Probably the most frustrating part of business today is our total dependence on our computers. It’s a true love-hate relationship. When computers go haywire, we’re stymied. We call our system’s administrator, tech support, or programmer for help.

They usually fix the problem, but, in the process, can inadvertently create havoc. When you get your computer back, you may find things missing, moved around, or not working the same. It’s just not familiar any more. This can create a somewhat testy relationship with the tech and can wear nerves to a frazzle.

We were blessed with a very charming tech in our business who was so upbeat, we almost forgot how incensed we were. He defined his job as, “If it blinks, buzzes, whirs, or clicks, its mine!” For years, he fixed everything electronic in our office. He also fixed our ability to communicate with him, or, for that matter, any tech.

Think of your tech as a high performance mechanic. He knows how to fix your car but doesn’t know (or care) how you set the radio, heater, wipers, seats, etc. Those are your personal preferences.

In the computer world, personal preferences are much less obvious than in your car. There are hundreds of options. Many of these are so complicated, average people can’t do them themselves.

When we get a new computer, we ask our tech to tweak this or change that. He goes into our settings and makes it happen. Then, after a couple of days or weeks, it’s something else we want our computer to do and the tech makes that happen as well. This may go on and on until we’ve got it just the way we want it. After a while we forget that these are all personal preference settings. That is, until you lose them!

When your computer breaks down, don’t expect your tech to remember all your settings. Don’t even expect to get the same tech. Chances are good you won’t get your computer back the way you gave it to him.

It really pays to keep a log of every setting and its position, tricked out just the way you like it. Give this to your tech as a guide for how you want your computer returned. Take a picture of your settings and how your desktop looks before you hand over your computer for “surgery.” Show it to him and say, “I want it back just like this.”

Websites are very similar. Don’t think that if you asked your tech to fix a problem and the problem exists on other pages or sites they administer, they will fix them all. Generally they will fix only what you specify. They don’t necessarily think about where else the problem may occur. So make a very specific list of everywhere the problem exists and give it to them (even if it seems remedial).

Consider the fact that your tech is probably over-worked and usually has to please frustrated or even demanding clients whose work has been abruptly interrupted. Make it easier on yourself and him. Take a picture, keep a log, get specific, and identify all the places the problems or changes may occur.

So when you get your computer back, make sure it blinks, buzzes, whirs, and clicks the same way it did when you gave it to him!

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Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact