Episode 76

Making Tech Personal with Kale Munster

July 27th, 2022

Listen


Today I'm chatting with “Chief nerd” as he calls himself, at Lightbox consulting, Kale Munster. Kale and I chat about one of my favourite topics, tech and how we can make it personal.
We dive into:
  • Discovering your solution from the pain points
  • Automations for the right parts of your business
  • Backups for your online storage
  • The testing process for new tech
About Kale
Passionate about making tech accessible to non-techy people. Kale is passionate about ensuring that tech runs smoothly, so business owners can sleep at night. He has specialised in helping small to medium business with any tech needs from their day to day niggles, setting up new systems, migrating email and websites and ensuring you can connect with the outside world through internet, wifi and phone systems.

Connecting With Our Guest
Connect with Kale on Instagram @lightbox.consulting
Kale's website: lightboxgroup.co
Connect with Nicole on Instagram
Nicole's website
Join the Take Control with Nicole Facebook Group here
Join The Waitlist for the Member's Lounge here

Episode Transcription

Nicole Smith
Welcome to Take Control with Nicole. As business owners we experience first hand the fine line between our personal and business lives. During our conversations, we will look at simple hints and tips to create time, reduce overwhelm, and help you to navigate through your journey to where you want to be. If you're looking for smarter ways to work, and create space and time freedom in your day, then you're in the right place. All right, let's go.

Nicole Smith
Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of Take Control and Nicole. Today I am speaking with the amazing Kale Munster all about making tech personal. Passionate about making tech accessible to non techie people. Kale is passionate about ensuring that tech runs smoothly, so business owners can sleep at night. He has specialised in helping small to medium businesses with any tech needs from their day to day niggles, setting up new systems, migrating emails and websites and ensuring you can connect with the outside world through internet, WiFi and phone systems.

Nicole Smith
Well, hello, Kale, thank you so much for joining me here today. I love tech, all those fabulous things. I'm really excited to chat with you about this today.

Kale Munster
I've been looking forward to this call for a long time.

Nicole Smith
It's going to be so fun! Love it, love it. Well, first of all, tell our fabulous listeners all about you. Who are you? What do you do? All the things.

Kale Munster
Yeah, cool. So my name is Kale, I'm the chief nerd at Lightbox Consulting. So I've been out on my own full-time now for about six years, I suppose. But I had a bit of a weird path to the IT and tech world. My first sort of experience with it was I had a school based traineeship looking after the IT at the high school where I was going to high school. And then I had a weird segway into the engineering world. So I was in the engineering world, but ended up looking after there IT for a number of years. Got sick of staring at a screen, went out and worked installing comms and security systems. And then lo and behold, I ended up looking at a screen for my living again now. So yeah, it's been a bit of a weird way to come here. But it's been really cool, because I've got a lot of different experience to pull from, which is nice.

Nicole Smith
Practical, and from that sort of back end planning strategy, thinking about the best ways for businesses, yeah, you've seen lots of different things.

Kale Munster
Absolutely, yeah.

Nicole Smith
Have you always been techie?

Kale Munster
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, the biggest geek growing up,

Nicole Smith
Had all the computers, video games all the latest and dates or?

Kale Munster
Back in the days of dial up, we had the phone cable running from one end of the house to the other, so that I could get all connected, because I grew up in a small outback town, so it was just part of life. I love anything tech. Yeah, it was really nice way to grow up.

Nicole Smith
It's fun, isn't it. And my household was very similar. We didn't live out in the outback. But both my parents come from a techie background. So dad, up until the day he retired, was still in the tech space. And we always had computers and yeah, as soon as the things were out, we had them and it was just natural for our family. So it's kind of when I moved out just into the world, and I realised that I actually have a little bit more techy knowledge than most people. It's like, oh, okay.

Kale Munster
Absolutely, it was kind of interesting. When I was in high school, we had to travel about 40 minutes to high school each way. But we were always sort of pushing the envelope. You know, the IT teachers could only teach us so much. But then we sort of went with it and rolled from there. And the IT teachers started asking us questions, which was all a little bit fun, but it was awesome to be able to just play and be allowed to create and play with tech like that so yeah.

Nicole Smith
Don't you find that some of the best discoveries is when you are curious, and you press the buttons.

Kale Munster
Absolutely!

Nicole Smith
You're like, oh, what happens if we connect this with this?

