So many business owners moan about “how hard” and “confusing” technology is.
I was one of those people. I resisted computers, pooh-poohed the idea of a webpage, and was thoroughly intimidated by social media. That is, until my (wise) kids forced a computer on me and told me to get with it. I’m not sure if they were embarrassed or felt sorry for me but whatever the case may be, I’m forever grateful that they shoved that computer in front of my face and encouraged me to, at the very least, learn how to send an email.
I was late to the game and scared. I heard horror stories about “viruses” and “online pervs”. I worried about putting my face out there. What if I got hacked? And do I really need a cell phone or a web site? Yeah…that.
My entry into the tech world was clunky and fear-filled. But I kept at it and slowly, the anxiety melted and a whole new world opened up to me. And my business boomed right through a massive recession.
I am living proof that anyone can master this shizz at any age, even if they are scared out of their wits, resistant, misinformed or just lazy. (Yes, I was pretty much all of those.)
Are you like that?
Let’s change that and get you all geeked out with these tips:
Get calm. I want you to remember the first time you got behind the wheel of a car. You might have been excited – or, if you were like me, scared witless. A few deep breaths before I turned the key and I was ready to hit the road. Slowly. In time, I became a confident driver but there are still days when I get a bit stressed when I’m driving – especially during crap weather. Slowing down and taking deep breaths always help me get through it. Remember to breathe! You’ve got this, babe.
Start small. That may mean just learning one thing and learning it well. Whether that be surfing the web or sending email, just start somewhere. One doable task a day will get you up to snuff in no time at all. Pick one, set your goal and dive in.
Keep it simple. I’ll never forget when a well-meaning friend offered to put up a website for me. He made me sit next to him while he fiddled around for hours over pixels – without explaining a thing. He made this so unbearable and complicated that I never thought I would be able to do web stuff! Frustrated, I took the site down. A few years later, I purchased a beginners guide to web design and began working through the lessons each day. In no time at all, I became comfortable with the web and html. While I’ll never be a coder, I discovered that a simple, basic book walked me right through it. Then I learned WordPress, which is a simple platform and bam – no more pixel mysteries and no more relying on people who like to work in cloak-and-dagger arduous ways. BAM!
Take a class. You can find great classes at your local colleges or community centers on all sorts of techy stuff. If you’re an Apple user like me, Apple also offers fantastic free in-person workshops. I have taken many of these and I’ve always walked away a whole lot smarter – and more tech savvy than my kids when it comes to my gear! Ha!
YouTube is your new best friend. Whenever I am stuck on a tech issue, I almost always find a solution on YouTube. They have wonderful tutorials that will walk you through any tech related issue from installing WordPress to wrapping your earbuds securely (yes, I’ve used that one!).
Ask or hire a kid. I’m not kidding on this one. The younger generation has grown up with all this technology so they are adept almost right out of the chute! Reach out to a younger relative or hire a college kid. You might be surprised at what they can teach you.
Hire a pro. If you are really struggling, consider hiring a pro. They may be able to take care of a lot of the tech junk that you’re not down with – or they might be willing to tutor you. I have a tech gal who handles some stuff on my site and she’s worth every single nickel.
Easy to use tools and resources for learning tech:
Apple products are my favorite, hands down. Simple to use, elegant design and the ability to easily streamline all of your digital world over all of your devices – yes, please. Plus, the Apple stores offer amazing free classes and their tech help is top notch.
Lynda.com – one of the best resources for tutorials for all thing tech (and business). Worth every penny.
YouTube – as I said above, YouTube is a great resource for free tech tutorials.
Learn to Code – the full beginner’s guide. If you really want to get adventurous, check this out.
An easy to understand book worth checking out if you are really new to this world: “Is This Thing On?”: A Friendly Guide to Everything Digital for Newbies, Technophobes, and the Kicking & Screaming by Abby Stokes.
One last word: you are human. Which means you are constantly evolving. You shed 50,000 skin cells every minute, for Chrissakes. NOTHING about you is “stagnant.” You are capable of adding new skills to your toolkit. Just keep it simple. Get your mind in a positive place. Go slow and be gentle with yourself. YOU GOT THIS.
image from stock photography