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10 Things That Cause Business Burnout (And How to Avoid Them)

If you’ve been trying to start or run your own business for any length of time, you know it can be hard work. You also know that burnout eventually sets in, but it can come on pretty quickly too. Sometimes, it’s the burnout that keeps you from succeeding. However, there are usually underlying reasons why you start to feel burned out in the first place. Recognise those reasons, and you can move on and minimise the feeling of burnout as much as possible.

What causes burnout?Burnout

People suffer from burnout for different reasons. Some are common factors experienced by a lot of people, while others are not so common. We’re going to discuss the most common causes.

Often, people suffer from more than one of these areas. This can lead to almost total devastation for the business owner and take a while for recovery. Let’s try to avoid these common pitfalls from the beginning. If you’re already seeing these in yourself and your business, then it’s time to make some changes.

1) The Wrong Business
This is the most common cause of burnout and often leads to failure. If you’re in the wrong business, doing things you hate, if you dread trying to work on your business, it’s likely you’re in the wrong business. This does not mean you’re a failure. It simply means you’ve failed to create a business or business model that resonates with you.

When you hate what you’re doing and have to force yourself into doing it, that’s no different than having a regular job outside the home. You came into business to escape that rat race. Don’t build a business that’s going to feel like any other job to you!

2) The Wrong Niche
Another leading cause of burnout is being in the wrong niche. Perhaps you’ve picked the right business model, like affiliate marketing or a niche blog where you sell products, but if it’s in a niche that doesn’t resonate with you, it’s likely you will suffer burnout or maybe even give up on it completely.

Never choose a niche because you think it will make money, or because someone else is making money in it. If it’s not your thing, you should avoid it. Instead, think of a niche that you do love and figure out ways you can monetise it and earn money from it.

3) Not Knowing Enough
This can be frustrating and overwhelming. You know you have most of the pieces to this internet marketing puzzle, but for some reason you can’t get them all together. You even watch your favourite marketers to see what they do, but it still doesn’t click.
What are you doing wrong? It could be that you aren’t doing anything wrong. You simply may not be doing enough of the right things.

It can be really difficult to figure out what the right things are. One way is to scale back on doing too many activities. Target a few things until they become habit.

Once you’ve scaled back, this will help you avoid “shiny new object syndrome”. This is the problem that affects many entrepreneurs – we always feel we need to learn more about the latest and greatest technique, instead of sticking to what we’re already doing.

Sure, you will want to broaden your skills and knowledge at some point, but you can only concentrate on a limited area at first. If you haven’t figured that out yet, don’t keep buying info product after info product hoping that you will. Focus and you’ll eventually feel like things are moving into place.

Of course, if you’re really struggling you can always hire a mentor to kick-start your business (as long as you can afford it).

4) No Systems in Place
This can be a tricky. Chances are you’re not even sure what systems you need to have in place to make running your business more efficient and streamlined. You search on-line for types of systems, but the results you get are just more articles telling you to get systems put in place!

A system can be as simple as having a daily routine. When you have certain things you do on a routine basis, develop a system for getting it done in a short amount of time.

Examples:
• Set up templates for emails
• Schedule social media updates to go out through the day so you’re not having to check in every hour
• Set up a blog posting schedule
• Schedule a time to update your financial files

5) Trying To Do Too Much
This one can definitely lead to burnout pretty quickly. For example, if you’re still new to running a business, you probably can’t afford to outsource a bunch of the daily tasks yet. In this case, it’s a good time to take stock of where you’re at, what absolutely has to be done and what can be taken off the list.

For instance, if keeping up with Facebook isn’t bringing in business for you, give it a break and focus on another site that is. If you’re getting ReTweets on Twitter, people are sharing your content and your business, which may be a better place to spend your time networking. If neither of those are bringing you results, maybe that time would be better spent in a forum, a membership site or with a mastermind group.

If you’re feeling social media too overwhelming due to all the different networks out there, you can focus on your favourites, or make use of a premium service like Buffer App or HootSuite to make them all easier to manage from one place.

Running your own business really is about balance and juggling a lot of things. You haveclocks juggling to decide what’s bringing in results, what isn’t and cut out the things that aren’t bringing you results.

Also consider the quality of the results you’re getting. For example, you may have thousands of Twitter followers and get a lot of replies, but if they don’t lead to sales of your product or service then is your time really best spent there?

Remember – when you do have a stable cash flow, then outsourcing is the best way to expand your business. You simply won’t be able to reach the level you want on your own, and you’ll feel burned out!