Kale Munster
Exactly. Oh, did I break it? No, it actually does this thing. Cool.

Nicole Smith
So is that sort of what you're not obviously, you've got a little bit more planning when you support your businesses. But is that sort of like the mindset you go into with your clients? You're like, hey, here's an issue. We know, we're going to get to this way. How do we map that path out? Like, tell us a little bit about that.

Kale Munster
So for me, it kind of depends, like a lot of my clients start off from a pain point. They've got some issue they want to fix. They're not quite sure how to go about it, or they've got to a point where they've just been so sick of googling things for so long. And they want to focus on the bits they love.

Nicole Smith
Doctot Google, Dr. Google,

Kale Munster
Which is I mean, kind of a little bit of what IT is knowing how to Google things really well, because there's other fantastic people who faced the issue before. But having said that, I think it's one of those things that being really good at IT, you really need to take a step back and have a look at not the basic bits of tech you install in every business, but how it works for the actual business itself and what the business wants to get out of it. Sometimes, even though that unique piece of software that you've never dealt with before, isn't what you would choose to put in. But it's exactly what the business needs at that point in time, and the staff are comfortable with it. So you go, cool, that's fine, we'll support that not a problem. And we'll continue to reevaluate it to make sure it's the right fit for you. So it's not about just going in and polesless changing everything to suit the way I would like to work, it'd make my job a lot easier, but for me, it's about giving peace of mind to my clients to make sure that the tech is doing what it needs to do for them and lightening their load rather than increasing it.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, because tech can be one of those heavy subjects. Because if you don't know the buttons to press, and you're just given a new piece of software, or a new way of working, or whatever it is, it can become cumbersome, and people will revert back to the manual processes, because that's easier. So yeah, I love that I'm very much there's no one solution to fit all, even though there's even ClickUp claims to be, you know, the problem solving world, I still I don't believe that. There's no one software that's going to, unless you have the money, the big dollars, and you have a really good development team who understand the business maybe then, but even then, there's always going to be not quite right.

Kale Munster
And then you end up getting this massive programme that is slow to adapt and change with the needs of the business. So it's kind of a catch 22, you have something that's so customised and personalised to you that then as soon as the business wants to change tax, to take advantage of an opportunity, or whatever it may be, all of a sudden, there's a massive lead time as to oh, hang on, okay, now we've got to completely rewrite this section of the programme to make it fit what we want to do, not where we were two minutes ago.

Nicole Smith
Yeah. And that's, I guess, some of the limitations you experience in that corporate space, right? Because they do have those custom solutions. And it's not as easy as writing a tiny bit of code, even though it may be, you know, that tiny bit of code could then impact, you know, this workflow over here or this system over there. And it's all of the testing in the planning and the doing.

Kale Munster
Absolutely. Well, you see, some I'll give you an example. Some energy regulators like we have up in Queensland, their production software that they use to draw plans is always two years out of date, because they have customizations and stuff to make their business work better that it takes two years to put it in on top of the new software that comes out. And then they've got to train everybody. And then they've got to provide the information, not only their internal people, but then contractors outside the business. And so the way I like to try and think about it is you want to make tech make your life easier rather than harder. Sometimes that may mean tech isn't the exact solution for that particular process.

Nicole Smith
Yeah. Yeah, I agree with that as well. Like we all think that online is the always the best way. But it's really about looking at your business. And what is the right thing for you at that time, like you said before, when your clients come to you, what sort of things are they coming to you for is that always like, I guess a standard is I've got it my emails not working, or like, I'm getting hacked, I'm getting these emails that coming through, and I'm pressing buttons, and now someone's taking my money, like, is it things like that? Or is it bigger like?

Kale Munster
So I look after a lot of web developers. So when somebody is building a new website, they might want to move from one hosting platform to another or they might want to move their email from where it was to a new provider, like a Google workspace or Office 365. Or it could be something like we're getting a little bit worried about our cybersecurity and we're getting a bit worried about hacking, or what we're finding a lot of at the moment is I do a lot of support for like specialist health providers and legal providers. So privacy is a big thing. So while you've got the privacy is a concern, you know, they've got all their customers data, and everybody wants to go to the cloud. But then it's where's it stored? Is it a stored in a data centre here? Or is it stored in a data centre overseas? And how does that affect their privacy? And so it ends up being bigger conversations, and then using the tech to fix the problem. But you need to have a look at the whole solution rather than just that one piece that often I'm asked about the first place.

