I’ve been using technology and the web for so long that I was the original kristyj@hotmail.com.

Not kristyj_2345@hotmail.com.

No.

Kristyj@hotmail.com.

At HOTMAIL.

Dot com.

Do you realize how early an adopter you have to be in order to get yourfirstname@anywhere.com?  You have to be VERY early and VERY quick!

I stopped using this email address many MANY moons ago…too much spam and not enough time to filter (also, marriage changed that last initial).  BUT, when you’re looking for a face in the crowd to help move you to the next level, who do you look to?  You look to the ones who were early adopters.  Those who found the technology before others, put it to the test, figured out tricks to make it work for them (and ultimately for you), and can give you an honest opinion regarding whether or not it’s worth the time or money for you to implement.

It’s far too easy to put these folks on some sort of pedestal and shoot for their success when determining your own goals, technology or otherwise.   I liken trying to  make someone else’s tools and processes work for you like picking out clothes from a friend’s closet:  you’ll find things that fit nicely, you’ll find things that are  amazing but not your style (so you’ll never actually wear them), and then you’ll find things you like but they’re just not the right size.  What works for my firm may not work for yours.  However, maybe my wardrobe gave you enough to start with that you can now wear what does fit, and go shopping for something similar in your own size that looks much better on you than it EVER would on me.

Case in point: there was a period of time in my industry where practice management software and apps were “the thing” to spend your time and money on.  Some of them were very basic, some automated many of our processes, some were a complete solution from lead generation all the way to project management.  I spent a better part of a month looking at all of them, tailoring each piece to my needs and sometimes trying to FORCE it to work the way I needed it to.  After many demos and a lot of starting and stopping, I realized all I really wanted was a simple checklist and a way to integrate it with my email.  The big winner?  Yanado!

I know many accountants like me who LOVE those apps that didn’t work for me.  And I’ve had others try Yanado only to admit it’s not a fit.  THAT’S OKAY.  What I found to be the lesson of my journey into practice management technology was that I came out knowing what I needed, why certain things weren’t going to work for me, and how I could use simpler solutions to accomplish the parts I really liked about some of those apps.

Following the paths of others will help you get up and running quickly, but taking that path one step further and adding your mark along the way is what will make you an original.  Feel free to reach out if you’d like some help starting the trip.