6) Not Using Your Strengths
You may be wondering how this can lead to burnout. The truth is if you’re focusing on doing things you’re not good at, it’s not only be a big waste of time it will also suck your mental energy. If you’re not good at web design, don’t do it. Either save the money to have it outsourced or barter with a web designer and offer them your skills in return.

If social networking isn’t your strength, stop trying to be a social butterfly. You can still share useful information and be nice, but you do not have to comment on everyone’s posts to get attention. Just be yourself, share your content along with other great content and leave it at that.

Do figure out what your strengths are and work with those. If you’re good at graphic design or writing, then target people who are looking for those services instead of people looking for complete web design. If you’re good at motivating others, consider a coaching business to help people stay focused and inspired.

Remember – it makes a lot more sense to work to your strengths than spending all your energy working on your weaknesses!

7) Not Specialising
This one can go hand in hand with not using your strengths. If you’re offering a ton of services and having to jump from project to project to get things done, you should consider specialising in only a few things.

Once you’re business is established you can add more services, hire helpers and outsource some of the work. For now, though, stop trying to do so many things at once. Stick to a few things until you’re established in those areas.

8) Too Much Repetition
On the other hand, doing things that are repetitious and tedious can zap your energy and cause burnout too. If there are small tasks that must be done each week, maybe it’s time to hire a VA to get those done.

Using a VA is great for things that only take 15 to 30 minutes, but it will save you a lot of frustration. Most VAs charge by the hour, but they will track how many 10 to 15 mins time blocks they do for you and make sure you get your full hour’s worth of work. You may only need to purchase one hour per month for some things. This makes it very cost effective for you and can keep you from putting off those mundane tasks.

9) Networking the Wrong Way
This one is definitely hard to balance. You need to network and get to know other people in your field, find possible clients and partners, but if you spend too much time in this area, it will eat into your work time. On the other hand, if you spend too much time trying to work and not enough time chatting with other business owners, mentors or people who are trying to start their own business, you can suffer burnout by feeling like you’re all alone in this venture.

The opposite of not networking enough is doing it too much. This can lead you to comparing your success to others who are more successful or further along in the game than you are. There’s a fine balance between being inspired by others, taking action to create your own success or simply watching their success until it brings you down. If all you’re doing is watching their success, it can leave you feeling uninspired or thinking you’ll never make it to that level!

Remember, they put in a lot of long hours and hard work to get where they are today. If you take action and do the same, you can have similar results. However, you still need to take breaks from work or it will lead to burnout.

10) Not Planning
planningThis is an area where many newbies fail. It can lead to burnout because if you don’t spend some time making weekly and monthly plans, you will end up wasting time each day trying to figure out what you should be doing. After a while, this leaves you frustrated and making very little progress.

Spend an hour or two at the beginning of each month deciding what you want to accomplish for the month, whether it’s gaining new clients, building your email list, making more sales or doing product creation. Define your monthly goals and then break those down into weekly tasks.

At the end of each workday, see what’s on tomorrow’s schedule so you’ll know what to expect each day. Also, spend some time on Sunday evening looking over your weekly plans so you know what’s ahead for the week and which areas you need to focus on.

There’s a common phrase that states:

People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan 

Benjamin Franklin said “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

Don’t be one of those. Start working on your monthly plans – you can do this several months in advance or even make out a yearly plan. Just get busy planning.

Remember, even the best plans are bound to change, and working for yourself does mean you have the flexibility to change them if you want to. Don’t let that stop you from planning in the first place, though. It’ll really help your productivity and reduce feelings of burnout!

Following the tips above will help prevent you from becoming burned out in these keys areas. Business building can be hard work and it can take time. Don’t let yourself get discouraged or feel overwhelmed if things aren’t working as fast as you’d like. Simply take account of where you’re at, where you want to be, and which unimportant tasks you can eliminate to keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

woman gazing

And remember, if you do get burnt out, it’s OK to take some time out to get things back on track. Things will get better if you work on them!

 

Why collaboration in business is good

At the recent 1230 TWC Margate meeting, special guest speaker Paul Andrews chose “Collaboration” as his topic. It reminded me of a Blog I wrote almost a year ago to the day “Synergies and Collaboration – why would you?” Here for you to read; and this has prompted me to re-visit the topic and include some vital current statistics - so thank you Paul!

collaboration women

So let’s look first at the definition of collaboration = the action of working with someone to produce something. (Oxford Dictionaries)

Paul’s collaboration and discussions with other business owners, concluded that small (business) is beautiful and good; being a large business has potential to lose sense all of reality and this applies globally, not just UK.