Nicole Smith
So we're not going to just bandaid fix this let's have a holistic view of it. I love you mentioned the cloud, right. So remember, when the clouds started being a thing, I literally had to explain to people that the cloud wasn't just like a cloud, it was a data centre of servers somewhere and understanding, you know, with that, especially that, you know, data protection, stuff like, where is it going? Is it stored in Australia, because there's a lot of regulations, I would assume, especially with medical stuff to keep that in,

Kale Munster
Particularly in health, like America has what they call HIPAA compliance in Australia falls under the Privacy Act. But if you have all your client data sitting in the cloud, that's great. But it's every little piece in the chain. So it might be, okay, your main piece of software is sitting in a data centre in Sydney and Melbourne, wherever it may be, they might have an intake form piece of software that takes that data and puts it in, where's they're storing that data. So it's not just that one main piece of software, it's how they actually interact with it and all the inputs and outputs need to be sort of checked as well. So it can get a little bit complex. But that's the challenge I like.

Nicole Smith
The diving in and I think anyone in this sort of space, because my brain works very much like this is as well. I'm like, oh, dive in a little bit deeper, let's actually find out what's happening and where it's connected. And is this the right thing? Or should we do we need to change it or? That's the fun part, the put your detective hat on and just bring your magnifying glass out?

Kale Munster
And having a look and if it's the right solution. You know, in tech, it's always the oh we've done this for 2, 5, 10 years, whatever it may be. And you might have somebody come into the company and say, look, we want to automate everything. And you go ahh well, that's great. And I understand that. But for me, it's not just about making everything automated, it's about understanding your client process and how to make it personal. If you just get automated emails, one of the first things people tell me about their internet providers is I can never talk to a real person, or talking to their bank or whoever. There's this big disconnect, because everything's automated. So when we're dealing with clients who want to provide that customised service, like you and I have the same look, we want to make sure that there's as much automated to support the business owner, to be able to provide that solution. But at the same time, you want those personal touch points to be able to say, hey, how are you going? What's happening? Do you need, do you have any feedbac? Because those little things are what help us to really support the client rather than just an intake form, or just an appointment setting programme, or whatever it may be? Those little personal touch points are what really add the value.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, I totally agree there, you know, automations do absolutely have their place, but the experience that you want your business to be in for your clients to experience, right. So, you know, I love making sure that people are okay, and supported. And so my systems do that. I have as much automation as I feel happy with. And then the other bits are that personal touch points still. And that's just that good balance. And every business is different. You know, not everyone wants to have that maybe.

Kale Munster
Exactly, exactly. And it's and it's very much suits the business and the size the business is. Yeah. So I'll give you an example. For me, a lot of bigger IT companies who aren't just one member ends, they have a specific email address, you send a support request to and then you get an email ticket back. And then you've got to do everything through the email on that one ticket. That's the way they have to operate, to be able to find efficiency in the business to make money. For me, I would rather stay small. And I'll give you an example. This morning, I had a client who's been having an intermittent email issue, they're at home isolated with COVID. They sent me an Instagram direct message saying, Hey, Kale, can you just have a quick look at this for me, whatever it may be. I get support requests through the weirdest methods of communication. And it could be three different methods from the same person. But that's what they need at that particular time. And so I'm happy to support that. So it ends up being a much closer relationship and having that support and being invested in the business because you're not stuck behind a piece of software or a ticketing system or whatever it may be. So they can just say, Hey, Kale, this is broken, what do I do? Or I've stuffed up I accidentally deleted all these files help. That's fine. Because whether that comes through WhatsApp or telegram or Instagram or Facebook or wherever it is, it doesn't worry me, as long as I can provide the support that they need at the time.

Nicole Smith
I just have flashbacks. I've always been that person in the business liaising with the IT support people. Always that was my role and I loved it because obviously as we've said, I love talking the tech and I get the tech but I get the business side too and being able to articulate across that bridge, which can be a struggle for some people who don't understand one or the other side, I would always even though they had a ticketing system, I would do the ticket thing, because I like following a process. But if it was something that I knew I needed that kind of personal touch with that was more time sensitive, I had already built and established those relationships that that team knew I would only call when it was something of a bit more significance. And that was, I know, for me, always made me feel very supported. Because if there was that crisis moment, I knew that I would have someone on the end of the line to be able to help me you know.

