The 67 year old startup intern

Is this a fairytale? To me it is. Funnily enough this journey began nearly 4 yrs ago. I stepped up into the President position...

Is this a fairytale? To me it is. Funnily enough this journey began nearly 4 yrs ago. I stepped up into the President position of a national arts group and quickly discovered that in order to move the organisation forward, I first had to go back, and find a solution. The records were in a lot of different places, each state had different systems and a different history to contend with. We needed a solution.

As a committee we came up with the brilliant idea of upgrading the web site, however what we required was going to cost thousands, thousands that weren’t in our budget. What budget? There wasn’t one!

Enter Duncan Isaksen-Loxton who made me aware of a program called TidyHQ, known then as Tidyclub. A fantastic program that was designed and is being constantly upgraded for Not For Profit Organisations to run the whole of their Organisation from.

Unknown to me a competely new world was about to open up. After some weeks and months of pulling TidyHQ in various directions and a constant quering of things I recieved a phone call from Isaak Dury the CEO and founder of TidyHQ. He wanted to talk. I thought I was in trouble, but instead he asked if I wanted to help.

My reaction was to laugh, loud, very loud. But he repeated his question, he was serious! I had many excuses for not doing this, I don’t have the necessary knowledge, he replied “we will teach you”. I am too old at 67, “we don’t think so” he said in a nonchalant manner and on it went. Very tentavely I agreed, but only on the condition that if he or I were not comfortable I could step away.

IT can appear sometimes as frightening and fast-paced world, it changes not weekly, daily or even hourly but sometimes in minutes. How was I going to fit in?

I needed to learn a lot of new skills on the run, working remotely, the new language I call “geek speak” (still struggling with this one a little) online conferencing, online assistance, trying to understand the difficulties our users were facing, addressing organisations in a Public Forum (still learning) writing articles for our Blog, (Blog not bog although it seems I find a boggy patch each week). I get to do user testing on new features to ensure they are going to work properly. Would you believe the team puts more weight on my feedback because of my age!

The reality of working for with the TidyHQ company, is that I genuinely enjoy what I am doing, I enjoy talking to the customers, I enjoy the challenge of learning to use tools like Slack, Trello, Medium, Dropbox, Zoom and of course our own Dollars, time, energy and passion are all invested based on my feedback.

What a confidence booster. What a great little group of people I work with, not for, with. Being a web startup I soon learnt we all contribute to how, what, when and why we do things. A team of people who are mainly in the 20 to 40 age bracket and the little old dinosaur, me.

There is a sentence I hear frequently and enjoy hearing, it comes in two versions. I am too old to learn this now or Problem is we have a lot of Seniors, they are a bit past learning this stuff.

Rubbish, if I can learn all the new skills I have learnt, anyone can. I was not highly educated, I married young, I had children young, and now at the age of 67yrs I have learnt and continue to learn. If I can you can.

I am extremely proud of what I have done, am doing and learning and of the small group of people I work with

With Isaak at a recent Schools Conference

Thanks to Isaak Dury.

Bev Bush
Nov 3, 2017 - 3 min read
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