4 things that kept me sane during the flood

Normally I blog about business strategy but today I want to tell you about a few things that helped me to stay sane, transition quickly, and keep generating revenue while my office was out of commission. I hope you find these helpful:

  • Use an external hard-drive. It has a lot of space, it keeps all of my data on it, and if I needed to switch my computer quickly, I only need to take my external hard-drive and just find another computer.
  • Store data offsite. Using JungleDisk and backing up my files to Amazon S3 (which are both insanely cheap), I feel good that all of my data is safe and not facing the same risks that my onsite data faces. And do I need to say this: Back up regularly!
  • Label all of your cords. Every cord — the ones that plug into my USB port and into my powerbar — have a piece of masking tape on them with the name of the thing they are attached to. This was so convenient when I had to unplug stuff in a hurry and when I had to plug things back in later.
  • Digital photos of complicated systems. My TV room also flooded and we had to move the TV, DVD player, stereo system, etc. out of the room. There are SO many cords and even though they’re labeled (with tape, like my computer equipment), I always have a hard time figuring out what plugs into where later. Fortunately, when everything was originally set up, I took photos of the back of all components and printed them out. So all I need to do is match up the components to what the picture looks like.

I hope these tips help you; a plan for business continuity during challenging times makes a huge difference by turning mini-disasters into merely an inconvenience.

A heartfelt thank-you to clients and readers

On Saturday, as my wife and I were returning home from a friend’s house, we had to take a circuitous route (through parking lots and with plenty of back-tracking) to get home. The rain was so crazy!

And, it was no surprise when we arrived home that water had started to enter our basement. Yes, we have many precautions in place for this kind of thing but Winnipeg received three times the normal average rainfall in the month (with most of it happening within a 24-hour period) so there was just nowhere for the water to go but in… into our basement where my office happens to be. We ran 3 pumps, I bailed all night, and we had a clean-up crew come within a day of getting the water out.

Net result: A ton of humidity and inconvenience but the only thing permanently damaged was my external hard drive where I store all of my business data. (No problem there: I bought a shiny new one and I keep all of my data ALSO stored offsite via JungleDisk and Amazon S3).

Then, the very next day, my wife got into a car accident, adding stress and additional busyness to my schedule.

But things are better now! I’m excited to be moving back into my office today, which is clean and dry and ready to go again. Janelle is uninjured from her accident.

So I’m writing this blog post to say thank you to you, my readers and clients, who have been encouraging and patient during this hasty transition and spotty communication. Clients graciously extended deadlines, readers offered support and assistance. It’s very appreciated.

To be honest, I was mentally prepared for the fact that I could lose a few clients who needed writing and couldn’t wait for it. That would be unfortunate but understandable. However, I’m honored and grateful that all of my clients stuck with me but also said that they had more work for me but would wait until I was up-and-running before they assigned it.

It seems to me that the mark of a good business is not just the quality of its clients but the quality of its clients during a challenge… and my clients (and readers) have shown themselves to be a truly kind and empathetic group and I am privileged to know you and be able to add value to your business.

Thank you very much! I appreciate you.

-Aaron