Kale Munster
Exactly, exactly. And businesses need to have those boundaries as well. It doesn't make sense for a company that's supporting hundreds of clients to be able to be reached anywhere at any time by anyone in that business, because people in our business may not know how things operate. But it's one of those things that you're absolutely right, being able to be reached in a point that's critical, like a support ticketing system is wonderful. But you can't lodge a ticket if your emails down. So it's one of those things that,

Nicole Smith
No you can't. That's a pretty, yeah,

Kale Munster
There has to be other ways of being able to communicate, and I think it needs to be, it needs to suit the business on both ends. So when I'm talking to a client, we establish a sort of communication process that works for us together. If they just want to email, that's cool, not a problem at all. And then we're able to have those conversations ongoing and adjust and change who's the point of contact and how they like to interact. Because then that creates that trust that I know that if they are calling me about something specific, more often than not, I'm going to have a bit of an idea of what's going on behind the scenes, or what kind of situation they're in to start with, because I know the business, so it just makes it, I think there's got to be that personal nature in business. And even though as you scale that gets a lot more complex to keep that personality, it's an awesome challenge to have. To try and overcome to keep it personal.

Nicole Smith
Yeah. Especially in the realm that you're in tech for businesses is part of life, right? And when something isn't working the way it should be like, my computer's not turning on today. The internet's down. That's one that we've had to deal with many times before. And at what point is it broken? Is it the local or is it Telstra? Like who knows like being able to have someone who can calmly come in and defuse the situation? And know the questions to ask and the people to contact is such a I know a comfort that I've experienced myself, knowing that that you've got someone on the other side? So good

Kale Munster
For me, I think what I am for clients is actually a 60 40 split. 40% is the tech knowledge. 60% is the calm head when everything else is burning down. Yeah, I had a client two weeks ago that the server had broken, they had no idea it couldn't connect to it was causing all sorts of issues. And you know, we're trying to book in clients and they were a busy medical practice. And I just, it was chaos. I was able to be there in half an hour and just walk in as a calm head and go it's okay. We'll step through this, there is a process, no worries, let's just see what we can do to get this sorted for you. And that calm, reassuring manner is half the time what makes the biggest difference. Because a lot of times other businesses they're talking to, for instance, internet providers, phone providers, those sort of things aren't giving them that. So it's all about just being able to calm people down in a chaotic situation. And that's a good thing. Even though I may be feeling chaotic in between my ears. It's it's one of those things that you just go. It's alright, we'll just follow the process and we'll work through it. If this bit doesn't work, we'll try this other thing. It's okay.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, I'm just giggling to myself, because that was, is so me as well. Oh, can we do a session? Like, right? What's happening here? Okay, cool. All right. We're gonna do this now. This is who we need to contact. We just Just breathe everyone. It's a okay.

Kale Munster
Oh the house was burning down. Yes, but the flames are beautiful and red. It's okay, it's not a problem.

Nicole Smith
Please calmly evacuate through the front door.

Kale Munster
I had a classic one. Two weeks ago, were one of my clients, their internet provider cut off their internet service. Now they're an ecomm. And it was going to take two to three weeks to reconnect their internet. Now as an ecommerce business, they're going we can't ship products we can't do like they are dead in the water. All their software is run through a Google Chrome browser or something similar. And it's just knowing the who's and when's and what's to be able to ask. So we were able to get their internet connection running through a different provider in like, an hour and a half, rather than three weeks. So it's just being able to know who to call in a pinch to be able to get a solution at the right time.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, we've touched on a couple of points, their servers failing, internet going, disaster recovery. So for those who are not aware of that, maybe you could give a little bit of spiel about that. But that's something that I've been involved in in the past and is a really important, especially as small business owners, we may think, oh, it's in the cloud. We're all good. We don't need to worry about that. But yeah, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

Nicole Smith
Hey, they're just interrupting this episode to share with you a guide that you are going to want to explore. Are you a ClickUp user at the moment? Or have you been sitting on the fence and hearing me talk about it each and every week and just wondering, what is the next step to take? Well, I've created a guide that's going to support you on your journey to really design your ClickUp spaces, be able to create those and then connect them into the way that your business operates each and every day. My community have told me that this guide has been a game changer in the way that they really look at their ClickUp workspaces, and operate each and every day. And you can access it as well. So pop on over to my website, theartisans.com.au\freebies, and access the Action Takers Guide to ClickUp. How fabulous that you know, you're ready to evolve your ClickUp journey, you're ready to move from where you are right now, to where you have always known you want to be. Reach out, let me know I love to hear all about your journey in ClickUp. So I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kale Munster
It's a bit of a complex topic, because I think not every solution is the same for every business. I personally think that every business needs a backup of some kind, whether that is a USB stick, that you throw all your files on once a month and take over to a friend's house and store it there, that may suit what you need. The bigger companies even that have something like a Google workspace or an Office 365. I always recommend that we install a backup system on top of those because they don't support the backups that you actually need. When things really go wrong.

