Terri Hanson Mead
Published in

Terri Hanson Mead

Piloting Your Life: In-Flight Entertainment (Money) (Feb 18, 2020)

Welcome Back My Hard Working Passengers:

I dropped one of my laptops last Sunday and couldn’t get it restarted. I knew that it was a goner even though it’s never been dropped before. It was time. I only used it for Microsoft Money to keep track our of personal finances so it wasn’t much of a loss. Or at least it wouldn’t have been if my last cloud backup had been more recent than June. Oops!

Fortunately I was able to quickly reinstall the sunset version of the software on another computer and restore the June backup in about 10 minutes. This was after my friend Ron gave me the bad news that his resident expert declared the hard drive dead and most likely unrevivable. He said that it’s never good news to hear the sound of popcorn when troubleshooting a hard drive.

It took me about three days to get all of our account balances back to where they needed to be. Kids, back up your data early and often. I did take the opportunity to research other options to track our finances (I use QuickBooks for my business but it can’t do what I need it to do for our personal stuff). The only other viable alternative was Quicken but it didn’t make sense to switch from one installed app to another when I already know this one. I was open to a purely cloud solution but none of those can do what I need them to do either. Plus I imagine that the data migration of 25+ years of data wouldn’t be pretty.

Fortunately, I’d already run the reports and done the journal entries into QuickBooks for my businesses so I didn’t have to recreate everything from June forward. I was able to get the balances correct at 12/31, plug the difference, and then enter the detailed January and February transactions. Yep, once an accountant, always an accountant.

Since I was already eyeballs deep in financial stuff, I ran the profit and loss statement for my primary business, Solutions2Projects, so I could get the info to our tax preparer and I was shocked by my revenue last year, and not in a good way. I knew my revenue was down but hadn’t realized how far. I can’t begin to tell you how awful I felt looking at that number. I felt so bad, I found Zeke and told him I felt like a failure looking at the number. Normally I don’t worry his pretty little head with things like our finances.

He was very supportive and reminded me that I wrote a book last year, my priorities had been elsewhere and that I’ve been working on pivoting my business. I knew that but it was still incredibly hard to look at the number in comparison to prior years. Plus I got scared. What if this pivot doesn’t work? Then what? I’d blame my 8 day headache on this but the headache started right before I dropped the laptop.

As I was finishing up the 12/31/19 financial summary (I use Excel for this because the data comes from multiple places), I looked at the total net worth number and was reminded that we are going to be ok. We are not going to be out on the street any time soon (and my parents have a big enough house that we can move to San Jose if need be…just kidding Mom!).

This is a reality, though, for a lot of women I know in midlife. What has worked in the past no longer works. Or we are unwilling to put up with what we’ve been putting up with. Or we are in corporate jobs and are let go because we are too expensive and it seems that it might be more cost effective to hire a less expensive (and less experienced) person to do the job. This is so shortsighted because our economy and our businesses are losing a wealth of knowledge and experience to save a few bucks. Penny wise and pound foolish.

I will do what we women need to do in times like this: take stock of where I am, be creative about the work I am interested in and willing to do, and do the hard work necessary to get to the next point. As Bev my executive coach would say: stay in the process. She would also say that I’ve figured it out before so I can figure it out again. She’s never been wrong, by the way. We all need a Bev in our lives.

And now I’ve got to get back to work.

With much love and gratitude (and a gin and tonic for me!),


P.S. Take the controls and be the pilot in your own life. It’s a beautiful day to fly, and you are cleared for takeoff.

Song: Money (Pink Floyd)
Piloting Your Life (the book)
Piloting Your Life (the podcast)

Twitter: @PilotingLife

Instagram: @PilotingYourLife

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Facebook Page: Piloting Your Life



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