Truth Telling From The Trenches With Technology Guide Nicole Lux-Ritchie
In my first life, I had the husband, kids, cats, and house, and I had a little hobby business on the side. Then everything fell apart and I had to shake the dice again.
In my second life I had a fun little single phase with me and my kids and fewer cats, and then we met Gary and his kids and his cat. Now I live in the Seattle area with my Gary, several teenagers, lots of cats, and a ferret.
My little side business has evolved into a real business where I am here today, doing what I can to help my people conquer their technology.
Where is your business located?
Where did the idea for your business come from?
It all began when my grandmother asked me to help her learn how to use the computer.
She was 80 at the time and it is because of her (In a variety of ways) that I am doing what I can to help anyone, no matter their technological skill, get control of their technology situation.
She encouraged me to share my ability to take complex topics and break them down into simple steps and normal language.
What is the first thing you do in the morning?
My morning routine is evolving again.
I used to wake up, go take a shower, get dressed then make breakfast and get kids to school.
I have recently accepted that I get brilliant ideas in the shower but can't capture them because I need to make breakfast and deal with household stuff.
So now I am getting up making breakfast doing household stuff and then I take a shower. Now I am able to take the time and capture my brilliant thoughts.
What does your work day look like and how do you maximize your productivity?
I don't really have a regular day, I rebel if it gets too structured. It's more like a week rhythm.
Monday: Planning, Household management, Admin stuff.
Tuesday: Follow-ups, client sessions, networking.
Wednesday-Friday: Projects, client sessions, networking.
My weekly calendar is set to have some mornings and some afternoons open for client sessions throughout the week.
A certain amount of Business work and project time is also blocked out.
I schedule out all the networking meetings I want to go to. I try to keep these an average of 1 a week.
I try to meet with a friend at least every other week.
Take a walk or something every day and have dinner at home with the family as often as possible.
How do you bring your great business ideas to the world to serve your clients?
Networking is my most consistent and productive way to share my business with people.
I also offer useful presentations to groups.
Sometimes I post on social media for visibility and I like to look through my feeds and answer questions and comment on stuff.
I have a website that is always online (according to Bluehost).
What is one trend in business that excites you?
I love the collaborative leanings I see in women's groups. Competition annoys me and I generally step out when things get competitive.
Most groups I am in are very supportive of each other and that is inspiring.
I also like the focused trend toward honest marketing. I like being straightforward, and it is becoming more acceptable to be so.
Somedays I just say "I have this cool thing, do you want to buy it?" and some people are ok with that.
What is one strategy that helped you grow your business?
When I enter people into my follow up list I make notes on what we did and what was important to them.
Over time I have created email templates for situations of things I want to tell people after I talk with them.
During my follow up time, when someone comes up on my list I pull up the appropriate template and adjust it with information and usefulness that would matter to them.
Most of my business comes from this.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I don't believe in failure.
I have had hardship, disappointments, frustrations, things that didn't go as planned, and things I have quit on.
I have "failed" over and over to fill workshops, to fill my list, and to fill the room or to meet my revenue goals.
I overcome it every time I show up anyway. Every time I do it anyway. As long as I show up, as long as I keep doing I don't fail.
Things fail, I once tried to entice subscribers with an online open house and a drawing when I launched my website, but no one subscribed.
That idea technically failed, but I learned that I probably should have posted the announcement more than once. It's a lesson I am still struggling to learn.
What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to this community?
I don't have any other business ideas besides my own. I help people with their foundational technology and there should be more businesses like mine.
I have a lot of ideas that would improve the community but don't know how to make them profitable.
I can give a secret I share with my clients.
"The computer really is dumber than you are and never let it make you feel otherwise."
What is the best $100 you have recently spent? on What? Why?
We ordered a kitty litter cabinet for the cats. We will probably order another one.
We have way too many cats!
For business, the best money I have spent was on my website and CRM but they were a bit over $100.
What is one piece of software or app that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
www.toodledo.com. It is a simple free task app.
Anytime I get a thought about something I want to do or remember I add it to Toodledo.
Then on Monday, I evaluate all the things I have added and schedule some and eliminate others.I have been using it for over a decade now. It is super great.
What is the best business book you have read? Why?
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Every other business book I have read touches on or expands on the principals in this book.
I read it every few years.
A close second is Getting Things Done by David Allen.
What is your favorite quote?
"In the beginning, the universe was created.
This made a lot of people angry and has widely been considered a bad move."
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; Douglas Adams
Who inspires you in business and why?
Julie Fry and Tracey Warren - I have seen first hand the beginning of their businesses and have been watching them grow. The growth has been sure and steady with rocky spots here and there but they have both preserved.
What are your thoughts on work-life balance?
Live lightly on the earth.
Sometimes you need to focus on one thing, sometimes another. As long as I am in alignment with my primary values I won't go wrong.
What are the 3 business lessons you’ve learned so far? 1. Everything I create will need to be redone.
2. Shift according to data and not mood.
3. There is no such thing as done, failed or a waste.
What is your workspace like?
I share an office with my husband and we both like things orderly.
Our office also usually contains at least one cat, sometimes 2. We have a ledge for them in the window and a laundry basket for them to hide in. I love my office.
Last thing you do at the end of your work day?
Last email check and task review.
What is the one thing you can't leave home without?
Vision enhancement devices (glasses, contacts) I can't see more than 6 inches without them.
What superpower would you love to have to use for good?
Teleportation. Our current methods of traveling are inefficient. I would really just like to be at the places I need to go to.
Number of unread emails right now?
Anything else you want to add?
I have shared a lot of words. I think this is good.
How can other entrepreneurs connect with you?
If you are reading this and are interested in being featured in the Truth Telling from the Trenches series - apply here.
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