Today, March 12th, 2018 Xero crashed. And it was of epic proportions (well according to some). Every second bookkeeper lost their shit five times over as Xero wasn’t back up and running within 30 minutes. I know it is an inconvenience, but really, it is out of our hands.
“A problem is only a problem if you make it a problem. So stop focusing on the problem, and start working on a solution.”
I guess over time, the longer I have run my business the calmer I have become. So dealing with business ups and downs (which seem to happen all the time lets be honest) is just a part of my day.
Dealing with problems that affect clients, my staff, my business operations, my brand reputation – all of those things can be immediately managed with communication. We need to ditch the “the world is falling down” mentality and embrace the “I got this” mentality.
So why did I not get my knickers in a twist? What did I do whilst waiting for Xero to be back up and running? And how did my business not fall down and die during the period Xero crashed?
Well I am so glad you asked!
- I picked up the phone. You know the gadget you are glued to 24/7 and the thing you use for everything else except phone calls? Well I used that thing and rang clients directly affected. So those clients that had payroll due today, I called them and explained the situation. This then gives them time to discuss with employees that payroll might be delayed. A friendly heads up if you like. I gave them two options to choose from, we either try tonight or we do it tomorrow morning. And explained the impact. Never give a client a problem WITHOUT providing a solution.
- My diary has to have flexibility. Now obviously I don’t run my business hoping Xero will crash or an emergency will happen. However, I know, because I operate my business solely in the cloud, that this is something I could face on a regular basis as we use about 763 online programs each and every day. So I input flexibility in my diary. I block out “get shit done days” for situations exactly like this. The clients scheduled for training today on Xero, I could easily reschedule to later in the week without it impacting on other clients.
- Focus on the positive. So instead of sitting around and bitching and moaning in various bookkeeping groups online, I spent the time thinking – oh boy, now I have extra time to do all those things that I haven’t had time to do in the past week. In the few hours Xero was down I can schedule an entire months worth of social media content, I could write 4 blog posts, I can tidy my office (ok so I didn’t actually do that bit as cleaning and me don’t mix). But you get my point. There is always work to be done, always. But check in on your mindset. Your negativity will have a flow of effect to any other work you try to do.
- Me time and no guilt allowed. That’s right, shock horror I spent time on me. Not on work. On me. And I felt zero (no pun intended) guilt at all. You see, I think we should all be able to spend our days how we like. If that means I take 2 hours off in the afternoon to go to the pool with my kids and spend quality time with them and I work in the evening instead, then so be it. That is my choice and I am not saying it is right or wrong, but today, that was certainly what worked for me.
- Shake it off, shake it off. If you embrace your inner Tay Tay you will realise that some days you just have to shake it off. As some days as a business owner, well, they just suck. And you have to have the balls to admit that it is not perfect and move on. Shake it off. Spending hours getting angry over something completely out of your control is just not the best use of your time. Sure, have an internal hissy fit, make yourself a cup of coffee, and move on to the never ending to do list on your desk.
I am not saying I am perfect (far from it). What I am saying is that a setback or a roadblock is just that. A small bump in the road.
“You can choose to go around the roadblock (or through it if you like), or you can sit back and wait for the roadblock to be taken down. So what do you choose?”
So yes, Xero had a meltdown today. In the five years I have been using it, it is probably only the 3rd or 4th time where it was out of action for more than a few hours. And I didn’t even really give it a second thought to be honest.
Sure, it wasn’t the highlight of my day, but I really don’t have time to sit around and waste checking the Xero status page every 5 seconds. My business is agile and needs to adapt to whatever the world, or Xero, throws at it.