Blog · Mar 11, 2013

Dealing with Business Setbacks: Bouncebackability – “Where are all of our files?”

How do you deal with setbacks in your business?

Today we had a scare. We, like many other businesses I’m sure, use an online file storage programme to keep and share all of our Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? files. You can imagine my horror as I was busy trying to maintain a phone call while I looked on in disbelief at my computer screen…. “437 files deleted”…….. “878 files deleted”!! What?

Finished the phone call, although I can’t really say I remember much of what was said, and yes, when I checked, my worst fears were confirmed. All folders empty! Aaahhhhh, PANIC!!! The last 6 months’ worth of work gone!? How can this have happened!?

When I investigated further, it turned out Tom had given his old laptop to his daughter, still with our online file storage programme on there, which of course she didn’t need and so, logically, deleted. Which, of course, in turn deleted all the files off all of our computers! FORTUNATELY, Tom looked into the situation and found that all deleted files could be restored within 30 days of deletion. Pheeewf! Massive sigh of relief! However, this did then mean Tom had to spend the whole afternoon going through the laborious process of manually restoring over 1000 files! Time that he’d already allocated to other jobs.

Yes, it was a bit of a setback, but yes, it could have been a whole lot worse! It made me reflect on bouncebackability and how we dealt with the situation. For those of you that have read Ben and Harriet’s book, Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? you’ll know the concept ofbouncebackability and how they advise you build a ‘launch P.A.D.’ to re-launch yourself toward your goal.

Prepare. Accept. Do.

Were we prepared for this setback? No. Did we accept it when it happened? Yes. Did we do something about it? Yes. Okay so 2 out of 3 isn’t too bad! In the book there are 11 simple strategies suggested for dealing with setbacks, but the one that resonates for me here is ‘reflect and learn’:

  • Might this kind of setback happen again?
  • How can I prevent it from happening?
  • Am I happy with the way I dealt with it, or what will I do differently?
  • What lessons am I going to take forward?

It really is important to take time to reflect on both setbacks and successes. If we don’t, how will we learn? On reflection, I think we dealt with the situation well, but it definitely raised the issue of backing up our files on a hard drive! Lessons going forward? Well, we all now know if we delete files on one PC, they get deleted on everyone’s PCs. We also know, thankfully, that they can be restored. But moving forward we will be prepared for this kind of setback as we have decided to back all files up externally every week!

Lesson learned. Fortunately, not the hard way.

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