1) Do not view customers simply as a way to make money– they will not stay. Give them compelling reasons to return– it’s all about the experience. Loyalty is not built by discounts.
2) Do not view employees as a place to save money– they will not stay. Reward them well with money, self fulfillment, and a sense of belonging. Empower them to enrich the experiences of your customer.
3) Do not view equipment as a way to save money– it will not last. Your customers may not be pleased. Your employees will not be happy. Eventually you will not be happy. Spend time and money on understanding how to use your equipment effectively.
There’s really no room in entrepreneurship for Technophobia. Even worse, projecting your own fear or lack of confidence onto your employees or co-workers imprisons them.
Today, so many people suffer from a kind of Psychological Transference — “a reproduction of emotions relating to repressed experiences.” Regrettably, our experiences with badly designed software and hardware in the past have set us up for this. But entrepreneurs today owe it to themselves to get over it.
We have at our disposal some of the most approachable technology in our history. iPad, iPhone, and Mac have revolutionized the experience for users. Never before have we had more power and capability literally at our fingertips, and never before has it been so easy.
Crucial to success however is embracing the right attitude, and putting in an honest effort. With services such as Apple’s One To One, or any of the fantastic electronic learning tools available online now such as Lynda.com, or iTunes U, any entrepreneur can step up to the plate.
With a little effort, powerful business tools like LightSpeed, Daylite, and DropBox deliver beautiful experiences on gorgeous devices. Mac, iPad, and iPhone are like magic for entrepreneurs, helping them to make more money, be more efficient, and have more fun doing the things that make their business run.
My job is to help you choose and implement these new technologies. If you think “you’re not a technology person”, the good news is you don’t have to be. AND, you might have a lot of fun.
I had the pleasure this past spring to spend a week studying with Jay Maisel at his mansion/studio in Manhattan. Jay is considered to be one of the top 20 most influential photographers by Photo District News. He’s in good company with people like Avedon, Cartier-Bresson, Albert Watson, and more.
Jay’s advice to come well rested was fitting. Spending 5 more than full days learning from him, experiencing his work, practicing, and receiving his critique was amazing. His mansion studio drew me in warmly, and then became a comfortable, safe place to taste a lifetime of compelling art. Deeply experiencing the very heart and soul of a working photographer’s world changed my relationship to my photography, and rebooted my life in some ways.
Wood, steel, terrazzo, stained glass … everything with the patina of years of experience, the soul of the studio made it easy to let my guard down, and really hear what he had to say. In this place, anything but Jay’s complete honesty would feel wrong. I LOVED it when, presented with one of my images from the day before, he said “Ok … now you’re just yanking my chain”. He always seemed to know exactly how to be hard, compassionate, and humerous, and his love of the art form shows through.
Breaking bread with my class and our teacher was an important, and obviously well considered aspect of the week. The places we experienced were beautiful not only for their menus, but for their light and vibe also. These times were a chance to absorb a part of lower Manhattan history and culture in a way rarely experienced by so many visitors.
Jay and his team made me feel like this was my home. Each of them shared their knowledge and experience generously and genuinely. I will never forget.