CHOOSING THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGY TOOLS FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Tips about Technology Tools for Your Business from Dave Scheer:

  • Before choosing the right technology tool for your business think about the problem you are trying to solve.
  • Perceive yourself as a relationship builder and a connector. Get to know your technology providers
  • If technology is getting in the way of communication, you need to rethink the tool
  • You will fail quickly if you try to do sales, be the marketing expert, deliver your stuff, and do accounting. Get help!
  • When it comes to data security, the first step is to know what is important to you and to guard that.

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CHOOSING THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGY TOOLS FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Think about the problem you are trying to solve as you choose the right technology tools for your business

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Doug:  Welcome back, listeners, to another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast. I've got Dave Scheer as my guest in studio today. He is a husband, a father, a sacred sojourner. He is an entrepreneur, an Internet Technology (IT) leader and teacher. He has been doing this for about 25 years, as a technology consultant, IT director, IT security, program manager, web developer, project manager. He's got tons of relevant experience, for all of us that are trying to run our digital, online gig. As an entrepreneur, he started three companies as a side hustle, and now he's expanding one of them, to achieve a monetary goal of multiple passive income streams online, and who doesn't want that. He's just launched healstress.com, a website dedicated to providing education, structuring community to help people, not just manage the stress, but to heal it. He's deeply interested in this sacred journey in all of us, and the changes that we must all make to grow, so welcome to the podcast.

Dave Scheer: Hey, thanks, everybody. I'm glad to be here.

Doug: So, did I miss anything in your introduction, that you want to add?

Dave Scheer: No, I don't think so. I think everyone in the world is multi-faceted, and I think that covers at least the pieces, probably, that everyone wants to hear at the moment.

Doug: There you go. So, when I think of IT, my eyes kind of glaze over because I don't know much about it. I'm a marketing guy, so you want to share with us, just a little bit about your background, and get some context to the types of the projects, 'cause IT seems like just a broad topic?

Dave Scheer: Yeah, it is. Sometimes, in my past, when I've told people that I do IT stuff, a lot of times it's sort of like this black box, and lots and lots of people's eyes glaze over, so don't feel bad about that. It's just one of those kinds of things, where, a lot of times, people even in the profession, are just running to catch up. I think that's sort of the secret that we don't always tell people, because, lots of times, there's one point in my career where things sort of turned over about every 18 months, and it might even be faster now. But, more to the point, to answer your question, I've done lots and lots of different things. I got into the IT profession, almost by accident.

Dave Scheer: It was right around … it was probably mid … early to mid 90s, when I landed a job at a university and started getting hooked up around some really, really smart people, who did research and things like that, and then that morphed into getting a job, an early job, like an IT consultancy at EDS, Ross Perot's old corporation, and then that moved into some other things, where I was at a smaller organization, where they said, hey, there's this computer on the floor, can you make that into a web server, and so then I started putzing around, and figuring some things out. And it just kind of went from there, into more and more, and larger things, and I had the privilege of being the IT director for a state agency and involved in some … I'm currently actually a project management practitioner, so I currently do … I manage projects that are international in nature, and pretty large, and have significant enterprise … touches the enterprise. So, it's incredibly fast-moving, it's an incredibly interesting area, especially in how it impacts the business.

Doug: Well, I mean, I say my eyes glaze over, it's because I don't understand it, but I do realize the importance of it. So, as a small business entrepreneur, what are the main kind of hot spots, what are the problems that you see entrepreneurs and small business owners run into, when they just say, hey, I can set up my web servers myself, or I can have a friend of mine help them, or I can set up my intranet, or I can build my website, and put it up on WordPress, and everything will be just fine?

Dave Scheer: Yeah, invariably, I guess that's a thing I didn't talk about, as an entrepreneur, and also just from a web perspective, I've been doing web, server website stuff, probably since the late 90s, so I've seen a lot of iterations of what happens in that space, and what tools are used. But, to answer your question, invariably, people focus on the tool, rather than what problem they're trying to solve. I've spent a lot of time in my consulting career, as well as just in working for other people, trying to move people away from the tool, and more towards the solution. And so, the way that I put this, a lot of times is, if you're gonna work on some kind of project around your house, you don't go to your toolbox and pick out a drill when you don't even know if what you really need is a hammer.

