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5 Tech Choices that Hold You Back

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More often than not, folks come to me thinking they have a tech issue and it turns out to be … so much more.

  • Overwhelmed with Dubsado workflows? Often a sign your business systems aren’t “flowing” as much as you thought they were (if they even exist!)
  • Constantly adding Pages and Databases in Notion to get organized and end up feeling even less so? Often a sign you are struggling with the things you’re putting into Notion, not Notion itself. (How satisfied are you with the tasks, goals, and systems that you are putting into Notion?)

Many tech-related issues small business owners have, such as choosing tools, getting started with the tools you’ve chosen, and even searching for “the right tool” has an underlying issue. Put a name to that, and you’ll do more than conquer just your tech.

– Patty Ryan Lee, @thefierywell (tweet this)
  • Undecided about what email marketing system to use? Often a sign you aren’t ready for email marketing (or if you even want to do it!)
  • Torn between Squarespace and WordPress quite often? More than not, it’s because you want to use one but feel that you should use the other (and you just need to make a choice!)

At least 90% of the time the issue or hangup you have about the technical side of your business (software, systems, process, etc) is a symptom of something else going on: in your mind, your heart, your life, or your business.

And not understanding this can hold you back from making the decisions you need to for your business. Here are five very common choices you are making in business tools that are holding you (and your business) back.

See if anything pops out at you right now, or brings up a memory of a past decision:

1. Choosing form over function

The Alternative: Don’t fear basic, boring, tools. Utilize them to their fullest extent.

The boring shit works best.

More often than not “the simpler” the tool… the more it will return investment for you on your time. By a) keeping you out of it unless necessary and b) the more likely you will follow through with its use because it is simple to use.

Getting distracted with a focus on “aesthetics” can keep you in the tool longer than needed, which can cost you time, money, and energy.

2. Choosing not to commit

The Alternative: Explore the fears you have about commitment and business success; be open and honest with yourself.

You try one tool for a little bit, get overwhelmed by making the commitment to learn it all the way, abandon it for something new or prettier, or the latest recommendation from a friend, and rinse and repeat. This way, you make no progress no matter the tool you choose because you aren’t facing a potential fear of commitment, the fear of advancement, head-on.

3. Choosing to use the wrong number of tools

The Alternative: Get intimate with your business finances, make a budget, and hire tools only as needed.

This comes down to inexperience, inattention to financials, or inability to “pick one” for fear of “making a mistake” or “shoulding” on yourself in business.

You then end up with too many tools that overlap in functionality, or not enough tools that do enough unique things, which keeps you on the lookout for the ultimate “all in one” or frozen in place.

Hint: there is no ultimate all-in-one. There is no magic number of tools to use. Your business is unique and your “tech stack” will be as unique as your business needs.

4. Choosing not to hire your tools

The Alternative: Flip the script. Write a job description for the tools you want and go hunting with those requirements.

You rely on the recommendations and feelings of others to choose the tools you use, rather than facing the requirements of your business head-on. What does your business need to function? If you can’t answer that, you have a problem. (Don’t panic: we’ve all been there.) Hire your tools based on your needs.

5. Choosing things based on price alone

The Alternative: Pay for automation over aesthetics & simplicity over style and watch your investment pay off in leaps and bounds.

This is, by far, the most common thing that can hold you back from making the best tech choices for you. Putting aside systemic economic issues, this is a sign you’re shopping with yesterday’s budget. And that’s incredibly unfair to the business you will have next year. Stretch your imagination, invest your money where it will have the highest return the quickest: where it will save you time.

Did you see yourself or your decisions in a few of these? You’re not alone. I have made all of these choices, and more! There is no quick recovery from these ways of thinking: it’s a process of learning, working through things, growing, and making new choices.

It takes time, patience, experience, and a willingness to keep fucking going.

You can do this, and The Fiery Well is here to support you however it can!

Tags: business advice, choosing tech

Patty Ryan Lee is the site, systems, and spacious productivity witch behind The Fiery Well, the original tech and business support space just for service-based witches. Read more about her and The Fiery Well journey.
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