‘ Electronics just aren’t my thing.’
‘ This dog is way too old to learn that computer stuff.’
As you may have guessed, these are just a few of the statements I’ve heard recently upon discussing with business owners their web marketing and internet strategies. In fact, I’ve heard so many similar excuses from business owners lately that I couldn’t contain myself any longer and just had to write this article.
Look, this may come across as a little strong or rude, but if you’ve ever used one of the excuses above(or one similar), please stop lying to yourself. Whatever reason you have for not taking control of your company’s web destiny is a sad facade. How can I say that? Well, because there are thousands of people just like you that have overcome these ‘issues’.
I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it another 1000 times—I used to be a complete and total web dufus. I didn’t grow up around computers. Electronics(just ask anyone that knows me) have never been my thing. Heck, in the late 90’s when computers and email were just blowing up I was living in Chile for two years where I was lucky to even find a phone, much less a computer. By the time I got back to the states, I was 22 years old and it appeared that technology had literally left me behind. In the course of being gone 2 short years the information age had advanced about 20.
It was during this time period that I started to realize I was in trouble. As a junior in college, I couldn’t even type on a computer without looking down at the keypad for every letter. Just trying to type up a 500 word ‘essay’ took me about 30 minutes, even after I’d written it down on paper first. Yep, I was in a sad state, and I honestly believed that working with computers was the one job I was clearly destined not to do.
A New Business and No Skills
When I was 23 I opened up a rinky-dink swimming pool company with my two business partners, Jim and Jason. We were good friends, had common values, and also shared one incredible flaw: Our computer skills amounted to that of a 10 year old in today’s world.
About 3 years into ownership, right around 2003 or so, I realized that those things called ‘websites’ were becoming more and more important. As a struggling pool guy looking to do anything to better our marketing and make more sales, I decided I’d learn web design myself. Needless to say, after about a week of utter confusion and failure, I remembered who I was—the ‘Tech Dufus’…ahh, yes, how could I have forgotten???
So we got a webmaster. He set our site up but shortly thereafter I started bugging him. Every time I looked at our site I got ideas. I wanted to add things. I wanted to make announcements. I wanted to teach consumers. I wanted to do more and more and more…..
Despite the best efforts of my webmaster, I was deeply distraught. I literally felt the world passing me by and all I could think about were my ‘limitations’. “I’m not good a computers”, were my thoughts day in and day out.
Around 2008 I approached my webmaster and asked him to teach me Dreamweaver. I learned a little, but again, it was mostly a failure. I’d spend hours trying to understand simple processes that would take a ‘tech guy’ two minutes to understand and fix.
A New Beginning
Finally, in early 2009, I discovered Hubspot, inbound marketing, and my life quickly began to change. Gone were the limitations. Gone were the bottlenecks. I could now design my own website, blog, and add content without being a ‘techie’…..Very, very cool.
So I threw myself in. I watched all the videos. I read the books. I bought eBooks. And I started blogging….and blogging…..and blogging (and even learned to type pretty darn fast 😉 ).
Our pool company exploded. As our creative juices went wild and as all 3 of us began to see technology in a whole new light, everything changed for the better. Sales became easier and more frequent. Despite the economy and all its hardships, our business and financial lives were literally saved because we kept trying, kept looking for anything that would help us ‘non-techies’.
Fast forward to 2010. Today I have one of the country’s most successful pool companies and I also own a thriving Web Coaching Company with my business partner Jason. In a matter of 2 years I’ve literally gone from dufus to paid speaker, consultant, and coach….What even better is that I’m pretty dang good.
As I write these words I can’t believe it myself. It’s crazy, but it’s true.
Yes You Can
I hope you don’t think my goal here is to brag about my accomplishments. I only give this time line because I want all you ‘non-techie’ business owners out there to know there is hope. That’s right, you can be a computer guy. You can learn web design because of the simple content management systems that are available for everyone, with or with code knowledge.
Aren’t you tired of the frustration that comes with total dependency on others for your website and digital marketing? I know, I know, you may sit there and tell everyone, “I don’t want to be a computer guy.” But in reality, you do. We all do. As business owners, we all want to feel as if we are in control of our destinies.
So please don’t kid yourself any longer. Embrace the possibilities. Believe it can be done. And if you need some direction, there’s a million people on line just like me who are willing to get your started. So giddy-up cowboy, the time to learn to ride is now.
What’s your story? Have you always been a ‘techie’ or is it something that came later in life as it did for me? Please share, I’d love to hear your thoughts.