So, what I try to do, is I try to have people think a lot about, first, on the front side, what is it that you want to do? And the other thing, too, is that I kind of have an approach of like, from a business practice perspective, I don't care what you're doing, if it's a small shop or a big shop, if you're a solopreneur, if you're whatever, if you can't do the process of what you want to do, with a piece of paper and a pen, you haven't gone far enough to think about what it is that you want to do. So stop, right there, do that, and then start talking about the tool.

Doug: Yeah, and fair enough, and I see that, for sure, in the marketing side. Everybody goes to a seminar, webinar, and they hear, hey, what's the latest thing? Gary B says it should be SnapChat, and this guy says it should be Instagram, and they run around, looking at all these new tools, without addressing, what are we trying to accomplish.

Dave Scheer: Yeah, because the tools will change, invariably the tools will change. The hot thing today will not be the hot thing tomorrow. So, again, whether you're a marketer, or an IT person, or a CEO, or a whatever, it's, from a technology perspective, it's, the focus is, from my perspective is, what is going to be good for the business longterm, and here's the kicker, what is sustainable? Because, the sustainability piece of a piece of technology, especially of tools, it has a shelf life, number one, if you don't have the people and the skillset to sustain it. Number two, if you don't have the money to sustain it. And number three, if it changes so rapidly that it is no longer viable for what your business solution is. So that's talking about a lot of general stuff. I think it's probably more useful to your audience to talk about more specific things, so are there any specific needs that you've seen from your audience, that I can help with?

Doug: People are trying to get their business up and running, and they don't think, they don't spend any time on the IT side or security side, and I'm often disappointed… 'cause they don't spend enough time on their marketing either, but where do you think they, the big issues are? You come home, so you're gonna set up a computer, you're gonna be home-based, you install your computer, you maybe plug in a router, you turn it on, likely with its default settings, you put up a WordPress site, leave the forward slash login “admin”, and you're off and running your business.

Dave Scheer: Right. So, I think that, from a very, very practical standpoint, sort of the how to list, is that the first thing that I think, if I had some of your listeners sort of in my office, and I was providing the wisdom of the ages sort of thing, is that I would say, perceive yourself as a relationship builder, and as a connector. So your job is not to delve into the depths of routers, or of security, or of … what it is, is for you to be able to find or develop relationships with the providers, that can provide each of the patchwork quilt of tools and technologies, that you need, in a way that is efficient, effective, and doesn't cost you a ton of money. So, first of all, if they can position themselves, and sort of perceive themselves, as that, as sort of like, I am sort of the solution manager, and there are a bunch of these little pieces, parts, that I'm gonna need to put together, what are those things?

And so, then that will drive you, typically, to going, okay, I can get pretty much any internet service provider, for example, will have some sort of package deal on security, and they'll take care of that for you. So, whether it's that, or whether it's your local sort of fellow solopreneur, who has a package deal, 'cause they're running their own little business, and they'll come and do IT support for you, if it's that, or whatever it is, but just, it's kind of like, outsource that piece, that has nothing to do with your business. I work with very, very large enterprises, and even very large enterprises are structured in such a way, as that they have a central IT group, that all of the other businesses buy their IT from. And that's because you don't want businesses wasting time and money on trying to figure out their own IT, so think of it that way.

Doug: That totally makes sense because it's no different if you're launching your business. I mean, do you really want to learn HTML to build your website, or do you want to go do what your primary business is, serve your customer, for whatever product or service you're selling, and let somebody else do the heavy lifting on the other side?

Dave Scheer: Exactly. And I mean, website stuff is notorious, because you can really get caught up in that, because, quite frankly, especially for, I would think, for marketers … I have a background, also, I got my undergraduate degree in English, so writing and that kind of stuff is fun. Building a website and graphics and all this audio stuff, video, it's fun. Well, but if you get wrapped up in that, and don't focus on what your customers need, you're not gonna be in business very long.

Doug: The quote that I have sitting beside my computer is, “Always milk the cows before building a farm.”, right?

Dave Scheer: That's right. That's a great quote.

Doug: Just like, go out and sell some stuff, and then, when you've got some new money, then hire somebody to build your website, and then go out and get business cards, but in the meantime, go and collect some cash.

Dave Scheer: That's tough, though. I've been, as an entrepreneur myself, it's hard, because, to a certain degree, if you're in early stages of entrepreneurship, you have to be at a stage where you're selling something, and sometimes that something isn't always completely built, or completely articulated, in a way that people understand. You've gotta work through some of that. And so, I think there's a real need for balance, where you work some on that back end operational stuff, but make sure you've got the cow, definitely, before you're doing this. And I mean, I've done that, I've done that in reverse, in my past, and it isn't pleasant. You don't stay in business very long, when you do that, and you're just burning cash.

