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For most of us entrepreneurs, our computers and/or phones are crucial to our businesses. When they’re not working, does it affect you/your business? Read on about some ways to protect yourself so you don’t freak out, and neither does your business, if the “system is down.”

Today I was supposed to teach a class at the Joumor Institute called Untangle Your Tech, but I couldn’t, ironically, because my computer was on the fritz…for the second day in a row.

Yesterday I went to Apple and they supposedly fixed everything, but when I got home the computer wouldn’t turn on. I tried different fixes for another hour and gave up, made another appointment and went back today. The guy plugged it in and it immediately worked perfectly and I was like, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! You know how that goes? Luckily eventually the computer mysteriously turned off and showed a bunch of code, indicating that indeed the problem was the motherboard (although they use some other name at Apple, of course) and I’m on track to have it all fixed under warranty, whoohoo!

ANYWAY, in my many hours spent at Apple over the last 2 days, I heard a lot of techno clutter stressing people out.

“OMG, I’m going to lose ALL MY MESSAGES, I can’t believe this!”
“So you’re saying I have to buy a new _________, it’s beyond repair?”
“Those are the photos from my daughter’s wedding. Is there anything you can do?”
No, it’s not backed up, I’ve been meaning to do that for awhile…”
didn’t have enough space on my hard drive to do the update..”

…and on and on. Can you relate?

I could, and honestly that stressful past was the inspiration for many of the current classes at the Joumor Institute.

Here are 10 Excellent ways to protect yourself and your business on the tech end of things:

  1. Backup, Backup, Backup: in addition to backing things up on your computer, make sure all your data is backed up BOTH on an external hard drive AND on the cloud. MINIMUM of one each.
  2. Don’t wait to deal with problems: If you know your computer’s disk is full, or there’s some malware affecting it, later is often too late. Set aside time asap to fix it.
  3. Hope doesn’t solve tech issues: This one is just a reality check. 🙂 You had a problem but now it’s working fine, so you’re hoping the problem won’t come back? Subconsciously you’re keeping yourself stressed and anxious, and very likely setting yourself up for bigger problems down the road. See #2.
  4. Sync your devices: In many cases, there are issues syncing that take time to figure out- spend the time figuring it out- this SAVES TONS of TIME and CONFUSION down the road.
  5. Pare down your photos and videos: As a former photographer (and normal modern-day digital hoarder), I can get pretty attached to each of the 14 shots of the same moment. Paring these down to 1-3 of a similar shot will save you lots of time and space as we’re multiplying things like photos and megabytes by thousands.
  6. Delete as you go: taking a screenshot to send right away? There will be an accessible copy however you send it. Delete it right away from your device if you are able to- this will save you exhausting and boring decision-making later.
  7. Organize your stuff: There are millions of copies made because we “know we have it somewhere” but we don’t know where “somewhere” is, and it can feel harmless to just make another copy or download it again. The thing is, you’ll be paying later in how much storage you need and how long it takes to transfer or backup your data.
  8. Get professional help if you need it: Unless you’re super savvy, you’ll probably spend a lot of time trying to figure stuff out that a pro or a program could do in minutes. Most computer companies have great customer service by phone or chat, and if that doesn’t do the trick or you prefer in-person, set aside the time to go in and have a tech help you. IT IS WORTH IT.
  9. Buy the warranty: Even with planned obsolescence, 3 years is worth the warranty.
  10. Store a written copy of information: It’s so easy to believe that old school is redundant or inefficient, but it’s less likely to have your home broken into than some information breach occurring. Store your information such as your passwords, what version you’re running of the operating system, the serial number of your computer, etc. somewhere safe where you can access it in a pinch.

If Gd forbid your phone and computer were stolen or stopped working, what would it take to be up and running again? If the thought of that scares you, you probably have some tech untangling to do. 🙂

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