My laptop quit on me on Sunday. No warning, no blue screen of death, just complete silence. I walked away from it mid-afternoon to go do some sewing work and when I returned it wouldn’t power back on.
We tried everything we could in the hopes it was an easy fix. My hubby tested the power adapter/cord, the battery and the computer in general with his voltage meter to see if he could pinpoint a problem. I followed every directions for a reboot/reset I could find on the internet. Skipping dinner I even drove across town in the hopes my friend’s power cord would work to boot it up. (We originally thought the power cord had quit working, thus draining the battery and not allowing it enough power to come on.)
Much to my dismay, my great computer “geek” ran some diagnostics yesterday afternoon and came back to me with the news I dreaded. The motherboard was done. Shot. Toast. With no signs of damage it decided to just up and quit, leaving me high and dry with no business computer. All recommendations were to purchase a completely new laptop instead of replacing the motherboard in a machine that was already over two years old. On the plus side at least the hard drive was still good so all of my data could easily be transferred to a new laptop.
To say I’ve been in a foul mood the last 40+ hours has been an understatement. I get it, it’s only a computer and yes my data was recoverable. Worse case scenario my husband and I go back to sharing the macbook (although this presents some challenges as all of the software I’ve purchased has been for a PC) for the time being. Last night as I drove home from the store with a spiffy new laptop on the seat next to me, the realization of why this has been so disheartening came to me.
I paid for the first laptop completely using Stitch To Stitch profit. As I opened the shop in June 2010 I financed it using 18-months “same as cash”. Each month I scraped together enough money to pay my bill, never dipping into our personal accounts for funds. The goal of opening the shop was to become self-sufficient. To fund my own sewing/crafting addiction, to be able to spend “fun” money on myself and the family, and to help out here and there with our household bills. When the end of my payments rolled around I was ecstatic. I was so proud to say I’d bought it with money I’d MADE from the business. Over the last 6 months the business has continued to take off and do well. I’ve made a couple of wholesale fabric purchases — we’re talking buying full bolts of material with minimum order requirements — and paid cash for them.
I felt like I was finally getting to where I hoped the business would be. Making money. Being able to spend a little money here and there without worry about having enough to cover basic supplies. More importantly I was feeling like I was successful in this venture. And now I feel like I’ve taken a step backwards in my financial freedom. That I’ve hit a huge stumbling block, business-wise. I know this is all part of the growing pains that accompany being a small business owner. You have to account for the unexpected and roll with the punches. It still stinks though. It still makes you want to cry and shake your fists at the sky. And something that seems as trivial as having to buy a new laptop can make you feel like you’ve been knocked back down to square one.
At least it wasn’t my sewing machine that decided to quit, completely putting me out of commission the last few days. At least I’m in a place where I can go finance another laptop with their 18-month same as cash program again, but this time with more confidence in being able to make the payments. It just means I need to work harder and be more diligent about driving my sales up to offset this new expense! It’s motivation to push myself to do even better.