The personal computer is an outstanding tool that can help you in your journey to success. It will not make you successful, but it will help facilitate and organize your plans to become successful. If the computer serves as a tool for the budding entrepreneur, what is the best computer you should buy to pursue your business goals?
As an entrepreneur, you should use the computer that is readily available in the moment, being sure to store all files, documents, and photos in the Cloud for immediate access. Just be certain that you pay for a cloud service to ensure the integrity of your data 24/7.
Your Computer Will Not Make Your Successful
I want to start by addressing a common misconception in business by telling you a personal story.
The first time that I purchased an Apple Pencil, I was honestly surprised to find that I was not able to draw. I know that sound silly, right? No kidding, I actually thought that there must be something wrong with the Apple Pencil. I learned in important lesson that day. People tend to believe that once they obtain a tool, they automatically become successful because they own the tool.
The same concept applies in purchasing a computer. The desktop computer, iPad, or even cell phone, serves as a tool that may help you obtain success, but purchasing it does not make you successful.
I know it sounds silly to even have to make this point, but you would be surprised at just how many people actually believe that once they purchase office equipment, or even the office space they need, that they will automatically be successful. In fact, they wonder why they are not successful after having obtained the needed equipment.
A man holding a walking stick does not make him an explorer. Neither does purchasing a computer make you successful. Simply holding a brand new Apple Pencil didn’t make me an artist either. The tool does not make you successful, using that tool may serve as a mean of helping you obtain success, but by simply obtaining the tool itself does not make you successful.
We are going to take a look at several devices and talk about how they might help you in business, but before we do that, we need to define the term “computer”.
When I refer to a “computer”, I am referring to any electronic device that serves as a means to help you communicate ideas and concepts. The computer used could be a traditional desktop computer, laptop, tablet, cell phone or even an Apple Watch. The emphasis should be on the ideas communicated, not the tool used to communicate those ideas.
Your “Computer” Must be Readily Available
It has been said that the best camera is the one in your hand. The same applies when it comes to computers. When you define a computer as “a device that serves to help you communicate ideas and concepts”, the important part of that statement is not the computer, but rather “communicating your ideas and concepts”.
Because you are not going to readily have your desktop computer with you while driving down the road, the best computer at that moment in time just might be your cell phone. While sitting at the airport waiting to board your flight, the best computer may be an iPad, or perhaps your laptop.
The point is that you should use whatever tool you have at your disposal at that moment in time, but this begs the question, “How am I supposed to keep myself organized if I am using whatever ‘computer’ is readily available to me?” Great question. Time to think differently. Remember, it’s not about the computer, it’s about communicating your ideas and concepts.
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The Cloud is Your Hard Drive
On September 2, 1969, the first ATM was installed at the Chemical Bank in Rockville, Centre, New York. At the time, people were used to going into a bank, filling out a paper slip and handing it to the bank teller, who in turn, would dispense cash to the customer.
For a moment, think of how difficult it must have been for customers at that time to trust their finances to a machine in the wall. No longer were they interacting with a person, but rather with a machine built into the wall. No doubt, they must have thought it was magic, or at least their children did. How is it possible to stick a plastic card into a machine in the wall and have that same machine dispense cash?
Today, we think nothing of it. But in the same way that people had to learn to trust that a machine would dispense the correct amount of cash, today, people have to learn to trust that the Cloud will protect the integrity of their documents, files and photos.
The Cloud is your hard drive. It is the place where you house all of your documents, files and photos, all of which can easily be accessed from nearly any device connected to the internet. Some people (and businesses for that matter), are still having a difficult time making the transition from their local hard drive that they can see, to hard drive up in the sky that they can’t see. Their concern is the safety and integrity of their data. What they don’t realize, however, is that data stored in the cloud is far more safe than data stored on a local hard drive.
The Importance of Paying for Cloud Services
There are many cloud services available today, but which one should you choose? Nearly all of them offer 5GB or more of “free” disk space, and all of them are incredibly secure and are very affordable. So why should I pay for Cloud services when the free version offers way more than I need?