A few stats:

  • Female entrepreneurship is growing in Britain, and has been since the recession of 2008 – 2011. 1.5m women in the UK are self-employed, which is an unprecedented increase of 300,000 since before the recession – that’s 80% of the new self-employed during this time.
  • Women are nearly three times as likely to collaborate with research institutions (universities in particular) than male businesses (11.4% compared with 3.8%) (ibid British Chambers of Commerce 2004).

When it comes to team building, as women we have a terrific advantage. Our style is collaborative. We connect and collaborate, do business. There’s that word again - “collaborative”.

Why would you want to collaborate with others? We simply can’t be experts in everything…

Some ideas on collaboration:

  • Look for synergies when speaking to others
  • When networking, listen to others’ 1 minute talks. For example, are you a photographer? Is there a wedding organiser in the group, or jeweller, beautician, a florist? A bride would need all these things. All these have potential for collaboration. One step further, why not put an event together.
  • Perhaps you’re a web designer and often get clients who need a logo, branding and someone in your circle can make that connection for you.
  • If you’re a solicitor who writes employment contracts, a VA could be someone who could make useful connections for you with their clients… You get the idea? Think complimentary business.

Maybe you don’t see the synergies straight away, but they’re clear when you revisit your meeting notes later – you do take notes, don’t you?

Collaborate with another person/s and your business offering is stronger, different, more successful.

Let me know how you get on!

And the Winners are!

Boost your business Giveaway!

The lucky winners of the fabulous Boost your business Giveaway with a reminder of the prizes, are:

1st prize: Kelly Dunsdon

  • Confidence Oasis For Mothers with Sherry Bevan or My Espresso Plan your outsourcing with Annabel Kaye (if you’re not a mum).
  • Get The Darned Thing Done training program with the UKs leading mindset trainer, Caroline Ferguson
  • Become a published author training with Jacqui Malpass
  • Become a published author training with Jacqui Malpass
  • 60 minute How to Manage your Menopause the Smart Way Skype call with Julie Dennis
  • 90-minute Microsoft Office Personal Session with Shelley Fishel, IT Training consultant
  • 90-minute Microsoft Office Personal Session with Shelley Fishel, IT Training consultant
  • 90-minute Business Planning Intensive with the UK’s leading female business strategist, Sarah Buchanan-Smith
  • 6 Months 1230 TWC Membership with business networking coaching from Jackie Groundsell (if you’re already a 1230 TWC member, this will be added to your current membership).
  • 45 minute Money Healing Consultation valued at £250 With Sarupa Shah

Total cost, if you bought each item individually is £5,200. The value of course, is priceless

Joint 2nd place: Michele Cole

  • One-year membership of The MORE Mastermind: Mindset, Marketing and Miracles with Victoria Casebourne value £1,800

Joint 2nd place: Aiste Praill

  • 12 months’ membership to the Mindfulness Mindset Programme from Lottie Moore of Wish Women.

Joint 2nd place: Kaye Dunbar

  • A year of MoRe Wisdom (the MOthering REvolution) from Jackie Walker.

3rd place: Vicki Raven | Eunice O'Rourke | Leah Harris

  • Sarah Arrow’s 30-day Webinar Challenge training (£430.00 each)

These amazing prizes will give the winner the chance to transform their business.

Huge thanks to our generous donators – we look forward to hearing how everyone gets on.

Business Networking: Are Venues Important?

Are venues important?

We think so, we know so!

From day 1, 3 March 2002, 1230 The Women’s Company has always held its monthly lunch-time business meetings in attractive venues with ambience, and delicious food.

1230 TWC is not a run of the mill network with sandwiches and sausage rolls!

Inspiration flows in great surroundings and solid, trust-worthy relationships are built with regular attendance, not only for those who attend, but with our venues too.

So we blow the trumpet for our fabulous venues and their helpful accommodating staff, here they are!

 

Bexley – Ferrari’s Restaurant

Blackheath & Greenwich – DoubleTree Hilton

Bromley – Aqua Restaurant

City of London – Devonshire Terrace

Croydon – Ponte Nuovo

East Dulwich – Tart

Margate – The Powell Restaurant

Mayfair – Jak’s Mayfair

Orpington – Scala

Sevenoaks & Tunbridge Wells – The Hand & Sceptre

Don’t miss out, we’d love to see you there – be productive, and, enjoy yourself!

