While it will sound terrible to be talking about tragedy, especially of a young person, I bring this story up to teach an important lesson. Miller, in his BBC article “Death in the digital age: Are you prepared?” brought to life the story of Eric Rash who committed suicide in 2011.
Even though this occurred a few years ago, the law is still unclear and not standard. At least Facebook allows someone to define if they want their account to be memorialized and who should be the new owner of the account. Other social media companies are also following suit.
In a more timely account, Prokop discusses “When death comes, survivors cope with digital afterlife,” in her article on Columbian.com. In this example Leisha Till, 40 years old, suddenly succumbed to death from a brain aneurysm. According to the story, she had many online accounts including social media accounts. In this case her computer was already logged in to her email and Facebook accounts, but there were many other accounts where Larry, her husband was left to sort out.
Could this happen in your family?
We don’t often think about our online accounts as something we need to leave to someone in a will but this is becoming more and more common; a digital will or sometimes called a digital estate. In doing so, should some emergency occur, the estate will have access to your accounts, user ids, passwords, secret codes and anything else needed to log in and take care of your wishes with each account. They will be able to save your digital photos, close any accounts or even pay your bills in a non-life threatening event.
Can you imagine yourself in any of these situations? Probably not. No one really ever sees it coming. Prevent the hassle and problems from being left to your family. Document your online accounts so there is no question if the time comes.
Protect your family and yourself by being prepared in case the worst happens.
Click here to use my brand new workbook, Document Your Digital Footprint, to help you navigate the process.
Digital Assets are a very real and valuable asset. They are not assets that are tangible and able to be held and touched. A digital asset is something that is intangible; something that cannot be touched or felt. For most of us millennials, most of our possessions growing up were physical objects able to be held and interacted with. This included things like music on vinyl, tape or cd, books, photographs that were printed from film, etc. Today, these things translate into digital photos, digital music, digital movies, digital books, online accounts and social media.
Some of these things are not necessarily valuable in the same way as a diamond ring but in valuable in a sentimental way. Others are valuable in a monetary way. Are you a writer? Do you write for a living? My best guess is that your writing is done electronically and not by using an old typewriter. Are you an artist or musician? How about a photographer? Do you photograph special events? I am sure you do not process film. Its all digital now.
And what about your online accounts? I am sure you have heard about all of the account hacking going on. Do you have online accounts that you no longer use anymore? Are they still active? Do they contain any personal information? If they are active and contain information that someone could use, I would recommend closing those accounts out and have them removed. Can you imagine the trouble that could be found if some of your personal information got leaked or hacked (stolen)?
Another valuable digital asset is social media. Social media profiles and posts contain lots of personal information. These accounts are very valuable to a lot of people. For one, you! You have pictures, memories and business information stored on social media. The hackers…they are always trying to hack accounts to gain access to your personal information. Make sure these accounts are tightly secured with a strong password.
Last but not least, since digital assets are part of our virtual world, how to you protect them. The best and first line to protecting your digital files is a backup. Backup your files, including digital photos, books and music purchased online, art or music you have created, whatever you have on your computer. I have a triple threat backup system. My important files like digital photos are manually copied from my computer to a separate external hard drive. The third part of the system is an automatic backup where my files are backed up to the cloud. I use Carbonite which is an application that is constantly checking my system for new or updated files. Once a file is found, it is instantly backed up. Safe and sound in three different places.
I would love to hear from you!
What kind of digital assets do you have? What do you do to secure your files?
One of the many reasons I decided to build my business around help others to document their business was to help the business owner grow their business, but be able to step away from it too. Whether stepping away was to take a vacation, for an illness or to sell the business, it’s all the same idea.
I just started reading a book called Built To Sell by John Warrillow. John is an entrepreneur who has been building businesses since graduating college. He mentions in the beginning of this book that one of the biggest things he has learned over the years is that “it’s sometimes hard to imagine that you’ll ever want to leave the company you worked so hard to build.”
There are many reasons that you may find yourself unexpectedly thinking about this down the road.
You may want to sell your business so you can retire peacefully and wealthy.
You may find that it is time to move on and begin a new venture.
You may need the income for a personal financial matter, maybe an illness, college costs, etc.
You may want to free up some time in your day to day.
Whatever the reason, wouldn’t it be most comforting to know that you can sell your business if a need arises.
What are your thoughts? Do you ever have the thought that u might sell your business down the road? What plans do you have for your business as you get older?
I came across an article from Entrepreneur.com that discusses 20 reasons why entrepreneurs start a business. It’s a pretty extensive list. That being said, the reason I started my business is not included.
I started my business to help other entrepreneurs. Since I’m a natural helper this seemed like the next step for me. Of course there are other reasons, like supplementing my income, college expenses, family and travel.
I began my business to help business owners grow their businesses in a way that will allow them to work less hours, spend more time with family or traveling, or whatever they desire. I offer them a way to document their daily tasks, in a way that allows them to outsource or hire someone else to do them. Basically get it out of their head and onto paper for someone else to do.
Go ahead and read the aforementioned article. I’m curious. Is your reason why listed? Comment below and tell us your WHY!
I love to read. Always had it in my…since I was a child. I read books so fast, I would often run out of books. These days, I wish I could say that! I still love to read and try to read in my spare time. That’s the problem though, I don’t have as much spare time as I used to. Let’s just say between the family, job and business, I am pretty much busy most of the time.
Even though I am a pretty busy woman, I do still find some time to read. I like to read several different genres. I like to read biographies and memoirs, historical fiction, business, mystery, drama, and a few others. So you can see I am all over the place.
I do have some books that stand apart from others. In the business genre, I have to say that The EMyth Revisited, written by Michael Gerber, is one of my favorites.
In this book Gerber talks about how most small business are started by “technicians.” This is someone who is involved hands on in the how to of the business. They rarely focus on the other important aspects of the business. They also need to be the manager and entrepreneur, overseeing the business and growing the business. The technician needs to grow into the entrepreneur and hire others to be the technicians and managers. This enables the business owner to work on his business and not in his business.
The case study in the book uses a woman who is an excellent pie maker. Her goal was to open several bakeries using her recipes. However when she started her business, she was the technician. She was the baker. She could not get herself or see herself not being the one baking pies. He takes her through a transformation teaching her how to become the successful entrepreneur and eventually opening several bakery locations.
This book really opened my eyes to how important systems and processes are to a business. He talks about creating systems that will produce consistent and reliable results regardless who is working them. And this is what you want. You want to be able to hire other technicians to work in your business but produce the same results as if you were the technician. This gives you the freedom to build and grow your business.
This is just a little portion about the book. I totally would recommend this book to be on any entrepreneur’s book list.
So what is your favorite business book or what book are you reading now? Please share it with us in the comments below.