Sue Paananen, a lifelong geek, supports women entrepreneurs with the techie side of their business. With over 20 years of experience in the IT field, she brings expert knowledge and experience to transform the campaigns of her clients into money-making machines that market their programs, convert their sales, deliver their courses, and make sure their invoices are collected.
So much more than just working with dry systems, Sue brings humor, patience, and kindness to the table as you create campaigns and programs that truly work as planned.
Gone are the days where your projects and campaigns sit around in limbo not working and not being published, wasting you time and money and discouraging you as a business owner. Sue makes sure you get the help that you need to get the job done in a way that fits your business.
Sue is a specialist in online systems, business automation, lead follow-up, online presence, and Infusionsoft, and has been an Infusionsoft Certified Partner and Reseller since 2011. She has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs with their business strategies, automation and campaign set-up, and has rescued them from some techie disasters created by others with her patience and her "eagle eye" working to find the problems and correct them, untangle the processes, and re-organize the data so it can be found and trusted.
EEK! I Need a Geek! was created out of Sue recognizing 3 things – how she was always helping women with the computer aspects of their businesses, how women definitely wanted that kind of help, and how she was well skilled to provide it.
Sue offers individual coaching, group programs, and VA services, all of which can transform your business.
From the youngest age, Sue has been interested in sciences. Even at 4 years old she held an experiment to determine the different tastes of food coloring (without her mother’s permission).
At 7, she was often found with a magnifying glass or a butterfly net to examine the behavior of insects.
By 9, she begged to be in a summer school class for science since she didn’t want the fun of science to stop for summer break (she was the only girl in the class).
When Sue was 10, her parents divorced, leading her to being raised thereafter by a single mom (with 3 siblings). The family qualified for food stamps and free school lunches. There was no money for anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary.
But rather than feel deprived or left wanting, Sue never felt that she couldn’t have what she wanted if she could think creatively about how to get it and then work for it, such as a bike at 14, a summer camp experience at 16, and a couple of trips overseas at 18 and 19, all funded by her own earnings, not by her parents. If she wanted something, she’d find a way to have it, through creativity, hard work, and determination.
Even when she was 12, she knew she wanted to go to college some day, and being aware of the lack of money in her family, she decided to earn scholarships to pay for college. From 7th grade on, she did her best in school with the goal of earning as many scholarships as she could. In her senior year of high school, she was 4th out of 622 graduating students. Between the scholarships she earned and working through college, she graduated debt-free 5 ½ years later with a BA and MS in Computer Science, with no funding from either parent.
So from early on in life, she was committed to always do her best and not let circumstances dictate whether something was or was not possible. There was always a way to do what she was passionate to do.
After graduating college, she easily got a job as a Software Engineer at Cray Research, Inc, working with compilers developed for the Cray Supercomputers that sent people into space and ran new medical equipment that saved lives. She also took a position offered to her as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the University of Minnesota at only 24 yrs old (having been a teacher’s assistant for 4 years already).
At Cray Research, she met her husband and eventually had 4 children. Her passion turned from her job to her new family, and she decided to resign from her position at Cray Research to have a life change again and stay at home to raise and homeschool her children. Always passionate about math and science, she not only raised her children to be enthusiastic about science, but tutored many other homeschoolers in high school level math and science during that time as well.
Another life change occurred as her marriage began to crumble after 20 years, and she needed to consider what to do for income again.
So, after 15 years of being outside of the workforce, she jumped right back into an IT position at Accenture, as a Software Engineer again, testing the retail software in-store and on-line for Best Buy. Others told her it wasn’t possible to have a high tech job again after such a long sabbatical (15 years of progress in Technology!), but that didn’t stop Sue from finding one. It didn't happen instantly, and took 9 months of retraining and applying places, but Sue wouldn't settle for less. Where there's a will, there's a way...
Sue started working at Accenture in 2007, but only two years later in 2009 there was an economic crisis, where many people lost their jobs. Sue got a lay-off notice in April 2009 along with about 70 other employees at the same location. She was given 4 more months of work, though, to finish a project.