Doug: I've done both, and several years ago I thought I'd try and experiment, and my thinking is that, if I'm spending my own money on my own marketing, that if it doesn't work, that's fine, 'cause it's mine, I would never do that with a client.

Dave Scheer: Right.

Doug: So we set up a brand new C Corp in Nevada, and went out to a networking event, and managed to close a client, and then had to, not only register the domain, but set up an email, so I could send an invoice, sent the invoice, and then had to go open a bank account. Now, I had checks in hand, with a brand new bank account, and intentionally did not build a website for that business, for two years, just about a year and a half. I have never bought business cards, just to say hey, you know what, you don't have to have a business card these days. Yes, I know it's nice, it presents well, but with people's concern, even around the environment and not printing, that is quite acceptable just to exchange phone numbers and text and/or email. In that case, I didn't have a site. Now, it probably wasn't a very fair test, because I was already in business, so I could speak the lingo, I had some sales skills, but it was just an interesting process, to hear people say, well, where's your website? I haven't built one.

Dave Scheer: Yeah, and that's the thing, and I think that that's a great example, and I'll kind of harp on this, I guess, is that technology is a tool. It is a tool, just like any other tool, and if you can build whatever you need to build, without fancy schmancy technology tools, make it happen. It's really that simple. The purpose of websites, or at least what they have become, certainly in the marketing world, is to uniformly deliver a message, that is global in reach. Fundamentally, that's what a website can do, in terms of its function. You can't get … there aren't too many other tools, on the planet, that you can do that, because it really is sort of a build it and they will come kind of thing, as long as you can get the message out. You can't do that very cost effectively, with print ads, or radio ads, or television ads, or whatever it is, but it's that presence. So, if the technology is getting in your way, from accomplishing that objective, of that communication, then I think you need to rethink about the tool.

Doug: Yeah, absolutely. I know, I find myself, some days, and I call it procrastinating, so I'm looking at new tools, looking at new stuff, which really has nothing to do with serving the existing customer. I'm looking for, obviously, new stuff for my clients, but we can get way down that road like you say, this is fun, I'm gonna write this, I'm gonna shoot that video. But at the end of the day, if it's not serving a client or generating new revenue, then it really is more of a hobby and not a business.

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Think about the problem you are trying to solve as you choose the right technology tools for your business

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Dave Scheer: Yeah, I've spent pretty much my entire career … the way I describe any business structure, any organization, and I've been an HR director in the past, so I know some things about organizational leadership, and things like that, but there's really … I boil it down that there's fundamentally three parts to any organization, and I don't care if you're a one-person shop, or if you've got 60,000 people in your organization, fundamentally there's three places. There is sales, there's delivery, and there's operations. Sales make the money, delivery delivers the stuff that the money came in for, and operations manages everything else, manages the people, manages the money, once it comes in, and all that kind of thing. It is my conviction that any one person can do two of those functions, they can not do three. It is a fundamentally flawed model, so if you're a solopreneur, just know, you can handle two of those things, but if you try to stretch yourself to do all three, it will not work.

Dave Scheer: If you try to do sales, and be the marketing expert, and deliver your stuff, and do accounting, it will fail quickly. So, set up a structure, where, ideally, you have different, either people, or vendors, or whatever, that are handling those three different parts. And then, as a result of that, I've really spent the majority of my life in the last two, in delivery and operations. I've sat in the chair of the technical expert, and pushed the buttons, and made things work, and all that kind of stuff. And then I've been on the back end, where I've been either in management positions, or in HR, or doing the accounting in the back, or whatever it is. And the thing is, is that there is this fundamental tension between each of those three things, and especially between sales and delivery, because sales job, is to say yes, and delivery's job is to deliver on that yes, and go, what the heck did you just do.

And operations, in costs savings mode, their job it so say no. So it's my, and again, I've never spent time as a marketer, really, in my professional life, but if I was a marketer, one of the things that I need to do, is I need to make sure that the messaging can flow through that value chain internally, of those three pieces, as well as out to the customers, because if you're really successful at marketing stuff to potential customers, and they come in, but your internal staff, or the people who are delivering, and the people who are helping the operations piece, don't know your message, that chain will break at some point, and cause you all kinds of stress. And nobody wants that, nobody wants that at all. That's my two pennies.

Doug: Well, what practical advice would you give small, medium-sized businesses, and/or solopreneurs, that are trying to deal with that part of their business, in terms of keeping it operational, or keeping it safe?

Dave Scheer: In terms of IT security kinds of things?

Doug: Yeah, what do they need to be … what are the threats? I think you stated it correctly, in saying that, what is it you're trying to do or prevent, and figure that out before you buy the tools, so whether it's tools or routers or anti-virus or whatever, might be on the market these days, so where does somebody get an idea of what the threats are? It seems like the people who are out there, that are interested in hacking your data, and getting access to your client database, or access your website, so they can post, they seem to have a lot more time on their hands, than those of us who are running a business, trying to make it work.

Dave Scheer: Yeah, amen to that, right. So, that's a really, really good question, with a really, really complex answer, but I'm gonna keep this simple. The first step is to know what is important to you and to guard that. What you're doing, if you're building a castle, and there are threats, both external and internal. And there are legions of people and hoards of information, that treat this because this is essential, it's an entire body of knowledge, but if you're a solopreneur, or if you're an SMB, the first thing that you can do, very practically, is cover … the best way I like to describe it is this. Think of it like plumbing, okay, data information, all that kind of stuff, at its most fundamental level, has to follow along wires. It travels along wires, whether those are fire or copper, doesn't matter, wireless doesn't matter. And if you can monitor the flow of that water, of that information, as it comes from outside your organization, to inside your organization, and you recognize the points at which you don't want people to reach, or if you want them to reach, you only want them to reach it in a certain way, so let me give you an example.

So, one of the most fundamental things, is that, as people come in, and you put up that router, and you do all those kinds of things, change stuff so that it's non-standard, and so that it's not an immediate way, so that a hacker can guess all that information, but as the information gets into the organization, what I would argue, is more important, is the thing that everybody knows that they have to do, that they don't do, and that's backup data in three places, fundamentally backup your data in three places, because the data is the thing that's golden. You can reproduce everything else. A couple of days ago, we had 28 inches of snow, here where I live, over the weekend, and during that snowfall, there was lighting strike, believe it or not, that took out our internet. And it's sort of like holy cow, that was amazing.

Dave Scheer: But you call the guy, he gets it back up in 24 hours, and you're fine. So there are those pieces, so I would say that the biggest threat that people face, especially SMB, is they're flying around so fast, they're doing so many different things, they've got one primary computer, maybe a couple, their information is kind of scattered, but it's all on that one computer, and if that thing goes, their lifeblood could potentially go. So backup is probably my number one piece of advice, and then after that, as far as where are the threats, yes, there are all kinds of external threats, that are very sophisticated, and everybody … The quip goes, that a good security speech is one where everybody comes out scared. The thing is, it's true, I've been involved in cybersecurity exercises at the state level and national level, and things are … there are bad actors out there, that are state-sponsored, and you know what, you don't … I think a lot of people are run scared.

Dave Scheer: It's not that it's not real, it's not that it's not pretty horrible, about some of the things that can happen, but I think, if you look at it in a practical sense, and you think about it like plumbing, yeah, you can go out and buy a master purification system for your house, that will keep everything super pure in your water, but is it worth doing that, or is everything … is something else good enough? And so, if you're a small, an SMB, if you're a small/medium business, and you're looking at that, take a very practical look and say, what are the things that are most important to me, what happens to me if I either lose this data, or have this particular functionality compromised, and then have a plan, and really understand that that's an operational plan, that's something you do as a part of your DNA. It's not like optional, but it's rather something that you revisit on, probably, a monthly basis.

Doug: Well it's interesting you mention backup, I didn't even think of that. It's something that we've done so long ago, I totally forgot, because it's just in place.

Dave Scheer: Yeah, that's a thing, is like security, and security is kind of like saying, oh, you do security. It's just like saying, oh, you do IT. It's very, very broad, and it's a very big thing, but in the industry, from a backup perspective, the terms are disaster recovery and business continuity. So disaster recovery is, holy cow, what if there's a smoking crater, what are we gonna do, and there's a continuum of that. Okay, what happens if we … maybe it's not a smoking crater, but maybe we lose power to the whole building, those kinds of things. And then business continuity is, okay, we don't have a disaster from which we need to recover, but there is, what happens if, for example, if leadership is stranded on an island for two weeks, who's gonna start making decisions? What happens if we have a situation where we don't necessarily have a smoking crater, but for some reason, this particular building, in this particular place, that we can't get access to it, then how are we gonna continue to … how are we gonna continue our business operations?

Dave Scheer: Even if you're an SMB, there is a small portion of that, that you have to think about. If you're an SMB, and you're only two people or five people, or whatever, what happens if Jane gets sick, or her kids get sick, and she's out of commission for two weeks, and she happens to be your primary marketing consultant, or she's the person who knows the admin passwords for your primary eCommerce site, or your customers' eCommerce sites, or whatever. So there are small, little pieces of execution, that people can do, even if you're a small organization, that sort of mimic the same functionality of the big guys, that are really, really important to do. And it's not necessarily anything that you need to take a ton of time with, or that you need to worry tons about, but it's one of those kinds of things where, if those things were to happen, they can have such a huge impact, that it could really … you talk about threats, that it could threaten the existence of the organization, so you want to do those things.

Doug: That makes sense. Like you said, just drop them down, because you're not talking about a lot of stuff. The idea that hackers are gonna pursue you, is a lot less likely than a fire or flood, power outage, and I'm not happy to say, we've been through those. We had a security threat, like a threat of personnel, from a competitor, and we had to vacate the office, so how do you manage eight staff remotely, when now the office is no longer safe to attend, so you have to figure that out.

Dave Scheer: Absolutely, and I would go so far, Doug, in terms of, and again, this is more of an approach and a perspective. I don't know, it might be a little shocking that I'm actually saying this, but instead of worrying too much about whether or not somebody's gonna hack your stuff, assume they already have, because, if you think about it that way … if somebody hacks your stuff, A, you're never gonna know, B, they're never gonna tell you. It's not like, for an SMB, they're gonna send you a ransom note and say, send me a quarter of a million dollars, or I'm gonna sell your stuff. And there have been enough breaches in the large, public organizations, that it is highly likely that personal information is all over the place. Okay, so then, you're really left with the situations of, sort of like okay, the walls didn't come crumbling down, I am not imprisoned or sent to Turkey or something like that, so what is it, if some of my data is compromised, what can I do, in a proactive kind of way, to make sure that the data that I present here, going forward, is, even if it were to be compromised, I'd be okay with it.

I am, from my own personal perspective, I have only recently, I mean in the 25 years that I've been in and around the internet, I've only recently put my picture, voluntarily, out in public places, and so it's kind of like that whole thing of, when you're in a big corporate world, it's sort of like, well, you know, every email you write, just pretend that that be made public. But if people think that way, that it's sort of like, okay, look, most likely some of your information has been compromised, that's not really the major threat. The major threat is that there is gonna be … let me put it this way, this might be a better way. I also spent some time working with a state emergency management organization, so these are the people who are responsible of, seriously, what happens if the nuclear plant, several miles from here, melts down.

These are the people who sit around and think about that kind of stuff, and have a plan. They actually have a plan. So, in working with those guys, one of the things that we talked about, when we did statewide and nationwide cyber exercises, was that it would be highly unlikely that we would have a cyber emergency, without having a physical emergency. So, the higher probability is not that we're gonna have a compromise of everybody's information, that's gonna bring down 1,500 different corporations. What's more likely, is that an F4 tornado is gonna come romping through a place, and is going to take out either the ISP, or 20 different businesses, that are gonna have a huge impact on a community. So, from a security perspective, I think that … and from an emergency management perspective, that's how those people think, and they run the probabilities, and they're probably right.

Doug: I guess the other thing is, that when you've got your plan in place, you really need to test it, to make sure that actually works. I remember the first time that our data guy said, hey, we should actually do a restore as if we've lost our server, and I went, okay, why do you do that? He goes, well, how do you know it works? How do you know that, if you do lose your server, that the way the systems configured is gonna work? So they ran a test. I thought that's pretty smart, that's why we have smart IT guys.

Dave Scheer: And see, but here's the thing, right, is that that's one of those areas where it's sort of like, you can burn a lot of time and effort. If you're a business person, and you're running a business, and I know this for a fact, just myself in my own business, you can burn a lot of time worrying about this stuff, and try to test that kind of stuff, and that isn't very useful, and especially if it fails, and you've gotta figure out what's going on, and then it becomes your full-time job. So, what you want to do, is I'll go back to what I said previously, is be very clear about identifying the things that are most important to you. If your mission in life is that you have created a WordPress site or WordPress sites and that these are things that bring in the dollars for you or your clients, and that is … and whether it's that or your other channels, you have, most likely, a very, very capable group of people, that are hosting those environments, that will know way more than you do, about any of that technical stuff. So, at that point, it's highly unlikely that those things will go down.

