It happens. Sometimes I get an email from a reader which sparks a bit of a rant. And that’s what happened this morning.
This person (who shall rename nameless, of course) was apparently on the verge of giving up on the entire notion of an online business. They said…
I am not a tech person, and I think that makes all the difference.
To me, it seems that this statement is almost equivalent to saying that a college degree is required in order to have any hope of making a living. Tell that to Dave Thomas, CEO of Wendy’s, who dropped out of school at 15. To James Cameron, one of the top directors of our time, who dropped out of college. To Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s, who never finished high school.
Today, of all days, it is NOT a requirement that one be a “tech person” to build a business online.
I’ve been in this business for 14 years. I know FULL WELL what it means to have to be a “tech person” to do this. When I started in this business, I was hand-coding everything in HTML. It was a step up when I figured out how to use server side includes to give my site common headers. It was a step up when I could manage my site using FrontPage, but even then it was still a pretty manual process. I’m a guy who actually programmed my own entire content management system – by hand – to power my own site before Wordpress was around.
THAT’S what a “tech person” does. And that’s why I know how to do a lot of “tech person” things today… because I had to.
Wordpress is pretty much the best CMS around. It costs nothing and can be installed on most web hosts with a single click of a button. Almost any capability you want to give your site can be added to it using a free or cheap plug-in. Nowdays, you can create powerful, feature-rich websites using almost all free software… and have the thing online in an hour or less.
Dicking around with themes? Opt-in forms? Is this what it takes a “tech person” to pull off?
My buddy, Frank, posted a guest post yesterday on how to position an opt-in form anywhere you want with no coding.
As for nice looking designs, there are a shit-ton of gorgeous Wordpress themes out there. Take your pick. As an example, my friends at Elegant Themes offer access to their whole arsenal of killer themes for less than $40. Considering that designs of that caliber used to routinely cost thousands of dollars… I mean, jeez, keep shit in perspective.
Need a little bit of custom work done? OK, there are a TON of people HURTING for work right now. And we live in an online world. Try Odesk. Or, hell, hire somebody to do things for five bucks at Fiverr. Do you realize what a shockwave Fiverr was to those of us who used to struggle with or have to find somebody to do these things? And, there it is for you. Five measely bucks. A freakin’ value meal at McDonald’s cost more than that.
Am I just getting old? 🙂 I feel like Louis C.K in “Everything is Amazing and Nobody is Happy”. One of my favorite videos – ever.
No, you don’t need to be a geeky “tech person” to have an online business.
Some of the most successful people in this space are tech IDIOTS. Trust me, I know many of them.
Is the difference that they have money to hire people? Is it really that simple?
No, that’s a freakin’ cop out. That’s an excuse. Knock it off.
Using “I’m not a tech person” as an excuse these days is almost like you’re LOOKING for a reason to quit and give up. Because, today, of all days, the technology we use in this business has NEVER been easier or more accessible.
Instead of doing that, try a different tact. The reason why you’d want to throw up your hands and give up is simple: You don’t really understand the terminology. So, you feel like you’re in over your head. So, back up and starting making a point to study and look up the words you don’t get. Bring it down to basics and learn how this stuff works. It isn’t difficult in the slightest.
And do me a favor… next time you see somebody using the “I’m not a tech person” excuse, point them to this post so they can get a little perspective. 🙂