About a year and a half ago, I hired my nephew, Rob, to do computer maintanence, help me understand new programs, and deal with run of the mill computer problems. In between that, he helps with the shipping and inventory at B'sue Boutiques.
He's a good guy, fiercely loyal to his Aunt Brenda, able to put up with her rants, and hold her hand when she's overwhelmed.
He'll be the first to tell you about the PANIC that comes over my face everytime I come up in this office and see him at my desk, updating my computer. I HATE CHANGE.
I don't want to come to my computer and find that WORD has changed because of an update, and now I have to take fifteen minutes to find out where stuff is. I hate it when things are rearranged on my desktop, or now my email program is somehow different. My first inclination is: I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THIS!
Taking time to learn new bells and whistles and deal with change means less time I get to spend here:
The only changes I have to deal with in my workshop are improvements in my work, and new ideas. No new computer programs or formats. I won't even bring my laptop down here, and only once in a bit do I bring my Blackberry. There is NOTHING in the workshop that has a THING to do with the office or the warehouse. It's refreshing!
Having a business...or even a social life! on the internet, is fraught with that big C word. CHANGE. Everything changes.....constantly!
When I was on Ebay, there were CONSTANT changes. One big change that was hard to deal with was the constant updates to their Turbo Lister program, a bulk uploader that saved a lot of time putting new things in my Ebay store.
But....it was a free program. So, I dealt with it.
Then Ebay continually implemented new seller policies. Every QUARTER there were major hoops to jump through, things that sapped our time and our resources. These changes were changes that sorely affected our pocketbook. At one time, Ebay was FUN. It was PROFITABLE.
Now, it is not. I quit after fourteen years. The first ten were great. The last four were TORTURE.
Another case in point:
Over ten years ago, we had the advent of PAYPAL on the scene. Remember when PayPal was free? Ohmigoodness! We were are in LOVE with Paypal.
I remember how disgusted I was when I HAD to get a PayPal account, though. I was virtually forced into it. CUSTOMERS WANTED IT. How could I deny them? But sheesh, WHY did they want it? I'd take a check (then). I had Visa and MC, you could call in a number (we had and still have an 800 number, no charge!) or use the site server. What did we need PayPal for?
We all know the answer to that, NOW! You're dead in the water if you're an e-commerce merchant and don't have PayPal, these days. Anyone can make a secure payment, any time; easier for the customer and far better for the merchant.
Change can be necessary....AND good.
BUT THEN....all of a sudden....Paypal was no longer free. Everyone was INCENSED!
I viewed it, however, as a credit card that had levied no interest for a certain period of time. We all know the party's eventually over, and then the interest shows up on the bill.
Quit PayPal? If I had, I would have shot myself in the foot, in a business sense. No, I stayed and paid the fees.
Some time ago I opened an Artfire. I never got it up and running as I was dealing with too much Ebay #$&@. I got the policy pages filled in, and a banner made and loaded. Meantime, Artfire decided to change.
I'm ready to go over there and dig in....and lo and behold....they changed the format. POOF!!! my banner was GONE. Some of my work was gone. And I can't figure about 1/3 of it out! That would be the 1/3 of it that I need to get up and running. UGH. Sigh.
ETSY was so simple...we were up and running in 45 minutes at ETSY. Why can't everything be like ETSY?
Will I abandon Artfire completely and forget about it? No. In fact, here is my NEW banner, designed by my friend, Cyndi Carlson, who will be doing all our print ads in the future as well:
Okay....so what about Facebook?
When I first checked out Facebook about three years ago, I didn't get it at all. I didn't like it, and I saw no use for it.
In time, though, I kept reading about how powerful it was for businesses. Many felt that it was more powerful than anything you could publish in print. The only thing more powerful for internet businesses with stand-alone websites was quality SEO (Search Engine Optimization)....and even that was debated.
I decided it was time to jump in and learn more, and get busy with social media: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and steady blogging.
Since I've been on Facebook there have been 2 or 3 changes that have been pretty annoying. They took time I didn't have, to figure them out. Sometimes I would come to my desk, open my Facebook page and just want to bawl because my plate was already so over-full, my life was already so over-whelming, and NOW THIS. This last change has been tremendously annoying. The hue and cry in my feed is deafening. The JURY IS IN:
EVERYONE (in my feed, anyway!) HATES THE NEW FACEBOOK.
But the most distressing thing to me, over ANY of the changes, is that some are saying they've had it! and they're done with that format. They are ready to CLICK! and close their accounts.
I GET the annoyance factor. I GET the sense of loss---you had features you liked, and now they are gone.
But what about the sense of community?
I could make a list of people right here (I won't---don't worry, I won't embarrass you!) who are dear to me, whose business opinion has been invaluable, whose ideas have improved the quality of my ARTISTIC LIFE....that I would never have known without Facebook.
My life as an artist and a purveyor of parts! would have been so much less rich if I had not made their acquaintance.
You guys know who you are. Let me just say right here, THANK YOU for everything you have been to me. THANK YOU for all the times you held me up and didn't even know I was ready to crash. THANK YOU MOST OF ALL for your insights and creativity.
Even MEEP the cat! is glad to be on Facebook!
Google+ is coming along. They say it's going to be the next FB. We'll see.....yes, I'll get on the bandwagon as soon as I get time. I was remiss long ago not to be part of ETSY when it first began, as well as FACEBOOK. Google is pretty big. Yes, I'll do that.
Meantime, I'm on Facebook and here to stay. It's not perfect, but it's still FREE and keeps us connected.
And once again....THANK YOU!! for being my Facebook friend! (If you aren't yet, send a request to Brenda Sue Lansdowne, and I will okay it as soon as I see it.)