Australian floods are a warning to online businesses

Floods in BrisbaneThe people of Brisbane and other flooded areas of Queensland, Australia, could never have expected the disaster that has beset them. Even though there is a history of metres-deep flooding in the area, the last time it happened was 37 years ago. That means it is outside the daily consciousness of most people in the area – the result is that they think it will “never happen” to them. Similarly, today, about 150 people in the UK will die from a heart attack – many of them people who thought “it will never happen to me”. And as we remember the dreadful events in Haiti this time last year, hundreds of thousands of people there could never have predicted what terror and misery just one night would be bringing them.

Human beings like to predict the future and we like to think that all the dangerous stuff that might happen in the weeks and months ahead will happen to “other people”. It is a psychological trick our brain plays on us. Predicting our personal future is about making us feel safe, protected and free from harm. If we do not feel safe and protected our body starts to produce hormones which can be potentially harmful to us in excess. Equally, it prevents us from normal, productive behaviour. So we are geared to thinking things won’t happen to us.

But the problem is – they will. You will become ill, seriously ill, at some stage in your life; it might be tomorrow, it might be next year, it might be a decade away. But one thing is sure, it will happen. Equally, you will face dangers you had not predicted – a deranged driver might run you down on the pavement, your house might catch fire and the company you work for might be sold to the competition. Hopefully, not all on the same day…!

Many people in Brisbane now have no homes, no work and no Internet connection to help them find help. Similarly, in Haiti last year, people were without even the basics of food and clean water for weeks on end. The thought of having a working broadband connection was not central to them.

The thing is, stuff happens. Tomorrow your broadband may collapse. The day after your mobile phone may get dropped in a puddle. And next week, you might break both arms falling off your bike. Things will happen everyday that will affect your online business. And that means only one thing….

YOU MUST NOT PUT THINGS OFF…! Take action NOW…!

I would be much richer if I were paid a fiver for every person who has told me “I am going to start a blog soon”, or “I have an idea for a book which I’ll write one day” or “I really want to do some affiliate marketing, but I’ll do it when I get more time”. Tomorrow, the day after, next month – it could all be too late. However, you don’t think so – your brain keeps telling you that the problems that might prevent you from blogging or writing that book are the difficulties that only happen to “other people”. Well, guess what – to those “other people” YOU are the “other” person.

The floods in Australia, those in Pakistan, the earthquake in Haiti all tell us one fact – things will happen to us we have little or no control over. Sitting down and regretting what you did not do before the problem strikes will do you and your online business no good at all. Better to act now, than regret you didn’t act at some stage in the future.

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Graham Jones
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+
Graham Jones

@grahamjones

Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist, professional speaker and author of 32 books who helps businesses understand the online behaviour of their customers
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