I had a great discussion this morning who was struggling with where to invest in new technology.  She’s a confessed “late adopter” of technical goodies, so it’s all a bit daunting where to start.

Here’s a simple way to break it down.

First, what do you need in order to be productive?  In her case, as a sales representative for financial services, she has huge stacks of business cards that she needs to get entered into a more automated system.  Fortunately, there solutions for this are coming down in price regularly, and becoming easier to use.

For some people, they just hire someone to type all that information, so they can get it nearly error-free.  So the solution isn’t always technology.

Other needs might be to have a smart phone so she can not be so tied to her office, or to invest in an iPad so she can give better presentations to her clients.

Second, what do your clients need from you?  If she’s going to be sending out newsletters or postcards, there’s technology which will make this SO much simpler than in the past.  But she shouldn’t worry so much about social media, because that doesn’t reach the kind of clientele she’s looking for.  And it may not be very consistent with a professional, highly regulated service like she has.  If you have any doubt, go check out Facebook pages for financial people.  If you can even find any, they’ll be sparse and relatively uninteresting, because the government regulations in the industry really don’t allow much flexibility and innovation.

Third, what gives you joy?  This might be a bit surprising.  We’re talking business, aren’t we?  Yes, but when you enjoy your life and work, you’ll have more energy for both.  If you really enjoy getting out there and connecting with people, and a better email system will help you do that, go for it!

In the end, technology is great, always advancing, but there’s just too many options these days.  Don’t feel guilty when people try to tell you to spend your life on Facebook, unless YOU can see a reason for it.

People survived quite well for a few thousand years before all this was available.