Category: Self Improvement Tips

 

Women: Best choice for IT Industry

Women: Best Choice for IT Industry

Women: Best Choice for IT Industry

Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and even though my son forgot, and frankly I did not have a very good day I spent time considering what it is like being a mother and being employed in IT.

I have raised a son, for the majority of his school and high school as a single mother, working, employed and employing people in IT. I found that this industry was brilliant for a mum. In fact I cannot sing the praises enough of IT and specifically business programming for mums.

You may ask why, but the answer is simple.

If you are at all creative, intelligent, want a good income, and of course you need flexible time and hours then programming may just be the ticket. Good programmers are hard to find.

I would even be as bold as to say, that women make better programmers in my opinion than men. I will clarify this by stating, that in general Women are plodders they make a plan of attack and plod towards it. Men on the other hand are naturally hunters and they go full pelt and then stop. This is why most men only last 8 years as programmers. Those that last longer, you will find that in general they have a strong feminine side to their personality they are generally plodders. Those that leave programmer generally go into management, project management, consulting, teaching etc. However, women programmers get more experience, paid more and still choose their own times and work pressures.

As a woman I have been programming for 34 years. Admittedly I also manage other people. But it is programming I love. I feel great fulfillment when my code works and works well. I find that I get annoyed at my male colleagues when they do not do due diligence, or just pound through work, without seeing the end result.

The other type of better programmer is person that has not only excellence in empathy, but also in knowing what items are important / show stoppers and what are not. I have found some people just don’t understand this. Only today, I faced this miss understanding of the level of a problem. I think some programmers just do not connect to the real world.

So if you love computers, think programming is all about game creation, and you really just want money, but not feel like you are working. Studying to be a business programmer is wasting your time just stop.

I was interviewing for a job opening here in the last 3 weeks, and I was astounded by the quality and level of applicants. However for most applicants they will be looking for a long time. Either that or they will be offered help desk work, get annoyed at the pay and opportunities offered to them by IT and leave.

I did however find it interesting, how many people retrained into IT from other jobs, quite often when they found their other job too stressful. I consider IT stressful, especially when your code is supporting hundreds of lives and jobs. But this is a woman’s view point, and from what I have interpreted from my colleges (all males), they do not always consider the end use of the code.

So if you are seeking a career choice, and plan to have a family and home which you can give yourself time to be with your children when they are sick, or on sports days etc. Consider programming. It could be well worth your consideration.

 

Cate Schafing is a successful Australian business woman in the IT field serving as CEO of Accede Holdings Pty. Ltd. makers of Ezymeetz, ICE and Virtual Gym. She develops innovative new technological products as a programmer and entrepreneur. In gratitude for her success her company supports NFP’s by donating $5000 per month in programming time for NFP’s requesting work.

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How a Business Cope with Staff Loss

image from saveup.com

image from saveup.com

2 weeks ago, one of my Key staff  in fact a person I have been training for 3 years to replace myself was head hunted and decided to go with the offer given to him. This was a shock and a blow not only to myself, but to clients and fellow employees. So how does a business recover from this?

In the IT trade, moving jobs is a common occurrence. This is not something I am proud to express, but it is a fact. So many people are working on contract today, and the demand for quality programmers is so high, that contracts constantly overlap each other, that a person can really choose not only where they wish to work, but the type of IT work that they wish to do. So at all times I prepare for staff to leave and make sure that all people duplicate each other and that all information is recorded.

We have systems that cover for staff turnover. So the core work is always being achieved, and clients are not being disadvantaged by changes of staff in a technical sense. However the human sense is affected.

This occurrence can cause impact on current staff, as they have to learn to work with a new staff member.

CRM in word tag cloudSo one part of the solution to this problem, is that for core work, you need to have good systems, in fact a good database. What can you expect from such a system? A CRM or customer relationship management systems can control not only your customer, but generally link the data you need to retain about your customer, your contacts, your quotes, your invoices can link to this as well if it is a good system.

At Accede we have recently been interfacing off the shelf CRM’s to Accounting products, estimation packages and other products. By creating this interface for the client, it is a seamless way to see the whole of the customer’s information.

Other places I have created solutions for include knowledge based systems. These systems in fact hold expertise, experience etc. from key people. Knowledge bases for a user is like talking to the expert about a problem. The knowledge base take a person through a potential issue, what questions they should ask, what possible answers they may get, and what to do next. It is a like having the expert right beside you without having them there. I have noticed, however, that this is generally the main reason that the loss of Key staff is hugely impacting.

The other part of the equation, being the human affect, is solved only by communication. This communication is essential if you wish to retain clients, build new clients and retain existing staff members.

Losing staff and clients is a fact and generally not in your control (unless you need to review your management). However retaining clients and staff is something you need to constantly work on. The key to this retention is communication. Take the time. Discuss. Share. Find ways to openly communicate in a respectful manner. Praise where praise is due. Discuss problems without being personal or denigrating. Work as a team.

Insurance of key staff, often helps with the financial aspect, but good systems will help with the core work and management. Plus make sure your staff’s work is overlapped, so that people can take holidays and the loss of a staff member can quickly be covered.

 

Cate Schafing is a successful Australian business woman in the IT field serving as CEO of Accede Holdings Pty. Ltd. makers of Ezymeetz, ICE and Virtual Gym. She develops innovative new technological products as a programmer and entrepreneur. In gratitude for her success her company supports NFP’s by donating $5000 per month in programming time for NFP’s requesting work.

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Traits of a Not-So Average Entrepreneur

image from pixabay

image from pixabay

In this modern time of creating a potential business empire, hardwork is not enough for entrepreneurial success. Most of the time, it requires a centered mind and a handful of skill set to establish your business. Let us focus on what traits entrepreneurs should possess to make him extraordinary among others:

 

  • Go-Getter in almost Everything Every entrepreneur should be enthusiastic to accept and take challenges. It is essential that they balance their optimism and their perception of any risks involving a certain project or decision. They must also be rational in making decisions and mitigating tasks to their subordinates.

 

  • Determined to Go for their Business goals Business owners must emphasize their goals not only for this year but for also 5 to 10 years prior. They must also align their employees with their perspective goals. In addition, entrepreneurs must not only possess a tremendous work ethic but also not a quitter. He/she should see failures as stepping stones for improvement and not a roadblock of failure. With these traits, they not only overcome obstacles, but also inspire others to work further.

 

  • Creative in Finding Solution and Information for Business Growth An entrepreneur must be a visionary, one that knows the trends and how to use it to his advantage. They must acquire in-depth information that will make their business grow or stable. Lastly, they must explore options and solutions to solve their problem. As the old idiom goes, Leave no stone unturned.

 

  • Confident and Independent As a businessperson, they should know how to present their selves well in public. They should have that confidence that they can build their brand well and initiate new trends among competition. They also can communicate well their vision and ideas efficiently. Apart from that, they are proactive, can multi-task, and possess a strong sense of responsibility among their subordinates.

 

  • Builder of Harmonious Relationship in the Workplace What entrepreneurs should understand is the art of making your people work with you, not for you. Their employees must feel confident and secure working in your organization. They must feel that you, as a business owner are open, positive, and socially aware.

 

Building a business not only requires entrepreneurs technical, marketing, and accounting skills. Most importantly, they must highlight their exceptional talent and traits in order to inspire others and work with them to achieve success.

 

We at Accede Holdings provide the best in accounting and database management technology for business owners in Australia and around the world. For over 30 years, we have created over 600 business applications in every business industry. You can attest that your certain business requirements and needs be met by our experienced pool of developers and coders. Call us today for a free quote at (08) 8363 5699.

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Hope behind Endings

Accede Holdings begginings endings
Accede Holdings begginings endings

image from one-story.com

For those who read my blogs, you will know I am currently in Lent. Last week’s my studies took me to consider Death/Endings. To top this off, I have felt like death warmed up. In fact I have been in bed for days. So whilst laying up and getting over this horrid cold, I have had time to consider Endings.