Jane Travis

Jane Travis

Jane Travis

I’m Jane Travis, and I’ve been a counsellor/psychotherapist since 2005 at Reflections Counselling Lincoln, run the Lincoln Counsellors Network and also www.janetravis.com.

I started my counselling business out of necessity because there were and still are woefully few salaried counselling positions, but had 2 small businesses before that. My biggest challenge – confidence. I still find it a challenge to put myself out there!

In my counselling business, I see people with all kinds of issues but have a special interest in executive stress and issues around food. Within JaneTravis.com, I work with women that are people pleasers, looking at self-care and communication to help them find balance in their lives.

As a counsellor, I have seen hundreds of different women that run themselves ragged trying to be all things to all people, their own needs at the bottom of the pile while they are there for everyone else. And it’s a serious issue – they are tired, exhausted, overwhelmed which can lead to stress, anxiety and depression.

And I get it! As a recovering people pleaser myself, I know what it’s like. The need to be accepted, liked and loved is so strong we’ll exhaust ourselves rather than say no and risk disapproval, conflict and rejection.

I use all my training and experience as a counsellor to help them make real, fundamental changes and start to value themselves and protect themselves from the takers in this world.

I have been networking regularly for some years now, and I think it’s a valuable tool for business women. Running a business can be a lonely place so it’s great to form friendships with others that understand the unique issues we have. As a business tool, it helps you raise your profile locally, and give and receive referrals.

I’m a big fan of women-only networking. Much as I appreciate men, there is a totally different feel and buzz to women’s networking events.

I have always admired Anita Roddick. I used to be involved with The Body Shop Direct, which I loved and really admired her authenticity, business acumen, courage and ethical stance.

A book I would highly recommend is ‘Business Networking’ by Heather Townsend, a must read for anyone that wants to get the most from their networking.

There are a couple of regular places I use for coffee or lunch with networking friends, but Doddington Hall just outside Lincoln is a favorite. Beautiful home cooked and produced food in a fabulous rural setting.

I am extremely proud of my course ‘How to say no without feeling guilty or changing your mind‘. It’s written for people pleasers to tackle their fears and start to protect themselves from the takers and manipulators in this world. It’s effective, but lighthearted – one comment I received was ‘Jane makes a lot of sense, and her writing style is very easy to understand. I also like her sense of humor. What could be better, learning and laughing. Thank you Jane.’.

Women and men do business differently: we are different animals. As women, we are brought up to believe it’s our job to care for others which can make it harder to stand up for ourselves. Yes, a sweeping generalization I know but true nonetheless. The more we help each other, collaborating instead of competing, using our vast and diverse skills, the more we all rise.

Meet Libby, From Be Happy Courses

libbyI’m Libby and I’m the founder of www.behappycourses.com and  I started the business to spread more happiness! Cheesy, but it’s true!  I help people (all sorts of people from all walks of life), especially people who are feeling down and know they need to “pick themselves up again”. I do this with my 7-day challenge on becoming happier. Here I help the participants become mindful in their life and return back to happiness.

I love the idea of business networking. I have always been a huge advocate of women in business so this fits in with my ethos particularly well, and one of my favourite women in business is Michelle Mone.

I actually, never do lunch with business! Eating and business are too important to mix – it would mean I had to divide my attention and that just wouldn’t be right!!

I do heaps of work with charities that I’m involved in and although it is my birthday on Christmas Day, I always work on Christmas Day and give my counselling services away for free. I know how challenging a time of year it can be for a lot of people and it is incredibly rewarding to be able to do this. The best part of my work is being able to help people who otherwise might not have access to mental health services and education.

Meet Julie Dennis – The Menopause Coach

Headshot-JDI’m Julie Dennis the founder JD Enterprises which I’ve run since 2013.

I was made redundant in 2013 and quickly realized I didn’t want to return to commuting and working long hours for companies where I didn’t feel like I was making a difference.

The biggest challenge for me when I launched my business was that it was just me! I was used to working as a part of a global team with loads of support. Suddenly I was covering IT, HR, Marketing and Accounts!

I specialise in helping professional women manage their menopause symptoms so they can remain cool and confident at work.

I know from personal experience how debilitating menopause symptoms can be if you don’t have access to expert advice. I want women to know that when symptoms like hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings and anxiety strike they are not alone and that with the right knowledge and the right attitude you really can navigate your menopause years with grace and ease.

I love business networking. It’s a constant source of advice, support and of course business! I’ve made excellent business contacts, connected other people and made some good friends

For my business, women-only business networking works best – guys tend to back away when I start talking hormones and menopause!