Number one, if you haven't set up your stuff that way, that's how you should set it up. But number two, what you should be more concerned about is, again, back to the water metaphor, what is my pipe like, to that functionality? So if I'm sitting here, on a modem, that is now eight years old, and it kind of fizzles out every three weeks, be more concerned about that than you are about whether or not the tier three data center is gonna actually blow your stuff up. And I can give you a perfect example of this, actually. We, for one of the companies that I own, we leverage a cloud provider for all of our customer … this is for the Chi Garden Health Spa, for all of our customers, for all the customer transactions, for all of that stuff. And it had been running fine, the folks who work for us, they've got some complaints, and all that kind of thing, but those are just kind of normal, but they actually, this cloud provider went down, for like … it was like a whole scale failure, for like, I don't know, it was probably a good day, probably about eight hours.

And this was just recently. And there was really, at that point, there was kind of like nothing we could do about it, but they got the stuff up faster than, again, we could even imagine, if we had had that server or servers at our own on-premise locations, and we're managing it ourselves. So, again, I would caution everybody out there, especially when they're reading the news, and especially the latest news, don't believe the hype. It's really, take a measured caution, be concerned, yes this stuff is serious, but be really hyper-focused on the things that are important to you, and pick out those technical functionalities, that if you lost them, really, really would cause, either you pain, or significant harm, and focus your efforts on doing those.

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Doug: I think that's really good, I was gonna say common sense, but I don't like to use that word. I think that's really good advice, like you said, focused on what your key drivers are, and what would be catastrophic to the business, and resolve those, and don't sweat the small stuff.

Dave Scheer: Yeah, the thing is, right at sort of like … everybody knows this. It's not like I'm saying anything here that's rocket science, I'm really not. The trick is, have you made the commitment to perform the execution, where you need to? And I would say, from a technical perspective, if you are asking for my professional opinion, for what should people do in that particular area, it would probably be that one thing, is to take a step back, identify the most important technical capabilities, or technical functions that you run, or that you rely on, and ensure that you know what is going to happen, if those break. And it could be as simple, I got a guy named Jim, and I'm gonna call him. Great, awesome, check that one off the list.

Doug: Where's Jim's phone number, hopefully not on your computer.

Dave Scheer: Exactly, that's exactly right. And you know, we joke about, we've joked about this for years and years and years, right, it's sort of like, people use email lies a massive data repository, and if they lose … that was the one thing. When I was doing technical support, or I was in a situation where I was like the IT director, and I managed kind of everything, you would know … anything else could break. There could be fundamental major problems in your data center, and your server room, and have all these kind of issues that people don't know about, if email broke, in the organization, that is one thing that would go immediately to the top. The CEO and the president would be like, on your case, going when are we getting an email back?

Doug: I've seen it. We were at a charity golf tournament, and there was another guy who owned a big ad agency, and he got a call, he said, I gotta go. I said, well, what … is your family okay? Their exchange server was down.

Dave Scheer: Yeah. No seriously, it's like I have seen it where, if … and you say exchange center, that's exactly what happened, so if the exchange server went down, people walked around with like this listless look on their face, and they didn't know what to do, and so that's a thing, is know your channel. Form a cultural perspective, there are some organizations that are v-mail cultures, there are some organizations that are email culture, there are some organizations, now, that are very progressive, that are more like, almost a social media community kind. I would say that those are few and far between, because there is way too much of a compliance necessity to still have email, and other things. But know what your culture is, and know what buttons are gonna have to be pushed, if those things …

Dave Scheer: I feel like I'm an insurance agent here because they're talking the same kinds of things, but in technical … in the technical IT realm, one of the realities is, that whatever it is that you are working with, it will break. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when and how. And so, what you will realize is, if that hasn't happened to you yet, in a big way, when it does, it will be very … you will very quickly realize which things are critical, are what we call business critical, or mission critical. In the cases of people who are like hospitals, and things like that, like if things break, people die, or in the military, or something like that. Those are things that you definitely call mission critical, that are at a whole different level. But you will experience, especially from a marketing kind of perspective, is that, if an organization can not perform sales transactions, that is business critical, and are the things that you need to focus on.