Nicole Smith
Isn't that a thing that people don't, are not aware of, I know that I've got a backup for my Office 365 accounts in place. And that's only relatively new, to be honest, probably start of the year or whatever, maybe longer. But a lot of people don't realise that the cloud even though it's a cloud,

Kale Munster
A classic one I keep referring back to is and this is dating me, is Myspace. Yeah, the entirety of everybody's personal data on MySpace was lost, because they had an issue with not having the right backups or protection in place. Another classic one is Toy Story two. I remember putting this up on my Instagram. And Toy Story two, when they were creating it, there was an issue with one of the servers, that meant that they lost a massive amount of the movie. And it was going to take a year, year and a half to be able to recreate all that information. The only thing that saved them was one of the production assistants was off on maternity leave, and was working from home and had taken an entire copy to be able to work on it from home. And they call it they refer to it as the Volvo backup because they actually had to drive in a Volvo car to be able to go to this lady's place and pick it up to be able to bring it back and restore all the data back on to make sure everything's synced up. But otherwise an entire movie would have been lost purely because the backups weren't in place. And they still took a week and a half or two weeks to validate the data and make sure it was right. But that's better than

Nicole Smith
Starting from scratch and

Kale Munster
The irony is that that woman is now the executive, she's one of the executive producers on the new Lightyear.

Nicole Smith
Oh yeah.

Kale Munster
Yeah. Which is pretty cool.

Nicole Smith
That is cool. I haven't seen that yet.

Kale Munster
Oh me neither, it's on the to watch list.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, yeah, exactly. It looks really cool. It is school holidays here at the moment so who knows? We may get to the movies. But yeah, I think that's that's the thing to really note that you know, simple things even Instagram so I share it I haven't shared it actually. I've shared it in the members lounge the other day about you can actually download a backup of your Instagram data. You know, yes it's social media information, but you've got contacts there. Like, I've got over 1000 connections in there now. So, you know, it's about really knowing that for your information, you have that security of even having that file there, if ever needed.

Kale Munster
Absolutely,

Nicole Smith
May not be likely. But if ever needed your secure, you've got it.

Kale Munster
And it's a hard thing to try and think about what would happen in the worst case. But it's one of the most practical things to do. And one of the things that clients always get a little bit shocked at sometimes the cost of backups. But the way to think about it is, if you lost everything now, one, would you even know what you've lost. Because half the time, we've got files on Google Drive or Dropbox or on a server that have been put there, and we would have no idea how to get access to that information, or remember where else it's stored or where else. But it's also the lost time you look at how much that client charges out to their clients, and how much time that they would have to take to rebuild that all that information. We had a fire I had to come in and help sort out at a dental practice. They had a backup that hadn't been working, and they didn't realise. And they lost their client data. So for three to four months, they had no idea who was booked in day to day. So they didn't know who was going to show up?

Nicole Smith
Wow, yeah,

Kale Munster
Because they had no backup of the information that had been provided.

Nicole Smith
And I would imagine that they wouldn't be able to really book in appointments, either.

Kale Munster
You can't really because you didn't know whether you were double booking or not or. So for the cost of what a backup would be, then there was 3, 4, 5, 6 months of chaos in that business, where the poor admin staff was just tearing their hair out every single day because they didn't know what was going to come at them.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, I can imagine.

Kale Munster
So as much as backups, it's not a sexy or cool thing to think about. It can be a peace of mind thing that just very, very glad you have when everything goes bad. Which in tech, let's face it, things go wrong. It just happens.

Nicole Smith
Yep. And, you know, you think about it, like the insurance policies that are you know, you just you naturally have your house insurance, car insurance, business insurance, like it's that. Hopefully you don't ever have to use it. But you just you know, it's there.