All the endings I have faced have been painful and hard. I may have felt glad it was the end of a bad situation, but even with that, endings are painful and hard. However, without endings, there cannot be beginnings. I wondered why they are painful and hard, my logic understands that this is part of a process, and one that is necessary. I am not a person who fears change, I have accepted that Change is the only constant in life. So why, I wondered are Endings hard and painful?

As stated, I have had time to ponder.

When a relationship comes to an end, whatever the reason, without meaning to, we review or at least need to review. We see both the good and the bad. We see happiness and sorrow. We call this mourning and we do need to do this, so that we can let go and move on. Even a bad relationship we need to mourn, not due to missing the other person, but to allow ourselves to put things into perspective. How often people who have issues find when they explore these issues, that they need to go back and mourn or review a past relationship. Moving on without mourning, really creates many issues.

I wondered why in Lent we need to Give up and Take on things. By giving up something generally that something that creates clutter in our lives (too much food, too much shopping, too much alcohol etc.) we give ourselves the space to review which in my opinion is the Taking on of something the review.

Endings are rather interesting. I have been reading about some old traditions regarding the end of a year and the start of a new one. Quite often this time is spent in festivities. Brushing away the old, and welcoming the new. Some funerals are a celebration of a person’s life, and a renewing of old friendships.

So in business. A contract comes to an end. Why do we have such a range of emotions Gladness, hollow, empty, happy, satisfied the list goes on. The emotions are natural and need to be allowed to be reviewed. We review so that we can improve. If we allow ourselves to review, then we can improve. Nothing is more helpful than experience. But experience will only cement itself to being useful if we review what has past ended.

I am now in my 34th year of being a business owner and employee. I am preparing for my own succession my own ending at Accede. I still have habits of reviewing my performance on a weekly basis something I have done since my first 6 months in business (note: I lost 18 secretaries in my first year of business pretty bad boss!). I have learnt, and now I am passing this on. Endings are natural, but even being natural, expected and accepted they are painful and they hurt.

I realised that this is just a fact and a fact I have to accept. My only hope as my succession comes, that the pain and hurt I feel, I hope to minimise for my staff, my clients and my friends.

Only time will tell.

Cate Schafing is a successful Australian business woman in the IT field serving as CEO of Accede Holdings Pty. Ltd. makers of Ezymeetz, ICE and Virtual Gym. She develops innovative new technological products as a programmer and entrepreneur. In gratitude for her success her company supports NFP’s by donating $5000 per month in programming time for NFP’s requesting work.

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Life Lessons I Learned in Renewing the Business

As a Christian, I am currently in the period we call Lent. Lent for me is a time of year that I review, repent and then begin renewal. While I was studying in my Lenten study group last night, I noticed that what we studied had a great similarity to the circle of life.

renewWhen I considered the idea of a circle of life, and how this circle of life in a micro sense is a circle of my Christian life, I really began to appreciate the need to Die/Renew oneself, and how energizing this is.

I also realised the necessity for routine and ritual in this process.

In our own lives, we are born, we grow, and we review our lives and repent or try to do better. We often as people do major sacrifices to start a new form of life, e.g. being a parent generally means the end of a single and sometimes selfish life.

So this circle really has a lot of ways it can be applied in our lives.

As a director I know I am responsible for my business, and to make sure I give it the care and attention, I generally consider that business to be that of a helpless child, one I have to care for, protect, watch out for, and help to develop. With this mindset, I wondered what applying the circle of life idea would have on my business.

 

Check, Fix, and Renew…

If I review my business on an annual basis, work out what I need to repent/ fix/ rectify and then renew my business. I will naturally bring about the death of out of date routines and bring about new goals and ways of growth. This new birth would need to be done with some form of recognition and acceptance by staff. It would also have to be a regular event. By doing this process, I would be bringing new life to my business.

 

In business, Energy = Income

annual-report-61851_640Up until now, bringing about energy and life in a business can really be either by the staff one employs, irregular ideas or promotions, or an external reason that brings about a surge in the company or forces a change.

