Home-based and other small business opportunity or franchise owners, there’s one fear you need to conquer if you have it and you haven’t already―technophobia, or the fear or dislike of advanced technology or advanced devices, especially computers. It may sound silly, but for many people, technophobia is a very real challenge and one that can have especially serious negative ramifications on a business owner’s bottom line.
You may be technophobic if you experience any of the following:
• Panic attacks, anxiety or feeling like you are losing control when faced with the prospect of engaging new technology;
• A paralyzing fear of exposure if you use technology, such as losing data or being a victim of hacking;
• Severe reluctance, even steadfast resistance to using or experimenting with computers or other similar gadgets;
• Holding the belief that technology will somehow rule your life if you engage it;
• The tendency to avoid technology whenever you can, even if it means doing things the “hard way;” or
• Failing to keep up with the latest and most current technology until it is detrimental to your life (or your business) in some way.
Of course, any one of us has probably encountered one or more of these feelings at one time or another. In fact, studies have estimated that as much as 85% to 90% of employees in the workplace are somewhat technophobic. But if you are a home-based or other small business owner, you just can’t afford to give in to your fears for any length of time, not if you want to be and remain competitive in today’s techno-saturated world.
Let’s face it, technology and its advancements need to be an integral part of any smart business plan. Keeping up with the basics, such as capacity and storage, speed and mobility, is non-negotiable, while engaging in the more advanced technological options to run and market your business will undoubtedly enable you to accomplish more than you ever thought possible.
So how do you conquer any fears you might have that are holding you back?
Here’s what the experts have to say:
• First recognize that there is very little you can do to “mess up” or break anything that can’t be rectified or fixed. Mistakes are a necessary part of the learning process. Experimentation needs to be your new normal.
• Set aside some “stress-free” play time on a regular basis to familiarize yourself with what your computer and other gadgets can do.
• Find a mentor―someone who is techno-savvy―that you can call on when things get too overwhelming or confusing.
• Take training classes to master any technologies that really intimidate you. More and more community colleges in particular are offering very affordable courses on an ever-increasing number of technology-related topics.
• Take the time to use demos and other interactive self-learning tools if they are available.
• As problems arise and are addressed, keep a “problem directory” that will enable you and your staff to solve future challenges.
• In extreme cases, therapy or medication may be necessary. Thankfully, there are a growing number of experts in this field who are very adept at treating technophobia.