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The Worst Night How ‘Bad Luck’ Can Help You Improve
M ore than 10 years ago, a new client signed on with MicroTech Systems for server upgrades and integration — and we learned the biggest lesson. This was back when storage and backups of digital platforms were kept on tapes, and we had recommended this client to back up their two servers to this standard technology. So, at 5 p.m. one workday, we took their first server down, put in the tape drive to back it up, and powered the server on again. Everything worked seamlessly, and we did the same thing with the next server until we hit a hitch in the plan. One of the hard drives on the server failed, and while this isn’t ideal, it’s not a huge problem. A server is still salvageable with one hard drive failure because it’s designed for that situation. As we called Dell to mitigate the hiccup in our plan, the second server’s second hard drive failed. When a second hard drive fails, you have data loss; there’s no way to revive it from the dead at this point. It was as if you could have cued the “you’re doomed” music. Here we were, just beginning a relationship with a new client — an attorney, nonetheless — and we were facing big time data loss on this server. In my 20 years of working in the IT field, I have only faced major data loss twice, and this was the first. Around 1 a.m., I sent my partner home to get some sleep so someone of sound mind would be here when the office opened at 8 a.m. In the meantime, I scrambled to move what services and data that I could from the dead server to the first one so the lawyers would at least have something they could do when they came into work in the morning.
Around 5 a.m., I was walking past the dead server when it began showing signs of life. This is another unheard-of phenomenon in the IT industry. Servers don’t just jump back from a total loss. I couldn’t believe it, but I ran with it. I quickly threw all the data from the “zombie” server onto the first server to save it from being lost again. I don’t know how it happened — it shouldn’t have happened — but we were able to save more than 95 percent of that company’s data. I left the client’s office around 11 a.m. and collapsed into bed, having spent the most nerve-wracking night of my life trying to revive a lost server. Visions of being sued for all MicroTech had were leaping into my mind all night as I tried to grapple with possibly costing a client big bucks. If something strange were to happen to MicroTech’s servers and we lost our business, I could still look myself in the mirror. But, if we cost a client their business, I wouldn’t be able to look at myself the same. Now this story could easily be construed into a case of bad, horrible luck that turned suddenly very good, but I believe there’s a different lesson in this story. If we had done a better job of due diligence and prepared for the possibility that the servers could fail, we would have been in a much better position for recovery of data. It wouldn’t have been ideal, but we could have been more prepared for the failure and ultimate stroke of bad luck. This experience motivated us to update our onboarding process with new clients, and it makes us more prepared in the field. We can’t always control when a server dies; some things are left to chance. But you can guarantee we’re prepared now.
By 3 a.m., I was on my knees saying, “Man, if I could ever use some help, it would be right now.” Someone must have been listening.
Visit Us Online! 4 Steps to Spring-Clean Your Company Website
When was the last time you updated your website? Not a full overhaul with a new logo or a dynamic interface — when was the last time you checked for broken links or updated your blog? Your website is an important tool to help convert prospects and reach old and new clients, and it should be properly maintained. Here are some simple tips to keep your website fresh. Update Everything Do you have a team members page on your website? Does everyone listed on that page still work for your company? It’s easy to overlook how often your company changes.
size of your website, you could check all links manually or run Google Chrome’s Check My Links extension. However, if you have a larger website, it’s wise to invest in a professional tool, like Semrush. What’s New? Blogs, social media widgets, and news pages make your website feel active. But if you aren’t updating these sections, it can make your site — and your company — look and feel abandoned. If you haven’t posted a new blog since 2016 or left your What’s New page totally blank, it’s time to make a plan to regularly update these sections or scrap them entirely. Double-Check Your Domain Don’t let your website domain expire. At best, clients will be taken to some unclaimed page when they type in your website. At worst, someone can snag the domain out from under you. It can happen to anyone. Even Google has had problems with
Update your team members page, check that the contact information is accurate, and add any new products or services. Also, make sure your website matches today’s version of your company rather than the company it was when the website launched. Check for Broken Links There’s nothing as unprofessional as clicking a link on a website only to be brought to a page that doesn’t exist. Beyond being an annoyance for anyone visiting your site, broken links are also bad for your SEO. Depending on the
expired domains! Check the status of your domain, set reminders to renew your plan before it expires, or set up auto-renewal so the domain is paid for automatically.
You don’t have to redesign your whole website to make it feel fresh. Taking the time to dust off the cobwebs and open the windows can make a world of difference.
WIN $5,000! Introducing Our New Referral Contest
4. Fix Something Has your water heater been on the fritz? Does your door jam unexpectedly? Take your $500 from referring a signing customer to MicroTech Systems and improve your home or office with some much-needed updates. 5. Travel Plan a vacation on us! Winning $500 can make the cost of a plane ticket or hotel stay significantly lower, allowing you to spend your hard-earned money on a fun excursion, local delicacies, or souvenirs. A $500 prize can go a long way in helping you meet your goals or do something fun, but imagine what a $5,000 prize could get you? A trip to Paris, new technology for your office, or maybe a down payment on a new car — your options are endless. What you have to do to get there is easy. Refer a customer. Get $500 if they sign up with us. Become 1 in 15 people in the running for a $5,000 prize. Visit MicroTechBoise.com for more information and prepare for your prize money!