The concept of me making this happen on a regular way, and having control to bring about energy and new life in the company never really occurred to me in this fashion. I can see that this will be far less stress than any past ideas I have considered.

So as this is my first week in Lent I plan to use this week to Review. Next Week I will consider how I can repent, then the best way to put the past to death and bring about the New Accede.

 

Wish me good luck!

For those of you, who like me are working through your own Lenten circle of Life I send blessings.

 

Cate Schafing is a successful Australian business woman in the IT field serving as CEO of Accede Holdings Pty. Ltd. makers of Ezymeetz, ICE and Virtual Gym. She develops innovative new technological products as a programmer and entrepreneur. In gratitude for her success her company supports NFP’s by donating $5000 per month in programming time for NFP’s requesting work.

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Dissatisfied Customer = Business Harassment

telegraphcouk

image from telegraph.co.uk

As a business, we need to be cost effective, make profit, staff care and the list go on. So part of this has meant that we have automatic phone systems and services e.g. reminders. Nevertheless, have we gone over the top?

I recently had an incident that meant I was late on a credit card payment. On the day following the due date, I received 8 phone calls, from the name phone number in a matter of 2 hours. None of which I could not answer as I was in a meeting. So when I finished my meeting at 2 hours and 10 minutes, the 9th phone call came, which was a machine informing me I was late on my payment.

I feel that 9 calls in less than 2.5 hours is harassment. We have pressed privacy, but it seems that now we need to press what are the rules of harassment.

If I behaved in this manner, I can honestly state that I would lose clients and my reputation will suffer. Why do banks and corporations feel that automated systems do not have to follow the same rules?

The same effect comes out be automatic phone answering systems. I elect to use AAMI because as an insurance company they do not have a phone answering system, but a human operator. I have gone through phone answering systems and waited for 40 minutes for a response from a person e.g. Australian Taxation Office dreadful. I love it when a product you have purchased is faulty, and you call up and for 20 minutes play with phone responses I purchased a bad product where are the customer’s rights?

image from metaopsmagazine.com

image from metaopsmagazine.com

Here is a great form of harassment. Filling contact forms on a web site. The site has a fault of their automated email does not send e.g. it bounces back to your email service, so you call them to ask the question and inform them of the situation. Then you get the inquisition. What did you do wrong? Did you not do it the way they expected? Therefore, when they finally check it, and they have an error do you get a thank you, or a discount, or anything No! Instead, your time is wasted, you are treated awfully, and you get no recompense, in fact, you should consider yourself lucky if you got an answer to your question.

So the question is, do we accept this treatment? With age comes experience, I now know, that Person A cannot change Person B. Therefore, I know I cannot change this treatment. However I can refuse to accept it, and I am. If I see an unknown phone number on my mobile I won’t answer it. If they call more than once, I will save the number in my address book, and mark it as a banned number. This stops the 8 calls in 2 hours.

If a company’s phone answering machine is more than 3 steps, I will use webs and contact forms rather than sit on a machine. If the web contact bounces back, then I will find an address and write a short note to the address.

In short, I will no longer comply. I will not assist companies with feedback, unless it is in person. I will not play this abusive game anymore. If enough people think the same as I do, well then businesses will elect to change or else they will not grow or attract users.

If I continue to be abused, then I will write in a forum, such as Trip advisor. This is why these websites are becoming so popular and so many people use them.

I think businesses in 2015 really need to review how they plan to service customers. Data is essential, but so is service. Let us all support good businesses that have good business practices.

Cate Schafing is a successful Australian business woman in the IT field serving as CEO of Accede Holdings Pty. Ltd. makers of Ezymeetz, ICE and Virtual Gym. She develops innovative new technological products as a programmer and entrepreneur. In gratitude for her success her company supports NFP’s by donating $5000 per month in programming time for NFP’s requesting work.