Concerned about becoming homeless or needing to move out of state to seek employment, Sue decided to take matters into her own hands and earn her own income from home, and naturally, from her computer. She made her first investment in starting her own business in July 2009, to prepare for the unemployment expected in September.
When September came, two days before her final day at Accenture, top management called her into a meeting, saying that her good work had not gone unnoticed. While others facing the layoff essentially stopped working and just waited for their last day, Sue had not only kept working, but put in several 10-hour days and weekends too. Accenture offered her job back to her, wanting to keep hard-working people.
Sue accepted their offer, but her entrepreneur mindset had started, not to be diminished. She kept working on her business in the evenings and on weekends, and two years later took the plunge, quitting her day job to go full-time in her business.
Three factors that finally made her feel ready to quit her day job were clarity, clients, and pricing. She had to have a clear vision of what she would do and the ability to articulate that to others, a client base ready to hire her, and the confidence to price her services appropriately.
There was a time when she almost quit her business. After two years of working on her business in tandem with her day job, she had gotten almost no return on her investments yet, and those investments had been huge. At about that time, her son was just graduating from high school and applying for colleges. She had set aside some money to use for his college, but her business had started to take an upturn. If she wanted to continue that upturn, she knew she would need to invest a bit more money into her business first, about the same amount she had set aside for her son’s college.
During the college enrollment period in 2011 she was in turmoil, trying to decide if she should continue with her business or quit it and continue only with her day job in order to send her son to college. Her desire to do her passion business competed with her desire to send her son to college.
She made the hard decision that if she could work hard for what she wanted, so could he. She knew he would be more inner motivated and really appreciate college knowing the hard work that it would take him to get there. So she made the hard decision to invest in her business. She re-enrolled in a mastermind and her son had to wait for college.
Her business took a quantum leap, doubling in income each month for the rest of that year, and her son was able to go to college the following semester at his first choice of colleges.
Sue joined the mastermind offered by Lisa Sasevich and renewed in it for 4 years. The longer she stayed in it, the more experienced and successful she became, first helping many beginning businesses, then moving up to working with several of the diamond clients in the mastermind.
While in the mastermind, she co-authored Lisa Sasevich’s first book, “The Live Sassy Formula", and spoke on stages hosted by Lisa Sasevich, Vrinda Normand, Jane Deuber, and Ben Saltzman. She then hosted two 3-day live events of her own, called Online and On Fire (www.onlineandonfire.com), about your online foundation and online presence.
Upon graduating the mastermind, Sue also got certified as an Online Business Manager, and became the techie team member of some very successful 7-figure entrepreneurs, whom she worked with for several months, extending into years, getting lots of behind-the-scenes implementation experiences of large businesses that create 7-figure incomes.
Sue had a repeat experience of her corporate lay-off when one of her clients decided to cancel Sue’s services, but after 10 days, asked Sue if she would please return to the company, upon the daily request of other team members who said that Sue was a non-negotiable member of the team and could not be discontinued. This shows the dedication, hard-work, attention to detail, and integrity in Sue's work and character.
Faith – Faith in God, and trusting that God is always there catching our back and ready to sustain us when we ask him. Always.
Integrity – Keep the promises you make and do the work you say you will do, and then do even more, unasked.
Family – Family is SO important – important enough that Sue put her money where her mouth was and dropped her well-paid job to stay home full time with her children for several years. Family can be more than our children, spouse, parents, or siblings, though. Family can be those we work with, mastermind with, or attend church with. Sue LOVES that working from home (or from anywhere) allows her to be more present with her family, such as helping her elderly mother, babysitting her little grandchildren, picking her youngest daughter up from school in the middle of the day, or spending time in Boston with her son or in Argentina with her daughter.
Fun – What’s work with no humor in it? Work! It feels more like play when everyone is laughing! You’ve got to keep humor in every day!
Dedication – Staying loyal to your job, your team members, your clients, and your family.
A Positive Attitude – No complainers, please! Try to view everything from a positive vantage point. It makes so much more calmness in the room and health in the body. Still learn from mistakes though, of course.