I attended a social media conference this weekend that was sooo completely awesome. It was called the Evolution of Women in Social Media or EVO Conference for short. I mostly stayed on the “business” track, because of my brand spankin’ new business that I’ve started (have you visited my fantastic website yet? I offer remote support!) One of my favorite classes featured a few of my favorite people. There was Liz Strauss (who I had also met the week before at Dell headquarters for the Dell Customer Advisory Panel that I’m on). There was Carol Roth (who I wish I knew personally now, cause she is one SAVVY business woman), and lastly there was Ghennipher(who got a wee bit personal with her power tools on stage, which was really just for an object lesson, so I definitely heart her for using an object lesson). Carol used a word I’ve never heard before but LOVE. It’s a “jobbie”. This is a hobby of yours that happens to make you a little bit of money. That’s how I’ve been with blogging these last three years (with this and the Organized Mom site).
My three main “takeaways” from this session was first, no one wants to buy the cow if they get the milk for free. I’ve been giving out free tech advice, and help for sooooo long. When I started my new business, one of the stipulations that my husband set before he told me he supported me completely, was that my friends would no longer get it for free. It’s HARD to ask your friends for money, but just know that you are worth it! You have skills that they need, whether it’s a friend, acquaintance, or stranger. Those skills are worth money. Make sure you value your time! It’s time that is taken away from your family and other things you could be doing, and you deserve to get paid for it.
My second takeaway was, know why you are in business. I know that I’m in business because I love technology, and I want others to love it as well. It’s clear that I am obsessed with my laptop. I love my Palm Pre. It kills me when someone says “I hate my computer” (unless, of course, it’s an Apple, then I have to agree with them). I want everyone to have the same love and appreciation for technology that I do, and helping them achieve their goals through technology gives me a total high! My other super awesome natural high comes from when I have been working really hard to figure out a computer problem, and then I find the right solution, and it is suddenly fixed! I ADORE that feeling! That is why I’m in business.
The third take away was to be irresistible, and to claim my space in the market. What makes me unique and irresistible is my ability to explain tech to the non-tech world. Especially to women who aren’t as tech savvy as I am. People say to me EVERY DAY “you must think I’m a total idiot”. I’ve been told that phrase so many times in my tech career. My response is always 2 things. First, “If everyone knew how to do what I do, then I would not have a job”. Such a true statement that I am surprised people don’t understand when it comes to computers. I never say to my car mechanic “You must think I’m a total idiot for not being able to replace a spark plug on my car”. He has a different skill set then I do, and that’s what makes us all able to make money doing the things that WE are good at. Which leads to my second response to that question “I could never insert what the person who I’m fixing their computer does for a living, it’s just that we are both smart in different areas”. This kind of attitude towards the non-techs I think sets me a bit apart from my colleagues in the tech world. I’m definitely NOT Nick Burns.
That makes me unique and irresistible.
The last part of this post is my HUGE crazy goal that I have to just set and throw out there, and work my tail off to go get! So my goal is to be a regular segment on a talk show. I don’t need my own show. I just want to be able to answer women’s tech question on a huge national level like that. I’ve even pitched the idea of a weekly Skype call with Ellen where I answer tech questions from her viewers. My other big crazy goal is to be able to make enough money with my new business that I can turn it into a national franchise of tech women helping other women! Wish me luck!…. and…. YOU’RE WELCOME!
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Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com