Most entrepreneurs spend a lot of time, money, and energy marketing their businesses. It’s wonderful that technology has made it possible for us to market our businesses to the world and to work from home (or anywhere else), but I am less than delighted about the time and money that learning to use all this technology sucks from us.Early on we were told that technology would give us more free time, but unfortunately for those of us who are technologically disadvantaged the opposite is usually quite true. The reality is that many of us fall victim to the “Techie Time Vampire”, that insidious creature that sucks away huge blocks of our time as we try to master the technology around us and incorporate it into our business.
Most entrepreneurs start their own business, in part, to be able to control their time. Instead, most of us routinely find that technology is controlling both our time and our energy. We spend much of our time trying to make existing technology work as it should – the computer, the fax, our cell phones, etc. – and even more time trying to learn something new. We are taken in by the Techie Snake Oil Salesman who says, “It’s really easy,” then we find ourselves owning a bunch of gadgets but we don’t have enough information or resources to make them work for us to accomplish what we need to do now. For example, recently two bright, technologically competent women in my entrepreneurs group were talking about the eight hours it took to sync their new Blackberries. Look out! There’s a Techie Time Vampire on the loose here.We have all been told how much better our lives will be as we travel the information superhighway. What someone failed to mention is that there are many potholes, wrecks and detours on this road and no superhighway AAA Motor Club you can join that will rescue you when there is trouble. Despite the Techie Snake Oil Salesman’s assurance of “quality customer service” many times you end up with the help desk from Hell and you are left to find your own rescuer.Then, just when I think I have finally mastered all the technology I really need, I find that a new technology, like podcasting or YouTube or Facebook or “twittering”, is now indispensable and I must learn that, too, to keep my business progressing. It makes me tired just thinking about it.
I do like challenges or I wouldn’t be an entrepreneur, but the Techie Time Vampire sucks too much time, money and energy from my business. It leaves less time for me to put the skills and talents I have honed to use. Using those skills is what really brings joy and fulfillment to both me and my clients – that’s why I’m in business in the first place. For now, I’m staying in the slow lane and keeping a watchful eye out for the Techie Time Vampire.