Free Does Not Guarantee Data Integrity
Let’s say that you decide to take advantage of the free 15GB of free cloud space offered by Google. For the sake of argument, let’s say that you stored highly sensitive signed contracts in that free 15GB of free cloud space, and for any reason, Google’s servers went down. Is Google obligated to restore your data within a few hours or perhaps a couple of days? Are they obligated to restore your data at all? No.
Now, let’s say that you paid Google a monthly subscription fee of $1.99 for 100GB of cloud space. If their servers went down for any reason, they would be obligated to restore your data as soon as possible. Moreover, they would restore your data before they addressed the servers that were dedicated to non-paying customers.
What are Some Reputable Cloud Services?
There are several out there. The ecosystem that you use can play a big role in determining which Cloud service you should utilize, and we will get to that in a minute, but below are 5 that I have personally used.
- Google Drive
Regardless of which Cloud service you decide on, you want to get answers to the following questions:
- Do I have to manually sync my files, or will it automatically sync my files for me?
- Do they offer an app for my phone?
- How easy is it to navigate via a web-browser?
- How easy is it to navigate via the app on my phone?
- How fast is the syncing process?
Additionally, I HIGHLY recommend that you only use a reputable cloud service, one that has been around for a long time that has raving reviews. Remember, we are talking about your data here. This is not the time to entrust your brother-in-law with his new startup Cloud service running out of his mother’s basement. You get the idea.
Which Ecosystem Should I Use?
Let’s start by briefly explaining what an ecosystem is. Basically, an ecosystem is where all devices, (desktop computer, laptop, tablet, cell phone, and watch), can communicate with each other via a common Cloud system. Today, there are primarily two ecosystems to choose from. Those devices that are related to the PC and those devices that are related to the Mac.
The PC Ecosystem
Cloud services such as Google Drive, OneDrive, pCloud and DropBox are examples of Cloud services that are catered toward the PC. Basically, these cloud services allow you to open, save, and share documents, files, and photos from a Desktop computer, laptop, tablet, cell phone and some may allow for interaction with a smartwatch.
Google Drive and OneDrive offer online solutions for their respective Office Suites. While pCloud and DropBox do not offer Office Suites, you can easily open, save and share documents, files and pictures.
The Apple Ecosystem
The Apple ecosystem is by far, superior to any other ecosystem available today. The reason for this is that the same company that makes the hardware, (iMac, Mac mini, MacBook, iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch), is the same company that makes the software (macOS, iOS, iPadOS).
All Apple products are designed to work flawlessly with one another, and iCloud serves as the common denominator. For example, did you know that each Apple product is so tightly integrated, that you could open up a website using the Safari browser on an iMac, and then find that same website open after launching the Safari browser on your iPhone? It’s called, “Handoff“. In fact, you can even copy a paragraph from a document or website from your iMac for example and then turn your iPad on and paste it into a document on your iPad. Now that is tight integration.
iCloud is such an integral part of everything that Apple offers. For example, I store all of my files documents and photos in iCloud. Now if I happen to spill a glass of milk on my MacBook, (destroying the motherboard), I know that if I replace that MacBook with another one, all I have to do is login to iCloud and all of my documents, files, and photos will automatically download to the replacement MacBook, just by signing in with my Apple ID.
Ideally, if you have a desktop computer, laptop computer, tablet, cell phone and perhaps even a smartwatch, you are in good shape, provided that each device is able to participate in a cloud sharing service where all of your documents, files, and photos are available to each device.
Regardless of which ecosystem you decide on, be sure that you pay for a cloud service, as that is really the only way to ensure that your data is protected 24/7.
Tim ChesonisTim has been helping people with computers needs for several years, and he loves to help people succeed. He brings a wealth of wisdom and insight from an entrepreneur's perspective and enjoys freelance writing. In fact, when he's not writing an article, you might find him binge-watching Suits or formatting his computer . . . again, just for fun. To learn more about Tim, click here.
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