Rolling with the hiccups

by on January 3, 2011

Small business tip - roll with the hiccupsA good majority of my Facebook likes are gone. You know when you visit my post and click the little like button? Those likes. They show as zero for a lot of posts. Even though I know quite a few  readers took the time to give me a little love (thank you!).

A few months ago, this would have driven me absolutely bonkers. I would have spent far too much time and energy lamenting them and frantically trying to figure out what was going on.

But that was the old me (remember in my last post where I revealed I was a perfectionist?). I am working on changing this type of conditioned reaction and one of my goals for the new year is to approach these little hiccups with a more constructive perspective.

Little things always go wrong when running a small business. It’s inevitable. But what you can control is how you react to them.

Action plan for the little annoyances

  1. Accept them. Don’t get angry; resist the situation. It is what it is.
  2. Now think about whether it’s actually important. Like really important. Does it need to be dealt with now, or can you just make a note of it and deal with it later? In the example above, the fact that my likes are gone is annoying. But has it affected the most important thing in my blog, the user experience? No. You guys can still read my posts. Retweet them. All the important stuff. You can still like them too, it just might disappear later.
  3. If it’s a technical glitch, try giving it some time. I remember when my Tweetmeme retweet button crapped out for a few hours. The retweets were all gone and I panicked. But I left it for a bit, and sure enough, it was just a temporary glitch. Could I have dropped everything and started researching what was happening, and tried reinstalling it? Absolutely. Sure glad I didn’t!
  4. When it’s time to deal with the issue, what can you do about it? Google search? Ask someone? Treat it as a challenge and an opportunity for learning.
  5. When you’ve got it figured out, pat yourself on the back. You just learned something new. Good for you! Don’t get frustrated if it took you 2 hours to fix. Don’t feel bad for “wasting” time. It needed to get done and you did it. And you probably learned some new skills that will be useful another time.
  6. If you’re not able to figure it out, it’s either time to let it go (or give it some time and space, the solution could come at a later time) or if it’s crucial, roll up your shirtsleeves. You may have to decide on a different alternative. Or a different approach. Again, take this as a learning experience.

The positive side of little annoyances

Little hiccups used to frustrate the hell out of me. When I had to spend hours finding the solution, I would actually feel bad and guilty. I can’t believe it just took me that long to do this! Am I an incompetent or something? Think of all the more productive things I could have been doing instead.

But I’ve changed my perspective.

When the like button crapped, I asked for help. Reaching out to your connections is always a great thing.

When my pdf creator bugged out yesterday and stopped working, sure it took me an hour to figure out why, but I did. And it was a bit of a techie fix that required some of my own brain power. I found most of the solution on Google, but in the end, I actually figured it out on my own. I’m not a techie. And it felt good!

So the moral of the story? Focus on what’s truly important. Do what you can. Celebrate finding solutions.

And don’t sweat anything around Facebook, cause it’s a glitch-fest (not just in this situation, but in general :))

How do you handle the little frustrations that crop up in running your small business? Would love to hear your thoughts…

Image source: renjith krishnan /

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