I draw inspiration from so many female business owners. I love Suzanne Dibble for her you can do and be absolutely anything you want attitude and Sarah Arrow for her generous support to so many business women. I love Rachel Henke’s freedom business model and Karen Skidmore’s no-nonsense approach to marketing. Caroline Ferguson, my best business girlfriend, has been a constant source of advice, accountability and fun.

My favourite book by a female author is Life without Limits by Chrissie Wellington. Her achievements in sport are incredible as is her generosity to other competitors. After each ironman race she won, Chrissie remained at the finish line to cheer each and every competitor home.

My favourite venue for business networking has got to be Limewood which I visited last year with my mastermind group.

My best business win is just about to come. I’m working towards getting an article on Managing Menopause in the Workplace into the national press.

Studies show almost 50% of women experiencing menopause symptoms feel their job performance is negatively affected as a result of poor concentration, tiredness, poor memory and of course, hot flushes.

We need to increase awareness for business around the impact of menopause so they can effectively manage the female leadership pipeline and ensure female talent isn’t lost.

It’s equally important that women get access to expert, balanced advice so they can then make an informed choice as to how to manage symptoms.

I am on a mission to get business talking about the impact of menopause in the workplace and work with companies to integrate a menopause policy into their health and well-being strategy. Watch this space!

Julie is a sponsor in our Business Boost Giveaway please check it out here

Caroline-Ferguson-Mindset-Trainer

Meet Caroline Ferguson, Mindset Trainer

Caroline-Ferguson-Mindset-TrainerQ1. What’s your name and what you do?
I’m Caroline Ferguson and I’m a Mindset Trainer to purpose-driven women who know they were born for something bigger. I help them to overcome limiting beliefs, low self-worth and procrastination so that they can deliver their full, extraordinary impact.

Q2 Why Did you Start a business and what was your biggest business challenge when you started?
I’d been self-employed for many years as a business communications specialist, but there was always something missing. I found my true north when I retrained as a Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist. My biggest challenge was marketing technology (which it turns out was much simpler than I was trying to make it).

Q3 Who do you help / serve in your business?
I help women (and a few men) who are tired of sabotaging themselves and getting in their own way. They know they’re capable of making a greater impact but they feel stuck. They are ready to make the change.

Q4 How did you know they were the people you’re meant to help?
It took me a while to work this out. At first, I wanted to help everyone sort out their mindset, but gradually I realised that when I was trying to communicate with “everyone”, no-one could hear me. It wasn’t until I started focusing on the people I loved working with – entrepreneurial women – that I was able to understand their pain and get really clear on my messaging.

Q5 What do you think of business networking?
It’s essential. I wouldn’t have a business without it. I network extensively, both in the room at events and online.

Q6 What do you think of women-only business networking?
I love it. I know some people prefer mixed networking but I go where my clients feel comfortable. Women are incredibly generous networkers – it’s less about competition and much more about connection and collaboration, which is my favourite way to do business.

Q7 Who is your female in business idol / role model / business celebrity
Gosh, there are loads of them. Right now, Shaa Wasmund is an inspiration – she’s one of the 20 leading entrepreneurs in the UK and a Times bestselling author. I also love Sarah Arrow for her generosity to up-and-coming business owners, and for doing business with heart. She’s always looking for ways to add value.

Q8 Your Favourite book by a female author (business or pleasure)
Right now it’s Rising Strong by Brené Brown. If you haven’t seen her TED talks or read her books, please do. She’s wonderful.

Q9 What’s your favourite restaurant for a business networking lunch?
I went to a gathering of high performing women at The Ivy in London a couple of weeks ago. That was pretty special.

Q10 Tell us your best business “win” so we can celebrate your success with you.
There have been plenty recently but #1 is the success of my new course on Procrastination, “Get The Darned Thing Done”. It’s changing people’s lives and that is THE BEST feeling! Also, a journalist is doing the course and will shortly write about her experience in a national newspaper – very exciting.

I feel immensely privileged to work with women who want to change the world. Building a successful business around doing something you love takes guts, resilience and plenty of staying power. I have nothing but admiration for the women who are putting themselves and their passion out there.

Win a Copy of “Get The Darned Thing Done!”


Can Hiring a Business Coach Really Make a Difference?

Can Hiring a Business Coach Really Make a Difference?

Can Hiring a Business Coach Really Make a Difference?Whether you’re just starting a business or you’re well into your venture, the idea of hiring a business coach may have come to mind. But you may be wondering if a business coach can really make a difference for you. To answer this question, you need to understand what a business coach does, and how to choose the right one for you.

