I’d been given a big assignment: Write a business plan for a new venture. I was working at a local television station and we had an opportunity to partner up with the local cable company on jointly launching a new newscast which would target the cable company’s footprint. It was an opportunity to create a new revenue stream for the TV station and a chance for me to show upper management what I could do.
The problem is that I had never written a business plan before and I didn’t really know how to attack it. I went on-line and researched business plans and found a template that I thought would work. I had two weeks to get the project done and I worked just about waking moment at night on filling the template, creating graphs, and doing projections. I was happy with the plan and confident we could make the deal work.
Two days before it was due, the unthinkable happened. I deleted the file.
Actually, I used a lot more swear words than that. I’m not sure my neighbors ever forgave me for what they heard!
To make things worse, I had violated the cardinal rule of major projects: I’d never backed the file up. I felt like an idiot.
It could have been easily resolved if I had just backed up my files. It’s so easy to keep updated copies of everything these days using an online backup service, like Mozy. It is so simple to set up. Once you do, everything you work on gets backed up automatically. So, if you ever forget to back something up, or have one of those hard drive crashes or keyboard coffee spills, you can just go online and grab a copy from the secure servers.
Backing up the file with an online service would have also given me a secure way to work on the document both at home and at work, since it would have been accessible anywhere. Instead, I took it back and forth on a thumb drive. I was able to recover some of the document from the last time I had saved it to the thumb drive, but that had less than half the document and none of the detailed charts I had spent hours working on.
Peace of mind and a good night’s sleep
If I had set up an online backup, I could have avoided two really, really long sleepless nights re-creating all of my work. It also would have made it a lot easier to look my neighbors in the face!