Kale Munster
Exactly.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, I think that education piece around that is so important. And I know that that's something I'm going to be sharing a little bit more of, especially even around the ClickUp, data backups and things like that as well. Just yeah, how to how to export and save it and get all that stuff, so.

Kale Munster
And a lot of that can be automated. And that's where automation really comes into its own, to be able to make sure it's there, as long as the backups are then tested to make sure that they still work. But those sorts of things are where automation can really provide some incredible benefit to a business. Because it means that something's just happening in the background and you don't have to stress about it or worry. It's just an automated process that just happens. Peace of mind at the end of the day.

Nicole Smith
So good. So important. So we talked about a few different things that you've sort of supported businesses with, is there anything that when you're starting or whatever stage of your journey you're on, if you're looking at some new tech, for instance, like I know, what I've experienced with my clients is they come with spreadsheets full of research, beautifully tallied about the functionality and all those sorts of things. How do you support your clients to find, firstly, the tech and then really knowing how to get it all set up and moving in their business?

Kale Munster
Yeah, so one thing I've learned, and I never do is I never trust a sales sheet. Because anybody in sales can sell a product, how it actually works in practice is a different thing. If it's a product I haven't used before, or if they're trying to use a particular type of integration that I haven't used before, I will actually go away and test it myself first. Because you want to make sure that something that you're implementing across a business in operations is actually going to work rather than be a hinderance. So taking that time to test it, even though the company or a client may want to roll it out straightaway and go, I can integrate this with this and it'll save this much time and that's fantastic. Awesome, or if it went wrong, then it could cost you twice the amount of time each week. So let's just take a step back, take the time and make sure it's the right fit. And because I don't use a specific set of products across all my clients, it's one of those things that I take the time to try and figure out what's out there. And because the functionality is always changing between pieces of software, so one piece of software may be leading the pack now, three weeks down the track, another piece of software could come out with an integration or an app or change something that makes it a game changer to change in the piece of software, or the tech that that company implements.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, I think that the evolution of software is so quick. You know, obviously, I use ClickUp and you just see the releases and the updates like a new one recently is they finally gotten their act together with Zapier to have that custom fields access. Now, again, I haven't even tested that yet myself. But that's definitely on the path for me to go and press the buttons. The testing element is so key, because you're so right. You know, it could sound like it's a game changer. And then you get it into your business. And you're like this is, this is awful. This is not what I expected it to be like, I don't like it at all. Get it out.

Kale Munster
Exactly. And that's why I think it's one of those things that people worry that why tech is so expensive. Yeah. And true it is that, if you want to implement something that's gonna save you money. You want to make sure it actually does save you money. So that takes time to make sure it's right. And you're absolutely right things like Zapier, I'm waiting for something at the moment that comes out that has Zapier's or something close to Zapier integration without the cost, the moment is because their cost has been going up and up and up. Yeah, I was having a look at the options that are out there to be able to make sure it's still viable for a company that I'm supporting as well.

Nicole Smith
That's it, there are some things that you can absolutely justify the expense for like, you know, for instance, Office 365, for me, an absolute no brainer, because I use so many of their applications daily, that it's just that was my tool of choice. You know, there are other software's that I'm like, hmm no, I don't need to pay for that version, or, you know, this version, the free version is giving me what I need right now. And the moment I keep saying, upgrade to get this upgrade to get that upgrade. That's that turning point of okay, well, am I upgrading just because it's flashing at me and it's bright and shiny? Or do I actually need that functionality? You know, giving yourself that option? That questions?

Kale Munster
Absolutely. And I think that's why it's worth going back through. And not only having a look at your tech stack and what that looks like, but how much that costs. Because it is very easy. And I'm one of those people that love to test everything and have shiny app syndrome, and go, Oh, this is new, what's that do but at the end of the day, you've got to make sure it's still in its place. As far as your budget goes, because it's very, very easy for it to run away, particularly because everything is on a monthly subscription basis now. So making sure it actually works for you business, something like an Active Campaign, which I've done a lot of integration with the vast majority of people don't leave anything past the light plan. Because unless it's something very, very specific that the vast majority of people do, oh, I might be able to use that at some point one day in the future. That's okay. You don't need it right now. Let's stay on the lower tier, do everything you need to now and then we'll look at that when the time comes. It's not about getting it just because it may fix all the pie in the sky problems later down the track. It's what do you need now, but let's have a look at the path forward from here.

Nicole Smith
Happy to support you as you grow and your requirements grow. Yeah. So in ClickUp, I actually have a list for subscriptions. And it's something I've created for the members lounge as well, it's a template there. So if anyone's listening and they want it, let me know. And I'll shoot you a link but basically, it captures your what it is you monthly. How what do you like it? Like gives you a ranking of how you actually like it? And then how frequently do you use it so that it gives you that visual on okay, so for instance, ClickUp on this, I use it every day and I love it. So that one staying, whereas the other ones, you know if they're lower down that's kind of then ohh maybe do I need to pay for that right now, what's it serving? But it doesn't have to be and ClickUp, just grab a spreadsheet, you know, open up Google Sheets or Excel and just jot those things down. So because that the data doesn't lie, ultimately does it?

Kale Munster
Exactly and it's keeping track of all those tangibles that you quite often forget. Things like where's my domain sitting? Where's it registered? How much is that costing me?

Nicole Smith
How do I get into it? What's my login details? Yeah, yeah,

Kale Munster
Where's my website sitting? How much is that costing me because it's some of those things that can be niggly little issues and that's why I was really happy to hear that. The how's it working for you? Yep, if your website's loading slow all day, every day, and it's frustrating, it can take a lot to tip you over to move to another hosting provider. But is that going to provide a lot of relief and comfort in how you and your clients interact with you? Or is it not going to move the needle that much? So it's those tangible that could be yearly costs, like your domain or your website or something like that anti virus, that are those things that come out on a yearly basis that all of a sudden go, oh, hang on. Why have I got less this month than I did last month? I thought I was doing okay. And you just realised this is when you started up in your business, and you've got 15 different apps that all come out on a yearly basis in this one month and you go oh, yeah, right. Okay,

Nicole Smith
Mine's January. Yep. That's a great month.

Kale Munster
Mine's April.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, you forget, don't you it just all of a sudden, it's like, Ah, okay. Cool. Cool. That's happening. That's okay.

Kale Munster
Some companies like to have a yearly basis one, whereas some like to do it monthly, I've got some of my clients are just go, You know what, for accounting purposes, I would rather just have one invoice a year. That's cool. Others want to spread it out over the entire year on a monthly basis, which is fine, too.

Nicole Smith
Whatever suits your cash flow really?

Kale Munster
Exactly. So even though you're talking about tech it, it filters into so many different parts of the business that can be either cause or relieve pain. So yeah,

Nicole Smith
Oh absolutely. Like you mentioned about the speed of your internet, your website, I had a conversation recently with a website designer, a branding designer. And you know, she was saying that if you don't enjoy your website, you're not going to share it with anyone. Right. And also in business we need to be talking and sharing about it.

Kale Munster
Absolutely!

Nicole Smith
I noticed that I wasn't doing it with the Member's Lounge page for a long time because I wasn't connecting with the words. I wasn't really talking about it. Whereas now I've found that connection. It feels good. It feels comfortable. So I'm like, yeah, go and have a look. It's fun.

Kale Munster
The most awkward point I had was when the new website was being built. Yeah. And you're just going I know there's something cool coming, and I felt so out of love with the old website. Yeah. But you're just going I don't want to point anyone at my website at the moment, because I know that something cool coming. Yeah. But it's one of those things that you just gotta sometimes bite the bullet and go okay, I need to fix it.

Nicole Smith
Yeah. Yeah. Because it relieves the that the internal dialogue I think, yeah.

Kale Munster
It relieves those open loops that are sitting in your brain unfulfilled? Yeah, exactly.

Nicole Smith
Oh, awesome. Is there anything else you want to share? Anything you'd like any tips or tricks or anything? Before we go into our three questions?

Kale Munster
I think just take the time to check in with yourself on how your tech's performing every three months. Yeah, just have a sit down. It's not the coolest thing in the world to do. But take the time when you're working on a business to go, okay, how's this working? Can it be improved? Well, what can I do to simplify the day to day stuff. And normally, it's the things that are niggling at you in the back of your mind going. I really hate what I have to click this box every time or do this process every time you just reach out to whoever support you with your tech and go, is there a way I can make this simpler or change this or support this process better? Because that's going to help you focus on what you're best at - providing that service to your clients. So making sure that your systems are there, and you've got somebody you trust looking after your tech to support you in doing what you do best.

Nicole Smith
Yeah, yeah. I love that add it to your quarterly review. As a topic, you're doing your finances, you're doing all the bits, just add your tech review into there as well.

