We had the good fortune of connecting with Nancy Spear and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nancy, every day, we know about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
I’m 55. I didn’t grow up with technology. After staying at home and raising our kids for 12 years, it was time to go back to work. It was hard to find a job because I had missed a whole tech revolution. We had a small Mac at home but I barely knew how to use it. I started managing an office with PCs. When I asked the 25-year-olds around me how to open a new tab, they reached over my shoulder, tapped a few keys, and walk away. I thought I was going to be fired. I know the anxiety my clients feel when they are faced with a new device.
My next job I managed the office a computer software company. Lo and behold, I started training the clients basics of our software! I was getting more and more confident. One day, my father, in his mid 70s, called and said he bought his first iPhone. The salesman at the store said he’d need a password but he’d been on hold with his provider for more than an hour. No one was helping him. They weren’t giving him the patience and respect he deserved. I knew there was a niche for me. I quit my job and started Nancy’s Tech Help.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am a tech tutor and I specialize in working with older adults. I teach one thing at a time. I’m patient and I listen. Pre-pandemic, I taught how to attach a photo to an email, how to text the grandkids, how to use your smartphone to take photos, etc. Now, I’m doing a lot of Zoom lessons, how to order Instacart and DoorDash, and using MyChart to email doctors and order prescriptions.
What makes me proud? When I gently urged a 90-year-old client who lives by herself to email her family, telling them she needs to hear from them because she’s sad. She got seven beautiful replies by the next morning. When I taught an 83-year woman how to send her blood-sugar levels to her doctor by scanning them and sending them to his office. And when an 81-year-old woman learned to get on a Zoom bereavement group because she just lost her husband.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week-long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well, pre-pandemic, we’d go downtown to The Last Bookstore and the Downtown Central Library. If you haven’t been there, go! Plus, I love the history of the neighborhoods. And you’re close to Grand Central Market. The next day, the beach. Then, the Original Farmer’s Market on 3rd Street. And if it’s a Sunday morning, the flea market at Fairfax High School.
But now, during the pandemic, early walks on the beach, getting a good cup of coffee, having a nice dinner around the fire pit.
Who else deserves some recognition?
First, my husband. He knew I would succeed, when I was unsure. And he’s my biggest cheerleader. We were at a party when an older woman asked her granddaughter how to get a podcast. He leaned over and said, “Excuse me. I don’t think you know what my wife does for a living.”
Second, my brother-in-law who hired me to work at his computer software company. I barely knew the difference of CC and BCC, how to use a scanner, and where a file went after I downloaded it.
They knew I would succeed.
At the beginning of the pandemic, I was interviewed by KCET. To see it, go to: https://www.kcet.org/shows/socal-connected/tech-service-proves-vital-for-keeping-seniors-connected-during-covid-19
Yelp: Nancy’s Tech Help for Older Adults
TJWeddings.com and Spear family