A Confession of a Poor (and Painful) Business Process

Feb 23, 2011, Written by Sue Miley

I have to say I am pretty frustrated with myself.  It all started with my Mac Book Pro hard drive totally crashing and burning on Sunday.  I couldn’t believe it.  The first thing that came to my mind as I saw the white screen was – when did I last backup!  I tried all of the buttons….booting…rebooting…NOTHING!

Two days earlier:

  • I finally sat down for a few hours and organized all of my data to give to my accountant for taxes.
  • After reading a blog, I was inspired to write a post that I finished but saved in Pages and didn’t put directly up on WordPress.
  • I completed a full mini-workshop on Assertive Communications to be presented Monday morning.

I know, you can see where this is going.

The last time I tried to back up I had trouble connecting to my Passport External Hard Drive.  Since that time, about a month ago, I haven’t backed up.

Paranoia Gave A Little Protection

But it isn’t all that bad.  I was having problems with the computer, but I am new to Mac so I didn’t recognize the signs like I would have on a pc.  The problems made me paranoid so I had moved many things to my Mobile Me account.  Plus, all of my blog posts are saved here on WordPress.  And I use many online tools such as Evernote, Backpackit -an online document and planning site. (affiliate link), Highrise – a customer database (affiliate link), Mint, Facebook, etc.

Most of my “stuff” was safe, but not the three things I had just finished in the last 3 days!

I panicked.  I started looking for someone to fix my Mac and hopefully recover the data.  I found someone that night only a mile or so from my office.  I would call them in the morning…..

Learn from My Pain

Here is the critical learning I want to share with you so that you do not suffer my same “fear of the unknown” pain.

As far as recovering data goes:

  1. I have had hard disks crash 3 or 4 times now in my business life and never, ever recovered any data!
  2. I am told it may be possible to recover the data by sending it off but it will cost $1,000+.
  3. I have never felt what I lost was worth $1000 to recover.
  4. Conclusion:  Don’t count on DATA RECOVERY.
  5. Be Proactive, Not Reactive

As far as backing up goes:

  1. Remember it is insurance.  Most of the time you never need it.  I haven’t had a hard disk crash in 3 years.
  2. When it does crash it is indispensable.  At least I had all of my programs and most of my data.
  3. The only acceptable frequency when it crashes is DAILY.  It was my last 3 days that I needed the most!

Here are my new backing up tips:

  1. Quickbooks can be backed up to Mobile Me with one click in the SHARE menu.  I wish so much I had figured this out before Friday.
  2. Mobile Me is wonderful and you don’t have to have a Mac to use it.  I used to use it with my PC.  Also,  you will no longer have to plug-in to sync your phone and computer.  Anyway, check out their site.  They do a much better marketing job than me.
  3. There are many online sources to back up to for less than $10.00 per month.  Here is a Top 5 list from LifeHacker and a roundup list from PC Mag.
  4. My marketing guy from Webprocreative recommends a wordpress plug-in called Automatic Backup for backing up your blog.  Here is a link.
  5. Remember, to backup DAILY.  Remember it is insurance for all of your hard work!

My posts usually have a God angle, and don’t worry, this one does too!

Thank God He is a God of mercy and grace!

All is not lost in my story.  I was lucky enough to find someone who had a new hard drive installed and my 1 month old backup restored within 24 hours.  That is a blessing from God!

I miraculously made my 20 + hard copies of my Assertive Communications workshop handouts on Friday before I left work.  I never, ever do things in advance.  That was totally the Holy Spirit guiding me.

I had already turned in a big chunk of information to my accountant for taxes.  This part will still be a pain, but the pain is bearable.  If it had crashed a week ago, I am not sure I could have taken it.  God only gives us what we can handle!

Poor Business Processes Cripple Productivity

I am ashamed to admit such poor business process as I try to help other people put strong systems and processes in place.  But, it is in our pain and shame that some of the best lessons are learned and shared.  It is also another opportunity to shine a light on our God of grace and mercy!

Reader Interactions


  1. RevTrev says

    Ouch… I feel your pain. I’ve set up a backblaze account and moved all my important files to my one computer to keep them all backed up online. I also use TimeMachine once (usually) a week and keep the external hard drive in a fire proof lock box.

    My one harddrive crashed not long after I brought 15 years of pictures into one place. So glad I could reinstall the backup and not loose anything.

    The one thing about being on a Mac is that I forgot to save my documents. I have it on all the time and at the end of the week often have something I really need and forgot to save open. I’ve lost a few of those documents.

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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