Doug: Absolutely. So let's change the conversation a little bit, so you've got some new stuff going on, and you're stepping into a new project. So what are you most excited about, say, over the next six to 12 months?

Dave Scheer: So yeah, for the next six to 12 months, so we went live with healstress.com. Healstress.com is a membership community, that really uses a model of the hero's journey, or some people refer to this as the sacred journey, to help people heal stress in their lives. My wife has been, 25 years, owning a spa. I've done 25 years in IT, and so really, what this project is, is kind of bringing those two things together. I've gone through a lot of personal change in my life. I can kind of call myself almost a change expert, by default. I've been through a lot of life issues, that kind of thing, and so, what I'm really excited about is, the opportunity to take all the stuff that I have learned, and that my wife has learned, and that the resources that we know, have learned, because we know a lot of people, and to pull all of this together to help people.

Dave Scheer: And we believe that the language in our culture, around this concept of stress, right now, is all about coping with and managing, and so it's sort of like, oh, it's gonna be there, and you just gotta sort of deal with it. We want to sort of elevate the level of debate, and elevate the level of language, surrounding that, and talk about how can you heal stress, how can you make that … and healing is more of something that is a part of a process in your life, that kind of will never end, but that you can recognize as making this better, rather than just coping, throwing it under a rug, or doing whatever. So, I'm really excited that we're going to be putting together some … putting together the resources and the content around that, and offering it to a membership.

Doug: That's really cool. Good for you guys. I'm a big fan of healing. I would rather heal than medicate.

Dave Scheer: Amen.

Doug: And a bigger fan of prevention, so if I can not have the problem, that's even better.

Dave Scheer: Well, I know, when I was going through some really difficult times in my life, and I'd go so far as to say, this sort of in the darkness kind of thing, is that I started realizing that this thing that I kept calling stress, wasn't really stress at all. It was, in some cases, it was anger, in other cases it was depression, and in other cases, it might have been just sadness. And so, what I started realizing is, that for each of those different things, you really have to metabolize it in a different way. You have to sort of heal it in a different way. And I know that there, again, there is a litany of content out there around this, and what we want to offer, sort of this, our unique marketers would say, our unique selling proposition is that we want to take a look at this in a different way, and more from an inner healing kind of fashion.

Doug: So, where can people find you online? How do they connect?

Dave Scheer: Yeah, so you can connect with us at healstress.com. We've got a splash page there, that is ever sort of growing, in terms of what we can do there. You can find me, also, on either LinkedIn or Twitter, and if we could maybe throw the addresses in the podcast documentation, that'd be great. And really, what we're trying to drive for here, is people who … we're all stressed, right, but people who are in a place where they think maybe that that stress has a disproportionate effect on their lives. Those are really the people, I think, who could really benefit the most, and they can get a hold of us there.

Doug: Well, I've just finished writing a health book, and the research I did showed that, right now, we are more stressed, we are more overweight, we are more in debt, and more medicated, than anytime ever, in history before.

Dave Scheer: Yeah. I would concur. There's tons of evidence out there, and the level of discourse about stress, and things like that, it's pervasive. And it's kind of like, I think, so far, it's really just sort of been treated like, oh, it's stress, we have to deal with it, drink more caffeine, whatever it is. And you're absolutely right, and I think that there are new ways that we can bring to the world, all of us, that can move us forward, and kind of evolve our humanity that way.

Doug: I think so, totally agree. So hey, thanks so much, Dave, for taking time. It's really cool to talk a little bit about kind of your history and your IT and how to help the small businesses and to talk about your new venture, so if you hire a good IT guy, like Dave, you'll have less stress, but if you're stressed, you can always contact Dave, and he'll help you heal from your stress.

Dave Scheer: Absolutely. Well, thank you so much for having me on the podcast. I really, really appreciate it, and I'm just very grateful that I can come and share my story.

Doug: And so, thanks listeners, for tuning in. As usual, we will transcribe this interview into show notes, and we'll make sure that all the contact information and the appropriate links are there, so you can reach out to Dave, in whatever format that is, if you're a social media person, or if you just want to ping through his website, so make sure that you subscribe to iTunes, to keep up to date with our latest episodes, and if you like this episode and others, don't be shy, don't be afraid, to give us a rating on iTunes, so thanks so much, and we'll be back to you guys for our next episode.

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