"My budget is really tight, can you get the project started and show me what to do to finish it?" -- Yet another request from several different prospective customers.

This sounds appealing, right? Drupal does put a huge amount of power and control in the hands of users. Aside from custom theming, many of our projects don't involve writing any code -- it's more a matter of mapping out the user stories, putting an appropriate set of modules together, and configuring them to deliver the desired result.

There is an old saying about "give a man a fish/teach a man to fish" after all...

We've made the mistake of doing this a few times. How could this be a mistake? By not setting the appropriate expectations.

Learning how to build Drupal sites is certainly a worthwhile endeavor. But if you're not going to be building a bunch of Drupal sites, is it really worth your time? In most cases, our clients have a problem they are trying to solve, and they are coming to us for a solution to that problem -- a fish. They think if they do half the fishing, they will save time and money.

When you frame it that way, it appears as ridiculous a proposition as it really is. It takes a lot longer to learn how to build a site than to have experienced professionals do it for you. And it takes a lot more time and attention for a professional to show you how to do something, than to just do it for you.

We are happy to coach you in using your site, even to the extent of introducing you to advanced topics. But you have to realize that we charge for attention, and if you're taking a lot of it, it's going to cost you far more than leaving it to us to get the job done. And, it's going to take far longer to get that result you're after, because you are learning and making mistakes along the way.

By all means, if you want to truly own your systems, get involved in the development. But keep in mind the goals for the project, and all of the other priorities you have as a business owner, and if achieving the goals you want the site for is more important than learning to do it yourself, spend the money to have a professional get the job done quickly and well. It will cost you far less than trying to do half of it yourself -- less time, less missed opportunities, and less actual cost spent paying us to clean up your mistakes and get the thing launched!

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