Business coaching provides a way to interact with a professional who has your best interests at heart and can help you be more effective building your business and balancing your life and your business. Business coaches are a good mixture of accountability partner, sounding board, cheerleader and even emotional support. The business coach specializes in ensuring that all aspects of your life work together with the ultimate focus on ensuring that your business works.

Even the process of hiring a coach can be beneficial to your business. The coach will want to assess where you are right now with your business and find out where you want to go. An effective business coach will help you determine not just the direction you want your business to go, but will also identity actionable steps to take to achieve the goals you and your coach set.

Accountability

Checking in with someone else on a regular basis to tell them and show them what you’ve accomplished since the last meeting will give you someone besides yourself to be accountable to. For many people this helps them act in their own best interests and not put off anything, since most people don’t want to disappoint others.

Sounding Board

Talking plans and proposals out with a third party who is also well versed in your type of business will help solidify each plan you make so that you’re not going down the wrong roads to start with.

Cheerleader

Running a business is hard and some business coaches make excellent support systems and cheerleaders. In this way, you not only have a good plan of action to make your dreams come true but also someone to share your success with who has your best interests at heart.

Emotional Support

Many business coaches understand how home life can affect your business life. They can often help you deal with your family and friends when it comes to pushing your business forward.

If you need help identifying holes in your business plan, ways to fill the gaps, and how to create an actionable plan to push your business forward, then a business coach can definitely make a difference. The trick is finding the right business coach for your particular business.

In order to find the right coach for you that fits your business type and personality, ask the right questions of any potential coach. Plus, ask others for referrals before hiring any business coach. Finally, buy some of the coach’s products and services and try working on a short-term project with them first. This can help you ensure that they are the right coach to push your business to the next level.

Good luck!

Jackie

PS wondering where you can meet the right business coach? Come along to our Business Networking Lunches

Thank you – not

It happened on 11 November 2013.

I opened an email sending me a voice message from a fairly new friend of ours, in fact, she was the 12 year old daughter of my son’s new girlfriend.  We’d sent her a birthday card so it was nice to think she’d got in touch  The spelling of her name wasn’t quite the same – let’s say her name was Lia and the email message spelt it “Lya” – not knowing her long I assumed I’d spelt it incorrectly.  On clicking the message nothing appeared, so maybe it hadn’t saved correctly.  The phone ringing distracted me and as I was talking a small red box flashed at the bottom of my screen.  Still distracted I clicked on the box, nothing happened.  A few moments later, my screen was filled with a large red box stating that all my files had been encrypted by Cryptolocker – an exceptionally nasty piece of ransomeware.

This virus was so new that I’d been hit in their first UK targets.  You might think as an IT trainer I should know better than to open a message like this, and I’d agree, normally.  The total coincidence of the name just blinded me into a false sense of security.

Why is Cryptolocker exceptionally nasty?  It encrypts EVERYTHING on your computer.  And then demands that you pay $300 for the files to be released.  Not only that, but any attached external drives, eg, usb / hard drive, would also have been included in the attack.  I have an incremental remote back-up.  Guess what, yes, it encrypted those files too!

To say I was in despair was an understatement.  My entire 13 years of business had been encrypted. And in case you’re in any doubt, the files I could open were lines of complete mumbo jumbo.  I researched on the Net. If I paid up, as a police department in USA had done, how did I know these villains would release my files?  After 70 days they’d destroy my files if I didn’t pay up.  The next stage in their master plan was to up the anti after 70 days and, providing details of a Bitcoin account demanded $2,000 for the files safe return!!!

The incremental remote back-up.  I spotted that the back-up company could restore 30 day deleted files.  So I got in touch, maybe, just maybe…..  Yes, based in America, they knew about Cryptolocker and were frantically working to help their clients.  They thought that they could help me.  On 3 separate occasions they phoned me, talked me through and remotely accessed my machine to restore my files.  Not all the files were saved, but the majority were.  They didn’t charge me one extra $ / £ to do this – the annual charge for the back-up was then, just $54.  The company?  Carbonite.  And I shall be forever thankful for their help in saving my business and my sanity.

So, beware.  There are very clever, but equally nasty people out there.  Make sure your anti-virus software is always up-to-date, buy the best you can afford, and don’t be lulled into a false sense of security as I was.  Not everything is as it seems on the Internet.  Think once, think twice, think 3 times and then run that email/attachment manually through your updated anti-virus software.

Jackie Groundsell

1230 TWC