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Why I Was So Slow Getting to Know Microsoft Excel

Learn-Microsoft-Excel-Easily

If You're Wondering What This Has to Do with Excel...read the story!

Many of you have heard parts of my story and you know that I did everything backwards.  I graduated from high school two years early (not a good idea, no matter how brilliant they think you are), I got married and had my first child before I was 18 (also not a good idea unless you experienced with babies, which I was – my mom had 5 more after me).  Then, I waited 10 more years to start college.  I never lived on campus, I never enjoyed “college life” because I had to rush home to pick up my kids from their school.  We then did our homework together until dad got home and I took off for work as a server at a country club nearby.  At midnight, I came home, slept for a few hours and started it all over again.

It was a grueling schedule, but I LOVED it and I was almost sad when it was over.  That was in the late 70’s and we didn’t have computers, cell phones, or even faxes back then.  So I missed out on the  whole computer revolution.  It wasn’t until the mid 80’s that I used my first word processor.  The big spreadsheet software back then was Lotus123.  I was so intent on learning desktop publishing (I had a small newspaper by then and was a journalist) that I never even thought about the spreadsheet software.  Just too much for my brain at that time.

Over the next decade, I kept hearing about Excel and the power of it.  I would look at the manuals in the bookstores I frequented and they were 1000 pages long.  Too much for a weekend project.  Anyway, why did I need that?  By the early 90’s my children were grown, in college or graduated and working on another degree, and I had founded a telecommunications company along with my husband.  Every way I turned, I was bumping my head on some project that I had to hire someone to help me with — and it all revolved around needing a spreadsheet!  My assistants made beautiful spreadsheets for me and secretly I was envious of these younger people who could just throw this stuff together so effortlessly.

Fast forward a few years, and I met Sue White.  She and I became friends largely due to our motorcycles.  She and her husband travel together on a large Yamaha Venture (sort of like a Goldwing) and my husband and I both have BMW bikes.  Our friendship took us on many long rides, sometimes for a weekend.  One of my favorite memories is of a ride to Savannah where we stayed on the Riverfront and stopped at wineries on the way for tastings.  (Yes, there are wineries in the south!)

But I digress…I found out that Sue was a Microsoft Certified Specialist and she had owned a corporate software training company with 26 employees in PA before she moved to Myrtle Beach.  A bell went off in my head — here was the answer to my Excel dilemma.  She could teach me Excel basics and I wouldn’t have to wade through thick tutorials or go back to school, or even pay for expensive training via videos.  So, we rounded up a couple more people who had the same need, and we made a weekend of it.  Sue is such a good instructor, that when the weekend was over, I came home and made my very first Excel spreadsheet – my Christmas card list.  Now, that was primarily a data file, and I wanted to use some numeric functions, so I included how much I spent on postage and cards and used the Auto Sum button to add it all up.  Then, I sorted by zip code, by state and also my international friends…just for fun.  Wow, I just knew this was going to be the beginning of a long love relationship.  I LOVED this software.

Stay tuned for more of my Excel stories…see what I did next.

Jeanne

PS…Sue and I are now business partners in BusinessTrainingTeam.com.  She begins teaching an intermediate – advanced course on Excel this week.  Introduction Level videos are also included.  To get more information, look up in the left sidebar of this post and you’ll see a link.  Also, join us for a FREE Q&A webinar tomorrow, Tuesday, Aug 31 at 3pm EST…it’s all about EXCEL!