily challenged yourself? Product Virtual Assistant Adele is yer wummun!