Running a Business When You’re a Tech Luddite

By Jacinta Tynan
on 13 May 2024

It’s 12 months since I launched my business, an online book club. It’s sure come a long way in that time: an engaged community of subscribers, big name author interviews and steady growth.

But I’m not sure how it got here. Because the founder is a tech luddite.

It’s a self-deprecating term I’ve come up with to capture the affliction that holds me back – not just in business but pretty much everything.

Mostly I get by. But it’s near impossible to progress as a solo-preneur with such a tenuous relationship with tech: love-hate with a simmering lack of trust, mitigated by occasional outpourings of fondness and appreciation when it all works out.

My tech phobia has become somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy. It lets me down constantly.

Interviewing the world’s leading spiritual authors and sharing life changing wisdom from inspirational books – that I can do. But Squarespace, Mailchimp, Stripe, Riverside, Vimeo, Canva, various web hosts (I always forget who I’m with), well, they all do my head in!

I have spent hours – and I do mean hours – asking inane questions to tech support. Typing with bots trying to get them to understand, and empathise with, my despair. Or on the phone to a real person (if I’m lucky) attempting to navigate what many people would regard as simple, run-of-the-mill tasks.

Example: people rave about the user-friendliness of Canva. I gave it a good six hours once, creating an Instagram tile – just a plain one with a quote and no photo or anything – until I gave up in despair.

I realise this is on me. At some point – for my own sake – I must work through the story in my head that me and machines are not a fit.

And I must give myself credit. When I reflect on my business trajectory, my learning curve has been steep. There are many tasks I now do with ease that once had me stumped – like uploading my interviews to the website. Go me!

In the meantime, I outsource to a virtual assistant. Two of them actually.

VAs have saved me.

These super efficient, patient and forward-thinking people for whom this level of tech – required to run an online book club – is second nature.

I was under some misguided and limiting notion that I had to master all the minutiae of my business myself. That delegating was cheating. But really it’s about me recognising my skill set (or lack thereof) and adjusting accordingly. 

I focus on my strengths, reading books (well, someone has to do it), writing copy, lining up inspiring authors to join us in the book club, creating community and I assign the rest. 

The ‘rest’ being: scheduling Mailchimps and managing mailing lists, editing videos, uploading audio, building sales pages, landing pages and all of that, website updates and, of course, creating Canva tiles (in about a tenth of the time it takes me).

A VA is also another layer of quality control which otherwise starts and ends with me. Someone else to notice pesky typos or a missing Zoom link before emails go out to our valuable members.

It has taken the weight off.

The financial outlay is paying off in the time it frees up for me to deliver what people are signing up for.

This is not a promo for VAs. Rather it’s a pep talk for anyone starting a business – or stuck with a business – who, like me, is daunted and, therefore, hampered by the tech stuff.

It doesn’t mean solo enterprise is not for people like us, as I once let myself believe.

It just means we can do with a little help along the way.

Jacinta Tynan is a journalist, author and founder of The Spiritual Book Club. The Spiritual Book Club is open for new members on 15th May 2024.

Join The Spiritual Book Club here (membership open until 21st May).

Instagram: @jacintatynan @thespiritualbookclubofficial


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