Interview w/a Communicator: Tech Services Provider

Meet Traci Knoppe, tech service provider, internet marketer, entrepreneur, blogger, teacher and public speaker. Traci has been online since 1996, built her first website in 1997 and started her first online business (web design services) in 1999.  She added internet and affiliate marketer to the mix in 2007. Then in 2009 changed her per-hour web design business model to a Team model when she hired help and offered her web design and tech skills as an outsourcing services provider - which she continues to do today. Traci is a wealth of information on most techie issues which is a great relief for non techies like me!  She is also a fabulous friend and I know you will enjoy hearing more about her. 1. Please tell us a little about yourself. I'm a Christian wife, mom, mother-in-law and grandmother who is a homebody that enjoys sewing, reading, my dogs, cats and a good cup of coffee.  I've been a work at home entrepreneur since 1998. 2. What is a typical day in the life of Traci Knoppe? As a confirmed morning person, I'm up early - usually by 6am daily to enjoy some quiet time in prayer; then coffee and checking email, etc.. while I map out my to-do list for the day. Then I hit the ground running and managing my Team, assigning out work to them and then digging in and doing client work myself.  My day often consists of numerous phone calls and various interruptions which are common to work at home life. :) 3. I love hearing people’s testimony! Please share how you came to know the Lord and how important The Great Commission is to a believer. In 1988 I was in the process of a divorce and was an independent consultant for Home Interiors, which was a Christian owned and operated business, and lead my local Team Directors.  I met many fine ladies in our Team meetings and one was attending a new big local church and invited me to go with her.  I felt drawn to go and before I knew it, I found myself propelled out of my seat and going down for an altar call.  I know God was calling me, and had been for quite a while, and that day on July 17, 1988 was the day I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Sharing the good news of Jesus is paramount and what we, as Christians, are called to do.  Being a homebody, I truly don't get out much - but have used the internet and my personal web site to tell others about Jesus.  Unlike many business owners, I have chosen to be very up front about my faith.  While I don't 'preach' to everyone - I also don't hide my faith either. I have done many seemingly simple things to share the love of Jesus with others:  as simple as giving a homeless person a meal, to giving someone a cart at Aldi's without taking their quarter.  It can be the simplest of things that shows Jesus in you. So don't think you couldn't street preach, or because you're not a 'Billy Graham' or whatever - do what you can where you are.  Bloom where you're planted.  :) 4. How many years have you been married and how important has effective communication been in your marriage? My husband and I have been married 18 years.  Like most long married couples, we seem to have a communication that goes beyond the need for words.  I know when my husband is thinking on things, without even looking at him - I'll say 'What?!'.  He says, I'm thinking.  Yes, I know, I can 'hear' you thinking.  What about?.  :) Another funny communication story, but of my daughter and son-in-law.  I recently went with my daughter Heather to look at a baby bassinet at a local resale shop.  It was a great deal and looked like brand new.  So she bought it.  (she's due with her second child, my third grandchild in February 2012). However, the bassinet would not fit in her car, so I put it in the back of my van and would deliver it to them the next day at church. When she arrived home, her husband asked her what shape it was in.  My daughter was puzzled and said - I showed you a picture, it's a rectangle!  He looked equally as puzzled - as he meant, what condition was it in.  :P So words do matter:  ask the right questions, get the right answers. ;) 5. Share with us your greatest blessings and challenges you have had as a parent. My greatest blessing as a parent is simply having a large family.  It's not easy training children in today's world of negative influences; so it does my heart good to repeatedly hear how well behaved my children are. One such example was my youngest child, wrote a note to her teacher (our 3 youngest attend a small private Christian school) and thanked her for helping her learn to count money.  This was something she struggled with - and once the teacher adjusted her approach in helping my daughter learn - she caught on quickly.  We did not know our daughter had written this note until the night of the school graduation, when in tears, the teacher told my husband about the note and how much it meant to her. It was a proud parenting moment to know your child will do the good and right thing, even without prompting.  :) My challenges as a parent are in remaining consistent in my efforts.  I struggle with some health issues, and it's very easy to get lax in parenting due to my not feeling well or having mental/physical strength to have to address a teachable moment; but I do.  It's critical and those moments are not always those you can 'do over'. 6. What is your favorite scripture and share what God is communicating to you personally through it. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13.  I live this verse daily; and especially during times in my life of great struggle and life stresses.  Knowing that I am not doing all this alone has brought me immeasurable comfort, hope and strength to keep going when I didn't think I could. 7. You have a unique ministry/business.  How important is effective communication for you as you go about your daily activities? Since I deal with technical things all day; and my clients are generally not technical and do not 'speak geek' - I have had to learn how to identify what clients want vs. what they say. I need to be able to 'translate' what clients want into a viable action plan.  Not always easy. Again, ask the right questions to get the right answers.  ;) I've had clients who want a really cool web site, but they don't really know what they want specifically.  Communication is essential to get the details we need to try and give them what they want. I've had clients who give you only general concepts - then won't return emails to answer questions we have on a project.  Again, communication is essential to get the job done. In the end, effective communication, would have saved us both a ton of time and frustration.  I have many skills - mind reading isn't one of them. ;) 8. What forms of communication do you use in your ministry/business?  Which one is your favorite and why? Primarily email - as I like the written record 'paper trail' of communication.  I also do quite a bit on phone or Skype; but prefer to follow-up with a written synopsis of the conversation to make sure we all understood the bullet points of the call.  Again, it's creating a written paper trail of communication. 9. What are the challenges in communicating in other ways? I find communicating by phone or Skype to be good, in that you can quickly - with voice expressions, and get to the point quickly.  However, I find that it's also easy to forget critical elements of a conversation as the conversation continues and veers off to other topics. So I prefer email as a primary communication source; or if initial contact is by phone - to follow-up with a written synopsis. 10. If you could go back in time and give yourself advice about a misunderstanding you had in the past, what would you tell yourself? There's a time to speak, and a time to be silent - use wisdom and discernment to know which apply. So many times I've spoken when I shouldn't - and remained silent when I shouldn't.  I clearly remember many times in my youth when I would 'argue' my point, as I knew I was right- only to not be heard and to ultimately alienate someone unintentionally. Whether sharing the gospel with someone; or trying to settle a disagreement - there comes a point when you've shared your heart, said your side and now you need to let God do the rest. Misunderstandings often occur because stubbornness closes the ears and clouds the mind to reason.  Where words are many, sin is not absent (Proverbs 10:19) - so listen more, talk less. ;) 11. How can we learn more about you and your business/ministry? Business Sites Personal Blog 12. Any final thoughts you’d like to leave us with today? I love music, and my favorite song often is whatever fits the moment for me - as I truly believe God uses songs that glorify him to speak his Word into me when I need it.  I often listen to, and share music via my social media streams, from Grooveshark - which is free.  :) So I leave you with an appropriate song:  Word of God Speak by MercyMe X If you liked this post, make sure to subscribe to our RSS Feed so you don’t miss one and SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter: for even MORE communication fun, FREE gifts, Book of the Month Club and exclusive excerpts and offers we don’t share with ANYONE else but our subscribers! X


  • Traci Knoppe

    Thank you JoJo – and ladies for your kind comments. :)

  • jojosblog

    Isn’t she great?! And she gave us a wonderful song too!

  • Cindy Holman

    I enjoyed reading about you Traci – loved your story! Thanks for blessings us today.

  • jojosblog

    I’ll have to check! If she does, we’re all blessed!

  • Carla

    So nice to meet Traci, JoJo, after all the times you have mentioned her with awe! LOL I know she’s been a big blessing to you and many others. Now. . . does she have Gundar removal services? :)

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