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How to deal with Office Setbacks?

setbacks 1Last night I was watching 3 Idiots for the first time and a line from the Bollywood movie got my attention. One character said, “Life is a race. If you don’t run fast, you’ll get trampled”. That line hit a nerve on me since at work we all feel like we are in a race. Most of us feel exhausted that sets us back to where our career should be. We must think of our career like a marathon instead of a sprint. For us to get going, we need to follow our passion, push ourselves to improve, and to have a clear mindset to anticipate upcoming setbacks at work.

Sometimes setbacks or curveballs are there to test your capabilities and maximize your full potential as an individual. You can never control what’s going to happen but you can always control how you will react to it. It’s either you see it as a difficulty or an opportunity to improve. Jeff Keller author of Attitude is Everything jot down the ways on how to deal with your setbacks at work:

  • setbacks 2This too shall pass – Setbacks are hurricanes in our life that is not meant to stay. They are just passing by so you don’t need to fret. Think of it as chance to improve just like champions do.
  • Don’t give up – Do whatever it takes to accomplish your goals and be successful. Accomplish it in ethical and legal bounds. Start saying getting there instead of are we there yet.
  • Surround yourself with positive people – Positivity is contagious so try to weed out people that you think drains your positive energy. Get close with positive people and never hesitate to give positive credits when it’s due.
  • Rewire your timetable – Baby steps is essential in achieving your goals. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with facts and tasks. Try to prioritize the goals from short term to long term so that you won’t get disappointed.
  • Act Fast – Pursuing your goals is just like striding a horse; if you fell you need to get up quickly. Remember that time is ticking out to dwell on your setback rather than doing whatever is necessary to succeed.

Let me add a few things that you might also consider in handling setbacks:

 

  • Reflect – Take a minute or day to get a perspective on what happened at work. Did you address the issues at work effectively? Have you done enough to help your team? What did you learn at today’s work? This will help you redefine your goals or even solutions in dealing your setbacks.
  • S.O.S. – Put your pride out of the door and asks help from others if you think you can’t do it. You can ask your close friends or colleagues for their advice, support, and perspective about your situation or goals.

Success is not all prestige but its more about hardwork and getting humbled by your experiences. What matters is not the bumpy road you take but how you surpass it to get in wherever you are right now. Setbacks, humiliations, embarrassments, and unfair treatment are always there to remind us that we are a working progress nevertheless a diamond in a rough.

 

This article is brought to you by Accede Holdings PTY LTD, the premiere database development solutions company in Australia.

 

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How to Deal with Change – The Easy Way

shutterstock_111462035Being in the IT industry I am at the forefront of change. Changes in what is available, changes in business practice, changes for employers and changes for employees. So in short for 32 years I have been deeply involved in change from one aspect or another – but change in itself has many, many issues.

It is generally not the change itself, but the actions related to the change that cause so many issues. Some of these side effects are:

  • Cost
  • Staff limitations
  • People not pulling or working together for the same end goals
  • Lack of planning and or preparations
  • Lack of Clarity in expectations
  • Lack of depth in review.

Plus many more.

As for me change is easier said than done. So the question is how we can implement change without much pain?

Begin by clearly defining the proposed change. Make sure all those involved are very clear in understanding about this change. This does not mean – telling them, but interactively sharing with those involved. Invite those involved to consider or reveal any possible side effects that may occur due to the change. Do not dismiss this information – this information can be golden key advice. In fact, every time you hear of a change gone wrong, someone always says “I knew”, “If only they had listened”, “Why did they ignore” Etc. So listen, consider and make sure you have brought these ideas into account.

changes-ahead-exit-signMake sure the time to implement the change is agreeable to all. Double check your costing, by 2 different people. It is easy to forget a cost. These costing should be reviewed with the reported side effects.

Action plan for implementation of larger plans – Dont be afraid to really get down to nuts and bolts here, and remember if you want a smooth transition – don’t rush the actions. Be time, cost and human aware.

Plan for difficulties, e.g. sickness, miss performing equipment etc. It always seems that the timing of problems is always the worst time – and it is this way due to not planning for down time. So bring this into your plans.

