If you've ever been through an experience like this you know it can really put you in a bad state. You are ready to tell anyone and everyone what a tough time you've had. You can't wait to tell someone how frustrated and angry you are at this software and the vendor-and you turn to any available ear. If your next human contact is with an important customer (there are no unimportant customers!), resist the temptation! Nothing will be accomplished that will help your business.
FROM GLOOM TO DOOM
Often, problems are not so easily solved as by buying a new computer. Today, families split, kids do things we don't like, people get sick, cars get wrecked. Build your firewall thick and solid, and keep those events on one side and your business on the other side.
When my business was pretty new and growing I went through a divorce. At that exact time I was designing and negotiating what I still believe was one of the largest window coverings projects in my area. This project was very risky and very exciting. Had I brought any of my problems and considerable personal turmoil to the table I never would have closed that project. The job was completed successfully, provided national publicity and allowed me to purchase a proper vehicle and move my business to the next level.
If you allow personal problems to spill over to your business life and affect your attendance at work, attention to your clients and diligence on projects, it can doom you in a hurry. Few customers are likely to hire you or retain you if they sense you might threaten the success of their projects. Practice building your mental firewall and it will pay big benefits.
Separating business and personal issues frees you to concentrate on producing your income and then tackle the thorny issues of life in the '90s. If you find you are unable to continue working while dealing with some problem, you may be better off making a clean break by taking a leave of absence while you handle the issues and then give full attention to work as soon as you are able to return to full productivity.
Remember, everyone has problems to deal with. But indulging in them won't make problems go away. It just makes customers flee for the fire exit.
Steve Walton (SteveShade@aol.com) is owner of Shades Of The Future, Inc., (www.shadesofthefuture.com) Beaverton, OR.