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The Triumphs And Frustrations Of Helping To Change A Country

Michelle Dale - Friday, July 13, 2012

As many of you know I went to Austria last month as part of a workshop that I was invited to called “Create32” – to develop a vision for the future of Austria and where it could possibly be in 2032.

We were to get together with other great minds to come up with ideas, and an innovative vision. I did so much talking, and as many of you know, I rarely see anyone face-to-face to discuss business, in fact, that was the first time in 7 years since I started my business that I had direct interaction with people to discuss business. I know I sound like a complete recluse, I’m not, it’s simply that my business is entirely virtual, so for me – that was like running a marathon having only ever been playing the video game of running a marathon.

While I was there I thought that my ideas may be too big, or crazy, or unrealistic, but there was one particular man, one of the participants, and he was somebody who I would normally think would never give me the time of day, a real big cheese, who was able to really see where I was coming from, and fully supported my contributions to the end result, which made me think that maybe I wasn’t so crazy after all.

Anyway, I have had a few emails from the readers of my blog asking me when I was going to do my final post on Austria, and this is it.

My Biggest Takeaway.

The biggest personal takeaway I had from my time in Austria was that I believe that the way I run my company, and the way I have set everything up to operate on a larger scale, could be adopted by a country, and if the country did adopt this way of working and integrated and trained their people, and supported them to become excellent at any kind of online service, then I think there would be less poverty, less unemployment, more opportunities for people who live in remote locations or for people with physical disabilities to have a normal kind of working life.

Imagine, the first online business university, teaching people to become self-sufficient through the Internet, which was available to folk just like standard education, imagine schools actively promoting working online as a possible career choice, and grants being given to small business owners who were willing to train and assist others in getting started working online, or join an online team with a specific skill.

Imagine, a country investing into this concept to become the world’s most sought after country to outsource to, because they had invested money into training their people to deliver their skills via the Internet.

My Biggest Frustration.

So, moving onto my biggest frustration, and that was lack of understanding from offline folk, and lack of time to explain my perspective and the bigger picture. There are 3 conversations I had that really stuck in my mind when I was at the workshop…

  • Person: “It’s easy to train a team online, all you need is YouTube.”
  • Me: “How many teams have you ever trained online using YouTube?”
  • Person: “None.”
  • Me: “How many teams have you ever trained online using any electronic method.”
  • Person: “None, everyone is in my office.”
  • Me: “Glad we had this chat.”
  • Person: “I already know about digital marketing, you just need Facebook.”
  • Me: “Great, how much business have you brought into your company using Facebook.”
  • Person: “……”
  • Me: “Do you poke people?”
  • Person: “We’re already in the digital age, I am working online all the time, there’s nothing new to teach people.”
  • Me: “Do you have online staff supporting you in your business.”
  • Person: “No, but I do online banking.”
  • Me: “Great, then you know everything, well done.”

It’s comments like these that made me even more sure that I did the right thing by finding all my clients 100% online. It’s also comments like these that gave me the idea of creating a training programme for potential clients who think they know everything there is to know about digital business, because they have got a YouTube account, a Facebook account and do their banking online — rant over.

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Hi I'm Michelle, an entrepreneur specialising in virtual assistance, a digital and real world nomad, and a down-to-earth mother of three.

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