Are you still living in the age of the Model T

modelT-CarWay back during World War II, when my Dad was off fighting the Japanese in the Pacific, my mother, sister and I lived on a farm in Perdido, Alabama with my grandparents.

It was a time when gas, as well as many other things, were scarce.  I remember one of my great-uncles coming to visit us on his horse.  My sister, Ginger, and I would sing, “Here comes Uncle Charlie, with a feather in his hat, riding on a pony,”  whenever he road up.  My aunt and uncle came in there 1940 Ford.

But, Mrs. Thompson,  a friend of my grandmother, always came to visit in her shiny polished Model T Ford.

That was a long time ago.  Model T’s are in museums or pulled out of garages for car shows.  They have been replaced with tiny smart-cars and huge SUV’s, along with everything in between.

Is your business, and your knowledge of how best to grow it, still living in the age of Model T Fords and steam engines?  Is it still living in the backwoods, where you began?

I’m not sure where you began your business and started learning the skills on how best to grow it.  Some of you began when brick-and-mortar stores or mail-order ads in magazines were the primary way to reach your customers.  Others started during the age of technology.  I began mine back in the age of Leading Edge computers and dot-matrix printers.  The internet wasn’t used for growing a business.

But that doesn’t matter.  What does matter is “WHERE ARE YOU NOW?”  Is your knowledge of technology and all that is available to you still stuck in the past?  And even more important, ARE YOU WILLING TO MOVE OUT OF THE PAST?”

I’m sure most of you have heard about Facebook, WordPress, Google +, Blogging, Pinterest, SEO and all the other stuff that is so important to growing a business today.  And some of you use them and use them well.

There are more and more new avenues to reach your customers becoming available all the time.  Knowing they exist, or even signing up for an account with some of them isn’t enough.  You have to learn how to use them most effectively to grow your business.

I’ve heard moans and groans about how Facebook doesn’t work.  How blogging is just a waste of time.  How WordPress isn’t the best way to build a website that gets indexed by Google.

They don’t work if you don’t know how to use them correctly.  They are a waste of time if you don’t take the time to learn what makes them work and why so many people use them successfully.  And, as you moan and groan, others in the industry are moving on past you.

That knowledge is available all over the internet but it can be overwhelming.  And, like everything else on the internet, you never know what to believe — what is accurate and what is just a way to get your dollars into some scammer’s pocket. As I’ve said before, anyone can be anything they want on the internet.

That is why we, at GiftRetailersConnection, made the commitment to our subscribers in the last issue to provide the knowledge that we have accumulated about the business and technology end of growing a business in each issue of our magazine.

We are committed to the statement that “business knowledge must collide with design if you are going to have a successful business.

If I, at the age of 72, can leave the age of the Model T behind and learn how to use the latest technology to grow a profitable business, why can’t you?  I invite you to come along on the journey.  The next issue will be out July 1st and you can be there at the starting line by subscribing at


5 thoughts on “Are you still living in the age of the Model T”

  1. Thanks for sharing Diane. It’s an interesting infographic and one that applies to what I’ve observed about Facebook and other social media as well as online forums.

  2. Thanks to both of you, Diane and Marie, for your great comments. You’re both on the right track. All of this stuff is a matter of trading time for money. If you don’t have the time to learn, you can pay to have someone do it for you. If you’re not willing to spend either the time or the money, you will lose money in the form of additional income. Many of the members of our industry just don’t want to see this. As a result, they are leaving more money on the table for those of us who do.

    And like both of you, it seems as if I’m always behind in my learning as technology changes so fast. But I’m working on it. We can’t learn and use every new thing as it comes out. We have to choose what works best for us. But likewise, we can’t ignore what is new. By ignoring it, we have no idea whether it will work for us or not — or perhaps even work better than something we are currently doing.

    And Diane is absolutely right about the comments on the blog having SEO value. The forum is protected from the search engines so that everything said on there doesn’t get indexed and shown to the public. But this blog is not. And each comment provides a new link to your website. That is also why I delete dozens of comments from spammers daily. They understand the value of the link.

  3. Another great blog post! I had to smile when you wrote about Leading Edge computers and dot matrix printers. Back in that day I knew every application and could even do things the techs didn’t know about. Today, I haven’t a clue. It seems like whenever I think I’ve mastered something, they change it. I am currently working with a local “kid” (definition – anyone under 40) to put together a social media plan and learn more about today’s SEO.

    Learning all these new skills is time consuming but necessary. I have been involved in social media for years and it was easy when there were only a couple of sites but the field has gotten so big with so many places one can be. I need a plan. I need to decide WHERE I need to be and HOW use the tools effectively so I can optimize my exposure without spending my entire life writing copy.

    Thanks again for passing along valuable information in your blogs. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading.


  4. Hi Joyce, thanks for these great comparisons to the good “old days” of Model T’s. Yes we do have to move forward to keep pace with this fast moving life we lead. Embracing new ideas and technology can be scary, but it can also be very exciting. When I purchased my business almost 10 years ago, the main focus was on corporate gifts. At Christmas we would get more gift orders from individuals, but as time has gone on, we are now 50% individual gifts and 50% corporate gift business. I love the variety, and it has made a significant difference to our bottom line. I am now watching our Valentines days, Easter, Mother’s day and Father’s day gift orders about double each occasion as we focus more on providing this service to our customers.

    This has all come about by my getting in and learning how to do blogging (I’ve still got lots to learn, but I’ve made the initial action) and have set up a facebook fan page, and my customers are liking and commenting!!. My next challenge is Pinterest. All this takes time, but it is worthwhile. I now need to get it all linked together. I have also got involved with LinkedIn and have found a good group or two to join, where I can join in the discussions, and even start some!!.

    Is your website mobile ready, and can it take orders from Tablets and iPads? My website team are working on this for me, because I have had a number of customers who have had to phone me, because they cannot place an order on the above means. Keeping up is challenging, but isn’t it half the fun.

    Learning about SEO is another whole ballgame, but one that I believe has put my company at the top of the ladder for business. My website is not perfect, and it’s not always up to date, but I’m learning new things all of the time. I listen in to free webinars over the internet, and this has given me lots of information. Yes it does take time, but I can justify it by seeing the dollar results, and I can make it easier for my customers, and potential customers to find me.

    Coming here to this forum and community has been another good thing for me to do for our business, because I know that each time that I make the time to comment here, it will put more links back to my website. These are natural links, not something artificial connection, which Google will recognise. So if you’re like me and have sat on the fence reading the comments of other people for a number of years, thinking that no-one will read them, then think again. These are invaluable links for your business and they are easy to do. I love reading other people’s comments and finding out what I can learn from them and can apply to my business.

    Thanks Joyce for all your wonderful ideas and effort, and I love being involved with this fantastic community.

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