Sunday, July 18, 2010

(Not) Accepting Defeat

Last week, my top priority was to complete a new video course for Envision Coaching Solutions, upload the file, and get everything set for people to purchase the course from the website. One of my goals with Envision is to reach more people than I can help through one-to-one interaction, so this video course on building purpose is an important facet of that objective. Since it's the first paid product I've put online, there were a few unexpected challenges in the process.

I had the actual course completed on Saturday, so I expected to finish uploading it and making it available to people by Saturday evening. But the file would not upload to the shopping cart program I am using. I tried using different web browsers and formatting the video into different file types. Eventually, I asked for help from technical support (feeling grateful that they were on call 24/7!). I learned that the file was too large to work with their software and that I needed to compress the file before uploading it.

So I went back to the original video and began a trial-and-error process of finding the right level of compression that would still preserve the quality of my work. This took some time, and in the course of my exploration I discovered .zipx compression that helped a great deal. It also solved the challenge of including a printable workbook with the video. Finally, I had a satisfying blend of quality and compression, so I tried once more to upload the end product. And once more there were issues. I wound up calling tech support again, and was told that .zipx files aren't compatible with their software.

Frustrated and feeling defeated, I resolved to find a way to make the course available. I made several calls and checked out several alternatives. On a lark, I even tried one more time to upload the .zipx file... and it worked! I called tech support again, concerned that if the file type was incompatible with their software that customers may have trouble downloading it. I learned that if I was able to upload it, others should be able to download it with no problem.

I also learned that there was no reason why .zipx files shouldn't work with their software. That's right, someone had just invented that because there was no other reason why my upload shouldn't have worked. And I spent the better part of a day hunting down other options. But I was happy that the process was complete, and I was able to celebrate that success. It was four days later than I had originally hoped, but I had prevailed.

When I told this story to a friend of mine, her response was shocking. "You really let people give you run around sometimes." What? I had overcome the obstacles! I prevailed! The project was online and available for people! True enough. But some of my time had been spent trying to find solutions to problems that didn't exist, just because someone told me that what I wanted wasn't possible. It was easy to believe that. I'm getting better at believing that I can have what I want in my life when I'm the only one responsible. But when someone else is involved, it's still almost automatic to accept that I can't have what I want. That life isn't easy or simple. That things won't go the way I plan.

I'm still celebrating that I got the course online, and I am proud of the end result. I'm also looking at how much I still expect defeat, or at least a struggle. There's really no reason why someone else being involved should limit my success. In fact, some facets of my success are all about partnership. It's worth it to me to start expecting that there is a way for me to have what I want, even if it isn't immediately obvious in every circumstance. In fact, that can help me to inspire creativity in the people with whom I partner, rather than expecting people to disappoint me or make my life more challenging. I'd much rather live in the truth that others can be inspiring, creative, and supportive, too.

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