Tech help for business women
Tracy Sheen is the Founder of The Digital Guide working with small business owners to help them learn, leverage and love technology in their business.
And I'd love to hear in your own words, your best elevator pitch.
"So my name is Tracy Sheen. I'm known as The Digital Guide. I'm an author, speaker, presenter and media commentator, author of The End of Technophobia, which was Australia's Business Book of the Year 2021. Currently writing my second book AI and You. And I work with small business owners to help them learn, leverage and love technology in their business."
Can you share some of the more underrated tools that a small business owner could have in their toolkit?
"So my hands down favorite one is AppSumo. So it's a website that is a marketplace for apps and platforms around technology. So it'll have everything from productivity apps to course building apps, you name it, it kind of holds the key. And what I love about it is they offer lifetime deals. So instead of you having to pay the the SaaS monthly subscriptions that you end up looking at your bank account and wondering what that $19 and what that $29 and what that $9 is, you pay once and you're in there for life. So love AppSumo, just don't get caught down the rabbit hole because I lose hours playing in that platform. The other one is a really basic one that we all have already on our phones, on our laptops, on our devices. And I think it's probably the most underutilized app that we have and it's our calendar."
What's your piece of advice for anyone nervous about using tech?
"Curiosity, you know, tap into how your kids look at the world and how excited they get when something comes up. It's not like you need to spend a lot of time around it, but even just, you know, look to our kids, right? Like, Roblox and things like that are just amazing kind of games that the kids are right into right now. So ask to put on the VR headset and play with them.
You know, and just see what's going on in their world. It's not that we need to add something else to our plate because I'm not about that. I think AI used well is actually going to remove stuff from our plate and free us up a little bit more, but we definitely need to lean back into that sense of curiosity and wonder about what's going on right now.
You're not going to break it and it's not going to break you, you know, so just get in and get your hands dirty."
What are some of the things you've identified, as challenges facing business women in tech?
"Connectivity it's still a real issue in Australia and it was interesting I was chatting to someone in northern Sydney yesterday so still like 20 minutes out of the heart of the CBD and they were saying to me that they struggle to get mobile reception at home because they're in a really leafy area they're in a bit of a valley and the line of sight to the tower is pretty crude so when you think that even in our metro cities, there's still a struggle to get solid connectivity to do stuff that we kind of take for granted, that's still an issue, right? And we're always going to have that, I think, because just the nature of our country. And I've seen that, you know, I've been working in this space since, gosh, 1990. So, you know, I've seen a lot of different networks come and go for different reasons. So, put the technical aspect aside, the one thing I really love about working with regions, and I'm a country girl, right? So I'm unashamedly, I grew up in country New South Wales. So my natural inclination is to wanna give back to the country. I don't know that we see the level of community that we see in regional areas anywhere else. So I love that whenever I go somewhere and I walk into a room inevitably 80% of the room know each other. And I love that. But what I love even more is that they may not have connected the dots of, hey I can give you a shout out on social media and that’s going to help your business and my business because it's just they think about catching up with everybody at Netball on a Saturday or at the kids school for pick up or whatever but they don't see the connection that that goes across to business and the flow on effect that that can have. So just by getting them to lean into their natural wanting to connect and wanting to create community and showing them how that they can connect those dots into an online universe as well just blows my mind, right? Because then all of a sudden they've got much bigger networks, stronger networks and often better communities immediately. So their growth online is very quick because they're starting from such a really strong relationship base.
And when I go into a metro area, it's quite the opposite. So I see, I'll go into a room, barely anyone knows each other. And there's almost this, I come to the table as though you're my competition. So you've got to kind of take them out of that mindset in a way to kind of say, you know, okay, so you both might be digital marketers, but who do you actually want to work with and who do you want to work with?
You can see there's no actual overlap here. So why wouldn't you support and encourage each other? So it's just that different mindset and that different, yeah, thought process, I think, that happens between country and metro."
Ready to harmonise your ambition, livelihood and wellbeing? Join Australia's network for business owning mums. You’ll find experts, business advice, member directory and events. Sign up to Mums & Co today