And Finally – Never work from Anger. Never make changes in panic and anger. This generally leads to far more issues and in the end you are in crisis management.

 

Cate Schafing is a successful Australian business woman in the IT field serving as CEO of Accede Holdings Pty. Ltd. makers of Ezymeetz, ICE and Virtual Gym. She develops innovative new technological products as a programmer and entrepreneur. In gratitude for her success her company supports NFP’s by donating $5000 per month in programming time for NFP’s requesting work.

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Volunteers and Their Impact on Associations

volunteersLast night, I was an observer to something I term as “Volunteer abuse”. I was so intrigued that I have spent quite a bit of time considering Volunteers, their importance to an association, and how the treatment of volunteers will impact associations.

As the President of SUNA, volunteers are our life line. In simple truth, we could not financially operate long term without volunteers. This fact, is also the state of affairs with the clubs that play netball at SUNA. In case I have ever missed saying thank you to our volunteers, I publicly here, want to thank you all for your support.

I also volunteer for the RSB, and listening to a speech given by the past Governor General of South Australia; Mr Keven Scarce during Volunteers week, he was very clear on the impact that volunteers had on our society. This statement was backed up by Mr. Stephen Yarwood, Mayor of Adelaide two weeks later at a RSB anniversary cocktail evening. Where it was expressed that RSB employs the assistance of hundreds of volunteers and in simple terms they could not offer the services that they do, without them.

So here are 2 associations – quite different, who I personally know, value, need and utilize the services of volunteers.

During my consideration of the events of last night, I realized that age may have an impact on volunteers. I bring this up, because the Anglican Church I attend and BCA (Bush Church Aid). have an average age of 65+ for their volunteers. Whilst SUNA and the RSB have a really varied age range, from teens to 80+ year oldies – with a good balance. While considering this aspect I discussed this with my husband Henry, who is on the Federal board of BCA. He stated that at the last couple of federal meetings, the age of volunteers had been a topic of discussion. It was now clearly understood by BCA that X generation volunteers will back a cause and will only volunteer long term, if they are clearly getting what they need (e.g. status, accreditation, or positive feedback). That BCA were now changing their ways to make sure that they will get X generation volunteers as they strongly need the support of volunteers to continue the good work that they do.

However this brings me to my example last night; which was related to the Anglican Church. Where I was an outside observer to Volunteer Abuse.

colourful-volunteer-vectorThis is what I was witness to:

  • This person (who I was the observer of) is a full time worker and volunteers on a church council.
  • This volunteer was summoned to a physical meeting with same business day notification – not asked, timing checked, or even given a reason for the meeting. Just spoken to and expected to comply, like a naughty school child.
  • When the volunteer expressed his inability to attend for business reasons,was there any understanding? NO! In fact this volunteer received an email from the Arch Bishop the Most Reverend Jeffrey Driver, that basically questioned why he could not as a volunteer just jump when expected, and that maybe he should have considered this when volunteering to be on the church council.

As an on looker, as you can imagine – I was quite taken back,with this expectation and treatment of a volunteer.

In short, I believe that the Anglican Church if it relies or needs volunteers, that they are really going to struggle to keep volunteers unless the volunteer has a need to be treated like a school child, and given no respect of their voluntary status. In fact, it does make me wonder, if this treatment of a volunteer by the head of the Anglican Church of Adelaide is an example of why the numbers at church have radically declined, and why most members are elderly. It could also be a reason as to why sexual abuse has hit headline proportions in Christian churches (people that like power plays, and poor treatment). However these are topics for another blog. But as they say, it all starts at the top, and now I have observed this treatment from the top of the Anglican Church at the Adelaide Diocese.

The outcome of all my considerations is that I will volunteer where I am appreciated, my skills can be well used, and I can see a positive outcome for the effort I put in. I will not offer any support, to associations who abuse and do not appreciate those that purely offer their services as a volunteer. Remembering it is an offer, not a demand. An offer that can be accepted or declined.