Do you like prizes? We all do, and in 2019 we’re hosting a raffle that offers everyone a prize. The concept is simple: If a customer you referred to us signs up for our services, you get $500 and one of our 15 raffle tickets for a chance to win $5,000. Now, $500 may not seem like a lot, but there are plenty of ways you can stretch that cash. Here are some ideas: 1. Have Fun This is basically free money! While it’s always smart to save money, it’s okay to have a little fun too. Buy that smart TV you’ve been eyeing or upgrade your phone with your $500. 2. Pay Your Loans Student, housing, business, and personal loans can weigh on you as you work to achieve your dreams. A cash flow of unexpected $500 can go a long way in lowering how much you owe to creditors. 3. Invest Making an investment — whether it’s for your retirement or in a business — can be a fruitful choice. And, should the investment go sour, you’re not worse off than you were before. You have nothing to lose.
DON’T FALL FOR MEDIOCRE IT SERVICE
We have a saying at MicroTech Systems that goes like this: “No one achieves greatness because of what they do; they achieve greatness in the way they do it.” It’s our firm belief that you should expect nothing less than greatness from your IT service, yet many small businesses let their IT fall flat.
Instead, your IT person should be available whenever
your service goes down because the best IT service provider is going to watch your network nonstop. MicroTech System’s five-star IT service will guarantee that you will find a solution as fast and efficiently as possible, or that you at least have a temporary solution while they find the real source of the problem. Furthermore, you should be able to rely on your IT service providers as the expert on all your digital needs. You should not have to approach them with the latest updates, and they should be ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest threats, security systems, and operating platforms. Your IT service should feel like a partnership, not just a service. It’s their business to keep you in business, and when your IT people react rather than act, fail to communicate with you, and spend a lengthy amount of time finding solutions, you’re settling for mediocre IT. Don’t let your business sit with subpar IT any longer. At MicroTech Systems, we challenge mediocre IT service with our Five-Star Promise. See how MicroTech can help you achieve greatness by visiting MicroTechBoise.com.
If you’re not sure how your IT service measures up, see if this sounds familiar:
• The only time you hear from your IT person is when there’s an issue, and it’s the only time they make suggestions.
• They are only reactive — not proactive — in finding solutions and ways to save you money and time.
• Fixes are a lengthy process, and you never really know what your IT person is doing.
If any of these apply to your IT resources, you may have mediocre service. Like many small businesses, outsourcing your IT services saves you time, energy, and money, but when you are having to pick up the slack of the service you’re paying for, it’s not working for you.
Have a Laugh!
Beet, Mint, and Ricotta HUMMUS
Inspired by Bon Appétit magazine
1 6-ounce beet (about the size of an adult fist), scrubbed 1 15 1/2-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1/3 cup tahini, well-mixed 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, grated
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
• • •
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
Mint leaves, poppy seeds, and olive oil, for garnish
1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. Wrap beet tightly in foil. On a foil-lined baking sheet, roast wrapped beet until fork tender, about 60–70 minutes. 3. While beet is roasting, blend chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, ricotta, garlic, salt, pepper, and coriander until smooth. 4. Once beet is cool enough to handle, use a paper towel to remove beet skin. Trim root end and cut into small pieces. Add to blender or food processor, and blend until entire mixture is smooth. Add additional salt if desired. 5. Transfer to a shallow bowl, top with garnishes, and serve.
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What Our Worst Night Taught Us
Update Your Website Without Learning HTML
A Chance to Win $5,000
Don’t Settle for Mediocre IT
Beet, Mint, and Ricotta Hummus
Book Review: ‘The Obstacle Is the Way’
‘The Obstacle Is the Way’ Stoicism and Success in the Modern Era
Would you rather read an inspirational book favored by some of the biggest stars in the NFL, or a strategy guide found on the nightstands of some of the world’s most powerful political figures? Well, thanks to Ryan Holiday’s latest work, you don’t have to choose. “The Obstacle
The book gets its name from a modern rephrasing of a Marcus Aurelius quote. The philosopher turned Roman emperor once said, “What stands in the way becomes the way.” From this principle, and the foundational tenets of stoicism developed by the ancient Greeks, Holiday presents a no-nonsense approach to problem-solving that is as old as time.
Is the Way: The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage” has been championed by leaders in almost every field, from musicians to governors. To understand why this work is winning such high praise, you first have to understand the man who wrote it. In classic entrepreneurial fashion, Holiday dropped out of college when he was just 19 years old, choosing instead to get his education under the direct mentorship of author and strategist Robert Greene. Eventually, his focus on media manipulation and human nature would land him at the top of the American Apparel marketing team. Now the head of his own strategy firm, Brass Check, Holiday and his team have advised major brands like Google and TASER. “The Obstacle Is the Way” represents a distillation of Holiday’s personal philosophy for success.
Packed with examples ranging from American Civil War generals to Amelia Earhart, “The Obstacle” paints a clear, compelling picture of what this ancient philosophy has to offer the leaders of the future. The book has a hardline stance: “It doesn’t matter what happens to you. It matters what you do,” which removes factors of luck and talent from the equation. To Holiday, persistence trumps everything else. Those looking for feel-good quotes or self-affirming platitudes should probably skip this book. But for those who are serious about reaching their personal or professional goals, and who are willing to put in the work, “The Obstacle” is just the kind of kick in the pants you’ve been looking for.
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