Today we’d like to introduce you to Nancy Spear.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I didn’t grow up with technology. Joining the workforce after raising our kids, I was suddenly in front of a computer so I know the anxiety my clients feel. I started working at a computer software, gained confidence in front of the screen, and began helping the company’s clients with the basic techniques of the software.
A few years later, my father, in his mid ’70s, got his first smartphone. He called me and said, “The guy at the phone store said I needed a password. But I’ve been on hold with the provider for an hour and no one can help me.” I realized there was no one on that 800 line would was giving my dad the patience and the respect he deserved. I left my job and started my business teaching older adults how to use their tech devices.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I knew what I wanted to do but at first wasn’t sure how to get there. I joined a few business networking groups and, little by little, my name got around. There was no one else doing what I was doing. I started speaking at Older Adult Tech Fairs and assisted living facilities.
My business has grown mostly by word of mouth. I gave a gift certificate to a Women’s Club, the winner loved me, and gave my business cards to five of her Mah Jong friends. My biggest surprise? My mother introduced me to a friend and before I could even say, “Nice to meet you,” he said, “You’re the computer lady. We’ve heard about you!”
My only challenge has been learning how to balance my work life with my personal life. I could spend all my time working with my clients and learning new programs.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Nancy’s Tech Help for Older Adults – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Excellent question. I teach the 60+ crowd how to use their smartphones, tablets, and computers one-on- one in their homes. We sit either in their home office or at the kitchen counter. There can be a cat at my feet or a cup of coffee on the table. They are comfortable because they are in their own home.
I show them one function and then I take my hands or the keyboard. Then they do it themselves as many times as needed, until they are comfortable on their own. No hurry. I’m not in a rush. I try to make it fun. If they are getting frustrated or overwhelmed, I ask them who their favorite star was years ago. We’ve found some lovely photos of Paul Newman in Google Images. Or, what was the first car you drove. One man told me he had a red ’54 Buick; we Googled it and he spent 10 minutes telling me how the wheel wells were changed the following year.
There aren’t too many people who do what I do. But I’d say what sets me apart is my compassion. I’ve had my own anxiety with tech devices so I understand how confusing it can be. And I realize that everyone learns differently. Some only need written directions, while some prefer hands-on training. With some I need to get creative — and that’s fun. One client was anxious because she couldn’t remember how to start a new Gmail. I said, “Let’s relax and COMPOSE ourselves.” Then I showed her the red COMPOSE button. She got the connection and has been emailing ever since. I believe that’s what sets me apart. I listen, I’m compassionate, and I teach according to what my clients need.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I see myself expanding in the future but right now I’m in a good place. I love when the phone rings and it’s a new client who wants to learn a program I don’t know because then I get to learn something new! Once I saw a client who called me to learn Facebook and as our lesson was ending, she asked me one of those, “Since your here….” questions. Her garage door opener wasn’t working. I fixed it! I’m not crazy about surprises but there is always something to learn…even for me. That’s just one of the things I love about my business.
- $50 for your first 1-hour introductory lesson.
- Must live in the Los Angeles area.
- Website: www.nancys-tech-help.com
- Phone: 310-365-9951
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nancystechhelp/
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/nancys-tech-help-for-older-adults-culver-city