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Why I Was So Slow Getting to Know Microsoft Excel


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.


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!