I advise people to look around at those that are volunteering for that group and only offer your services, if you can see others with similar needs to yourself supporting. If they are not, then there is likely a good reason why they are not. For those seeking volunteers – take heed – generation X is here for a while to come yet.

As for me and the Anglican Church here in Adelaide – I believe they will reap what they sew, and we can all witness the outcome of this harvest. But I as I don’t like being treated like a naughty school child, they won’t see me offering my services as a volunteer.

 

Cate Schafing is a successful Australian business woman in the IT field serving as CEO of Accede Holdings Pty. Ltd. makers of Ezymeetz, ICE and Virtual Gym. She develops innovative new technological products as a programmer and entrepreneur. In gratitude for her success her company supports NFP’s by donating $5000 per month in programming time for NFP’s requesting work.

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The Joys and Sorrows of Being Blind

blindIf you have read any of my past blogs, or know me, you may know that I was blind for 2 years of my life between 18 and 21, and since I have lost eye sight about 20 times for days/weeks at a time. You may also know I am a dedicated volunteer for the RSB (Royal Society for the Blind).

What I want to talk to you about is that disabilities do not mean Less Ability in a person. It can just mean that this Person has heightened abilities in some areas, but not in others. I believe I am such a case.

Turning Blind at 18 was a big life directional change. I expected to be a violinist or violin teacher, going blind certainly changed this life direction and the end result is that I am now in IT.

Since going blind, I have face constant challenges to keep my vision. For those of you that understand eye issues, I have now new lenses in my eyes; these replace the cataract ones I had, so I see really well – but with monocular vision (my choice – I hate glasses). My pupils are fixed, so I am photophobic – this was due to medication. I have also had right angular glaucoma, detached retina and regularly look through “floaters” or leaking blood. I am sure I am not finished with giving extra care to my eyes to make sure I see for as long as possible.

I am really, really lucky, that I got my eye sight back. But due to the loss and subsequent losses, I have a few “funny” ways. For example, I do not look in cupboards as I go to get items. I actually expect the items to be where they should be, and just reach in and grab. This means I get very frustrated if people don’t return items to where they should be.

I have also found that I am very black and white with information in general. Probably because I have had to face facts and learn to live with these facts. When I was regularly losing eye sight (about 6 times in a 2 year period about 16 years ago, and I was a single mum raising a 4 year old boy), I employed my brother. When I lost my eye sight he would stop his main job and assist me with mine, with driving, shopping etc. I did this so no one would be aware of what I was living with, at least no clients that would consider blindness and inability to work.

2 years ago, I could see but was legally blind, and I really, really struggled to drive the car. So without discussing this with anyone, I basically stopped driving. Only when I went for a check up to my eye surgeon did I find out how bad it was, and that it could have been easily fixed (which it was within 48 hours). I got a bit of a telling off, for leaving it so long.

The fact is, I have and do live with a disability as many of us do. However I do not consider that I am less able I just have strengths and weaknesses like everyone. Some of my strengths are really great and some of my weaknesses quite weak. However, by facing facts and being prepared to adjust my life I have a great and full life.

So if you have any issue that you consider may be a disability treat it as a problem to be solved or as a salesperson would say an opportunity. Look at the worst case scenario, then the best case scenario. Aim for the Best, and put in prevention action to limit the damage of the worst. Then just get on with life.

Cover_websizeThere is a book that was recently released called For All to See. In this book the author has documented some people who have lived with blindness and their stories are moving. It is well worth reading.

Don’t wallow.

Don’t limit yourself.

Remember, God gave you one gift without any strings that is the gift of life. What you do with this gift is up to you. I hope that you can say you made the most of it, and can really be happy with your life’s achievements.

 

 

 

Cate Schafing is a successful Australian business woman in the IT field serving as CEO of Accede Holdings Pty. Ltd. makers of Ezymeetz, ICE and Virtual Gym. She develops innovative new technological products as a programmer and entrepreneur. In gratitude for her success her company supports NFP’s by donating $5000 per month in programming time for NFP’s requesting work.

 

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