Take a break from the world of marketing and take a step back to re-evaluate things in your life.

2017 has been the tech year from hell for me.

Hosting completely deleted.

40+ websites GONE.

Identity stolen. Twice.

Credit cards and accounts compromised 4 times so far this year.

Windows computer completely crashed just as I had finished inputting over a year’s worth of data into Quickbooks for a client.

Lost another QB file completely, so I have to rebuild that one as well.

Tech systems acting like brats when I try to get them to talk to each other.

So, in other words, it hasn’t been an easy year.

But you know what? I’m not complaining. Instead, this year I’ve looked at each challenge from a completely different perspective. Instead of griping and complaining, I’ve taken a step back every time the crap has hit the fan and I asked myself what I can learn from this.

I will tell you, this is not been an easy change in perspective. I can also tell you that it’s been a necessary one.

Instead of reacting to each of these different problems, I started taking a closer look at what made them fall apart in the first place, and then look to see how I can present them in the future.

Now, some of this stuff is completely out of my hands. Like my credit cards being compromised. There’s nothing that I could do about that, other than be extra vigilant about watching my accounts and making sure that my charges matchup at the end of the month. Since I already do that, that hasn’t been a major change in habit for me for this year. (And on a side note, you should be doing this too!)

One thing that I have learned, however is to be more vigilant about my backups. When my entire hosting account was deleted back in early April, I thought my backups were safe, and it would be easy just to restore all the sites. What I didn’t realize, is that the backups were also being saved to the hosting account. I knew that my hosting provider was doing automatic backups to the hosting account, but I thought that the auto process was also making copies of those backups to my third party cloud account, like I had originally set up. Unbeknownst to me, there was an issue with the plug-in and it stopped making copies of my websites.

Some more than 40 websites vanished.

These were all websites that I had designed, put together, made live, and were either a part of my portfolio or copies of live sites that I had done for clients.

At first, I completely panicked. But after a day or two of trying to restore backups that become corrupted during the hosting companies deleting process, I saw this as a blessing. I no longer wanted to build websites for my clients anymore, so by having my website portfolio vanish, it forced me to take that off of my offerings.

I don’t get me wrong, I still do websites for my clients, but I usually do it now working with whomever they have selected as their web designer. It’s just not what I want to be doing full-time. I’m happy to do a couple of pages here or there on behalf of my clients, but I don’t want to be building full websites on a full-time basis anymore. There’s other things that I can do faster, better, and which enhances my clients business and personal lives so much more.

So what does all this have to do with marketing and business? Quite a bit actually. In years past, I only took one day a year to evaluate where I was, and where I wanted my business to go. Yes, I worked on my marketing plan throughout the entire year, but I didn’t really stop and think about where I wanted the business as a whole to go. So I have a lot of different offerings that I can do for my clients, and while I’m really really good at a lot of different things, I realized that I can’t serve everybody.

So several events this year have forced me to completely reevaluate the way I do business and what I’m going to offer in my business. Not only have all of the tech hassles forced me to revamp my website (which is a super good thing by the way, because I was not happy with the old one), but a move four hours north also forced me to reevaluate how I have to do my business.

The area that I moved to is somewhat economically depressed. So there isn’t a lot of business for me locally right now. It is growing, and I look forward to seeing how this little town of 2500 people grows over the next 5 to 10 years, but I also realized that I could no longer do 1-2-1 on-site consulting, coaching, and other work. I was going to have to do it remotely from now on.

Which, as it turned out, has been one heck of a blessing in disguise. So the moral of today’s story, besides backing up your website stuff in multiple locations, is to take a step back several times during the year and evaluate where you are, where you want to go, and where you need to be. And if necessary, make changes.

Those changes don’t have to be as drastic as a move to a completely new town, but they can be small such as working on your accounting more diligently. Tweaking your marketing plan month by month instead of year-by-year. Getting into a mastermind that can help you grow your business. Making one or two new friends that understand what you’re going through as a business owner where you can all lean on each other for advice and assistance. Investing in your own education so that you can learn how to do things better or more efficiently.

And if you were to ask me which is the easiest of all of these options to implement right away?

Well, I’ll give you the same sage advice that my grandfather gave me.

” If you aren’t learning something new every single day, then that has been a wasted day.”

So your action for today is to go out and learn something new. It doesn’t have to be business related. All it has to do is to enhance your life even in the slightest bit.