Kale Munster
Absolutely.

Nicole Smith
Very strong solid advice there Kale. Love it. Okay, are you ready? We're gonna jump into our three questions that we asked all our fabulous humans. Okay. Oh, I'm interested to hear your answer on this one actually, what is your go to app that creates ease in your everyday?

Kale Munster
Oh, look, I think I've got to say ClickUp.

Nicole Smith
It's pretty cool.

Kale Munster
I've waxed and waned on ClickUp over the time, because I've never really taken the chance to fully set it up. But I find when I am in that space when I am using it to its fullest capacity. It helps me to make sure that those open loops in my brain are noted down somewhere. So I don't forget anything so it lets me focus on my clients.

Nicole Smith
Well, you know, what am I my thoughts on ClickUp stands. So yes, I love it.

Kale Munster
I knew you'd love that one.

Nicole Smith
No, it's good. Creating that carpark for those thoughts as well in there just to get them out of the old brain and in there for just the right time to action, so yeah. Okay, online or paper to-do lists lover or somewhere in between.

Kale Munster
Now this is going to fly in the face of exactly the answer I just provided. I am a massive pen and paper person, which is, as soon as I tell people that normally they go, but you work in tech. For me, there's something about the process of putting pen to paper that I really like. So when I go anywhere, I've got way too many notepads. And I have a passion for fountain pens that is slightly embarrassing. But for me taking that time out in my day to write out a physical to-do list, and then I will put it in electronically. But for me, the process of writing it down helps me work through solutions so much better. Yeah, I've seen some of your fountain pens. They're pretty, pretty impressive. The collection has expanded slightly since we last talked.

Nicole Smith
Oh, we'll have a chat after this. So you can show me some of the new ones. Okay, so final question. What would you do if you created more space in your world?

Kale Munster
Think it's cliche to say, but just spending more time with my wife, just to be able to relax and enjoy life. Getting outside and walking in nature is always beautiful. We have a well and truly overactive cattle dog, who's just turned one who's normally fairly quiet, but then has periods of chaos. So just spending time with my wife and the dog is it's just really nice. Just enjoying that.

Nicole Smith
Sounds beautiful. We've just got our puppy now. I don't think you've met him yet. We'll bring him out afterwards. But he is right into puppy stage. He's doing zoomies up and down the long hallway and just like getting him outside is so beautiful.

Kale Munster
Just seeing the joy, the joy they go through is awesome.

Nicole Smith
Yeah. And then there's a puddle, and then he's in the puddle ans then he's a wet dog

Kale Munster
Absolutely.

Nicole Smith
Awesome. Thank you so much for joining me today. The topic of tech is just something that's in our lives. It's not going anywhere. It's still here and really be able to make it something that we enjoy and is not a bit of a bane and makes us feel a bit yuck is so important. So thank you so much for sharing all your fabulousness. Where can we connect with you?

Kale Munster
So probably the main one is on Instagram, lightbox.consulting, or my website which was designed by the very cool Ola Digital is lightboxgroup.co. So I have taken a little bit of a departure there from the normal IT website. That's a little bit more fun. But yeah they're the two main places people can feel free to drop me a message wherever they find me.

Nicole Smith
Amazing. Go and check out Kale's new website. It's very cool. And you're right like tech, like accounting, like numbers can be seen as that kind of like boring.

Kale Munster
Yeah.

Nicole Smith
So we're here to make it fun. Make it fun, enjoyable. Yeah.

Kale Munster
We're people talking to people, we're not people talking to tech.

Nicole Smith
That's right. That's right. We are not machines, people. We are human.

Kale Munster
We wrangle the robots. We're not robots ourselves.

Nicole Smith
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for joining me today. It's been so fun.

Kale Munster
Thank you.

Nicole Smith
And for everyone who's at home listening, wherever you are. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day. Enjoy creating space and time freedom, bye now.

Nicole Smith
Well, there we go. Thank you so much for joining me today. It's been such a pleasure having you on board. Have we connected on socials yet? If not, please come on over. Say hi, I'm on all the platforms @theartisanssolutions. So I'd really look forward to seeing you over there. And if you enjoy today's episode, don't forget to tag me and I'd love it if you could leave a review. And of course share this with others so others can come and join us next time. All right, then everyone have a fabulous rest of the week. And until next time, see you then.


Partners

Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.