Last night my computer started making some strange noises, the likes of which I had never heard before – Merlin is generally very quiet. Within a short period of time, the hard drive crashed and I tried not to panic. You probably know the feeling. A computer person told me once that eventually your computer will be taken down either by a virus or the hard drive.

Part of being highly effective is having great systems, including safety systems within your business. I’ve been backing up my documents daily using Carbonite, so I knew I should have all my documents intact, other than in the last 24 hours since my last backup.

Also, earlier this year my computer guy (one of my “platinum” team members) suggested I get an external drive and do an image back up of my whole computer using Acronis software. I did. Last night, he installed a new hard drive and used my image back up to fully restore my computer – ALL programs, settings, software, operating system, the whole deal.

Since I had never tested my backup before, I was nervous. So when he called this morning saying all was working, I was immensely relieved.

In less than 12 hours, I had survived a hard drive crash. Life is back to normal. Amazing, isn’t it, how you can feel on Cloud Nine when things are back to normal? Like when someone almost crashes into your car, but you’re fine, or you think your investment portfolio might drop 25% because of a certain situation, but it doesn’t? Before the incident, you felt average, OK, but after – when everything was back to “normal” – you feel ecstatic.

In the case of my computer, however, prior planning prevented a humongous mess and significant challenges for my business. Working on small business marketing day and day out, I have a lot of files that would be hard to replicate.

So whether you’re in Fort Collins, Florida, Fiji or anywhere in between, make sure you’re prepared. Many of life’s challenges are preventable.

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