I purchased a website recently and it’s run by PHP and MySQL. I don’t know PHP but I do know MySQL and how to make simple SQL statements. I need to modify this site’s functionality and possibly use the software and database that powers it for another unrelated website. Since I know other programming languages I figured learning PHP wouldn’t be too difficult. But it has been a while since I have edited or programmed anything complicated.

So I am faced with a decision that many small business owners face: Do I take the time to learn PHP and relearn MySQL and then make all the edits and changes I need on my own or do I outsource the whole project?

Ever read Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Work Week? I recommend it to every small business owner. Among the many fantastic ideas he presents in this gem he strongly recommends outsourcing everything whenever possible.

Another person who espouses this theory is John Reese. He also suggests that you ought to concentrate on the things that you’re good at and that make the money and outsource the rest.

Any time you find yourself doing repetitive tasks, especially mindless ones, you ought to outsource, I agree.

But in my PHP case, I also want to know how to program in PHP. I think it won’t be very difficult and once I know it, I won’t have to deal with a contractor every time I want to change my website(s) that use it.

So I came up with sort of a compromise. I decided to hire someone to teach me PHP and how it is specifically used in my website’s application and help me with initial large edits.

I went to Craigslist, created a job opening and boom, I have a person willing to do it for the price I’ll pay and we’re going to meet next week.