Overwhelmed with technology? Me too.

When I was in college, I used to drive fifteen miles (one way) to have my term papers typed (usually the morning they were due). I was a fast typist, but my accuracy was lousy.  

So, I’d head up north to a gal who charged me $15 to make my hand written content legible (I was there on call for translation as she did this – probably should have been a doctor). The college I attended had just opened a new computer center. Some of my peers thought it was great. I was terrified by these machines that didn’t seem to speak my language – or respond to my demands.

Kicking and screaming – I’m in

Once I started my first business, I was forced to become computer literate. And, I learned to delegate. I still wouldn’t consider myself particularly computer savvy, but try to get educated on what I can do and find resource providers to handle the rest.

Programming is something that I’ve always viewed as beyond my capacity, but in setting up my blog, I actually realized that, armed with notepad and a dumbed down step-by-step tutorial (www.becomeablogger.com), I could do it.

Do I want to take this on as my online activities grow? Not really. Goes back to the delegation skills I developed a couple of decades ago – kids seem to view their time these days as a lot less valuable than I do mine.

Maturity fosters growth

What I have developed with maturity, though, is a recognition that shoring up your weaknesses is critical if you’re going to succeed in business. There’s so much more to blogging than writing.

While in the ideal world, I’d learn all the stuff that our youth find second nature, but I’m not yet retired and put more than a full work week into running my businesses as it is. So, I subscribe to a good number of newsletters and blogs that strive to educate what some are now calling the elderly (excuse me – Kennedy was assassinated days before I was born – he was one of our presidents for those now learning new history) and recognize that I can learn from our youth while they begin to implement some strategies that can benefit my business quickly.

Use the web to find ideal providers

Of course, the web has its benefits for even the neophytes by providing easy access to providers all over world. My blog designer is in Sweden. I’m launching an equine book series this year with chapters from professionals across the globe (did encounter one for the first book who did not have access to e-mail and was surprisingly frustrated by having to snail mail edited versions of his content to England). I’m building relationships with equine professionals who I would never have met without the benefit of social media.

Social media can still be a challenge

Granted, I’m struggling to figure out how to make Facebook, Twitter, Plaxo, SEO and every day’s new development on the maximizing online exposure front work, but I’m open to new ideas, willing to try them and implementing what I can grasp. Interestingly, some of the most knowledgeable and helpful resources have been mature adults. So, I realize this isn’t just a kid’s arena, but also recognize what’s second nature to them will take me a good deal of time to learn.

Leave your ego behind and get help

If you’re dismissing online media because you find it overwhelming, this might not be good for business. Those who are willing to learn to and test what’s out there and make informed decisions about what works and what doesn’t for their company will likely thrive.

If you’re having trouble getting your arms around all the new developments, consider delegating. Providers abound at a reasonable rate and most are happy to coach you through the process to work themselves out of a job.

Curiously, that’s a premise I founded my marketing firm on over twenty years ago. At the time, there were virtually no companies willing to work with small businesses, let alone teach them the skills to carry on. Now, we’re seeing a barrage of providers offering work product with a free education in the mix.

It’s funny how circular the world can be. Embrace the opportunities to expand your reach and knowledge. It can be a lot of fun if you’re willing to throw down your guard and open your mind. Plus, there’s that revenue thing.

  4 comments for “Overwhelmed with technology? Me too.

  1. February 10, 2010 at 6:18 am

    “It can be a lot of fun if you’re willing to throw down your guard and open your mind” this can be true, if reader doesn’t want to utilize that opportunity or you are in your safe zone. This is true for blogging too.
    That means for learning new ideas don’t drop your guards until you are sure that you are with experts or that may lead to adulteration.

  2. February 10, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Yes, of course, Rahul – and I certainly haven’t hesitated to call out those who are using hype sales tactics to reel in the naive. Those who simply stay sheltered though and consider themselves engaged because they have a static website may face challenges in growing their business with a younger audience. Sometimes you do have to stretch – and make mistakes along the way in the learning process – to thrive. Personally, I’ve been fortunate to find good providers and advisors along the way, but I do my homework. Of course, we’re still working to get this all implemented, so my ignorant attempt is what you see right now. But, there’s content, which is a start.

  3. February 11, 2010 at 3:34 am

    “At the time, there were virtually no companies willing to work with small businesses, let alone teach them the skills to carry on.”

    That’s very cool; are you doing a lot of work with small business today, Nanette?

  4. February 11, 2010 at 5:51 am

    Hi Chris,

    Most of the work I’m doing with small businesses now involves copy writing – marketing, speeches, ghost writing, media artices, etc. There are a lot of free services available these days that are decent for strategic planning. Plus, small businesses don’t suffer some of the challenges they did years ago in getting respect and associated support. What I found over time is I really enjoyed the writing aspects of the job the most – and that’s the beauty of being your own boss – you can put major focus on your favorite tasks, which tend to also be areas where you excel.

Comments are closed.