In Real Time – How I Manage a Big Tech Glitch

—video transcript—
Hey guys. I am in the thick of an unusual business week. Yesterday, my largest client began having issues being able to email me I can send them messages successfully, but they can not reply to me and they can not create new messages to send directly to me. They get a bounce back message saying that my email service provider’s, servers are rejecting their messages.

Yesterday when this problem arose, I spent a lot of time in tech support world, trying to figure out if the problem was on my end. My email service provider–I’ve used them for nearly 20 years, not just for one email address, for multiple. So I know they work well. My email archives exist in their system and I’m generally pleased with the service they provide, but this is my largest client that can not get messages to me. And that’s a problem.

So I had to investigate. This was an interruption in my normal workflow, obviously, but it is imperative to conquer based on the fact that I’ve got to be able to communicate with the people who need me most. I have since found out that the issue does lie on the client side, but obviously, it manifests an an issue with my email service provider servers.

The reason I’m sharing this story is because technology is always going to throw us curve balls. Technology is amazing. We rely on it. It’s essential to how we communicate and do business in this modern world, but we need to be mentally aware and prepared that adventures are going to come. I have been able to not completely freak out and lose it, flip my lid, so to speak because I have solutions and systems in place that keep me going, regardless of what’s happening with a particular email situation.

So what has me in this place? What’s part of my system? First and foremost, I have a functional secondary email that I keep up with. I stay logged into it. So as soon as I learned that my client was not able to send me messages, I began utilizing my secondary email address so that we could easily stay in email communication. This secondary email address is not through my primary email service provider’s servers. The service I use for my primary email is through a different company. My secondary email is a Gmail email address, very easy to access. But frankly, a lot of folks I know who do keep a secondary email address don’t stay logged in, don’t check it frequently, and may even forget their login credentials should there be an occasion where they need to use it. That is not my case.

I keep up with that. So it is on my phone. It’s email on my phone, it’s email on my laptop, and I’m good to go. Also, thankfully in this situation, I am able to access my regular email. So I still have all my contact information readily available. If I need to just grab an email address that is not in my contacts, in that Gmail account that I’m using as a secondary backup for this particular client in that moment, because I’m well organized in general. It is simple for me to identify and find the email addresses I need, or find an existing email thread that I’m now having to shift over to this different email account. And again, it was the existing organization that has put me in a place where this curve ball is not completely throwing me off course.

My organization, my ongoing management has served me well, so that as I had to take time that I hadn’t planned for, to pivot and find a solution, do some detective work to see what the deal was to begin with, I kept my business day flowing. Regardless of the interruption. Wasn’t easy; was mentally challenging, I’ll admit to you because this is something that needs to be resolved.

But also the organization allows me to already be thinking proactively, should this be a persistent issue. Again, it is something that is out of my control. The issue does lie client side in communication to my email service provider, but it is not something I can go to tech support and have fixed. Right now I’m doing a work around, but what if I need to permanently find an alternative so that I never lose contact with this client via email and maintain the very important, invaluable workflow that I have established for myself that keeps me peaceful and productive on my end.

So this allowance of mental peacefulness in the process of a surprise situation has been abundantly beneficial. Again, the beauty of this is my other work is continuing. I had a Zoom call this morning that was not compromised because of the extraneous issue that I’m dealing with and what it has meant in terms of an interruption in my regular workflow.

I share this. I know it’s not a sexy story. I’d love for it to not be a story I even have to tell, but this is reality folks. This is real life. Wasn’t anything we could at all plan for, but we could be somewhat prepared for just by merit of being organized and neutral in how we respond to technology issues and systems in place so that when we may need to make a switch, we’re good to go.

Another thing I’m doing just a side note to that organization piece, as I have shifted the core communications via email with this largest client of mine, I’m just repeating my organizational structure under this new email address.

Again, it’s not an email address that I would use frequently. So as messages have do come in there, because I have some folks do know this email address and would message me there. I have been just doing a very minimal archive process for anything that comes in that I felt I needed to save and didn’t just need to delete. So now, as I’m getting new emails over there, for my own process, I’m just recreating the organizational structure that exists in my primary email address. So as I get in a new message that would go typically in a particular folder in the system that I normally use, I’m just recreating that folder here so that as I need to access old emails or reference back to something that was shared with me previously, even hopefully after I return to being able to communicate with my client through my original email address, I can recreate my steps, retrace my steps, I should say, so that I’m not losing context. I’m not losing thread. My productivity is not jarred.

If you hang with me, if you accept my invitation to be part of my digital decluttering course, these kinds of issues, you’ll be able to face them as I’m facing it literally right now today. And I’ve only taken a few minutes here to just share this with you.

I can’t tell you how valuable this is. I’m an independent business person. We’re talking about communications with my largest client. They are vastly important to my annual revenue so I can’t afford for there to be a disruption that would actually impact how we work together. That wouldn’t be great for them would be horrible for me and my team. Everyone on my team is affected because we all use the same email service provider. So this is very important. And again, it is the ‘nit and the grit,’ this ain’t the fun stuff. But because I’ve come to it in a place where I’m, ready with systems organized, and I’m in a good place with how I manage my mind when the challenges come, all as well.

Thanks for listening to this, I hope it’s helpful to you. And let’s continue to interact and work together. I’m here, and I would love to help you be able to face your surprise challenges in such a measured way as well.

Have a great day, everyone.

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