Archives for July 2014

MUSINGS IN Cb: “(At this point in life, it is) Amusing To Be Underestimated …”

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MUSINGS IN Cb:
“(At this point in life, it is) Amusing To Be Underestimated …”

     When we finished our active duty service career in the Regular Army Music Program, we opened a music store in a small town just outside of the main gate of the last Army band post we were assigned.

     The Burnett Music Company, Inc. music store did not remain viable for several unanticipated reasons that terminally impacted our business plan. 

However, there were several positive developments and lessons that came out of that 5-year experience of literally working 16-hour-days, 7-days-a-week – for no pay.  The primary positives included:

  • Operating my own business plan in tangible form
  • Learning the dynamics of owning a business beyond theory
  • Employing a myriad of very diverse skills each day
  • Developing new skills in short order as needed

The above list is likely very familiar to anyone who has engaged in entrepreneurism on most any retail sales level.  This relates to the subject of this particular “musing” because several of the skills I developed have been very vital toward any subsequent success I have enjoyed since this seemingly failed first attempt at retail business in the capitalist economic system of our great country. I have learned that we learn greatest from endeavors that don’t always go as planned.  And, this is one of mine…

I developed a limitlessly valuable new skill during the course of managing and operating this “brick and mortar” retail music store business.  That skill was writing HTML code along with other IT developer languages … and, this skill still serves me well in everything I do in the music industry to this very day!

The reason I learned to write HTML code was to simply update our music store company website and not pay $25 to the Host Company each time to do it.  That was almost twenty years ago, but you can see how prohibitively expensive it becomes (even back then) to pay someone $25 “Tech Support” fee each time they added a comma or changed a link on your site. Ridiculous. So, I learned how to do it myself…

Most people with company websites do not understand how the entire dynamic works, much less do they actually do anything technical on their website’s back-end. They generally leave all of that to the IT Department (“our Geeks”) or contract it out (to a company of “Geeks”).

This gives lots of power to the IT world in my opinion, that otherwise these business people would be more discerning and deliberate toward bestowing such autonomy. A questionable practice that continues to come back to haunt many company owners to this day.  Why? Ignorance. Even, borderline stupidity as business decisions and priorities go.

Most IT people will give the most informed among us a “headache” with all of the “tech-speak” during even the most routine matter involving your web development paradigm.

Then, if you have no idea how to turn on a computer, much less how to actually write code – you see the issues in this dynamic, right?

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Most IT Professionals and Webmasters realize this is largely the case when they deal with people outside of their professions.  I have seen this awareness among them since I started developing my own websites twenty years ago.  They “humor” us with polite customer service at best; and, are downright condescending at worst. Revenge of the Nerds.

So, as a lifelong, self-admitted “Band Geek” and late blooming “Computer Geek”, I find it amusing when these clowns underestimate me. Especially when I know a solution before contacting them. It never ceases to amaze me when I am bombarded with “tech-speak” double talk as a filibuster move.

Rather than just saying, “Mr. Burnett, we will take a look at the situation with consideration to your description of the issue; and, we will get on working to resolve your ticket. Thank you for your business." 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=773C5gS5HXQ]

In my current positions managing the Websites and Social Media platforms for several companies, I have saved each of those entities at least tens of thousands of hard dollars because of the skills I acquired in this area of business. When most dedicated IT Professionals and Webmasters realize that I am somewhat articulate and knowledgable, they approach me differently.  

Some still try to ”up-sell“, but I usually "win”…

People of my age group (50+) need to step up our game in this area. More musicians are more literate about web development and social media platforms. More music business leaders included in this number will be great for the entire scene.

Peace, Cb