Do You Recognize Opportunity and Learn From “Bad Luck”?

Scott CostelloAll, Blog 10 Comments

This post doesn’t directly relate to Real Estate Investing, but you can definitely take the lesson and apply it to it for sure.  As most of you know my 2 year old Laptop got ruined by a leak in my office ceiling.  The damage was small and besides the fact that the computer wouldn’t turn on, you couldn’t see any damage what so ever. (I actually disassembled the parts yesterday and found where the water damage actually happened.  It was small but the kiss of death!)

After getting over the initial “WHOA IS ME” feeling I had, I looked back at the happenings and realized I could really take advantage of this situation and put myself in a better spot for the future.  Let’s analyze what I’ve got now and figure out a plan..

What I’ve Got…

  1. A water damaged laptop that still has some working parts
  2. $1550 check from home owners insurance company for damaged laptop.  This is the depreciated value of the laptop, but if I replace that laptop with one equal to the original value of the ruined computer I will get the full value back.  Since I originally paid $1850 I can get up to an additional $300 back (no way I’m leaving that on the table).
  3. A realization how lost I am with out a computer and how it really stops my production

I could just replace my laptop with a new one and move on, leaving myself the opportunity to fall victim to this scenario again in the future.  Instead, I thought of the lessons I have learned…

  1. Have a solution for backing up data and be able to get at it quickly (I was lucky that the Hard Drive was fine)
  2. Have a computer that if one part breaks it doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg to replace the part or requires me to get an entirely new computer.
  3. Make sure that your insurance covers your property from accidental damage (would have sucked to have gotten nothing for the damaged computer and had to buy a new one on my own dime).
  4. Have a plan for alternate arrangement for when something goes wrong.

My Opportunity

The silver lining of having your computer ruined is that you get to buy a brand new one with the insurance money.  This means that I’ll be advancing in technology 2 years (which is an eternity in computers) and won’t need to spend money on a replacement anytime soon.

Instead of buying another laptop, I actually bought a desktop computer from HP.  My reasoning is that

  1. I’ll be able to get a much more powerful computer for the price
  2. Upgrading a desktop computer is much cheaper and simpler then a laptop.
  3. if the motherboard dies, the monitor goes crazy or anything else with it,  I can replace those easily.  Not on a laptop!

Now here is where I show you I’m really thinking.  My water damaged laptop may still have some valuable working parts like the hard drive, screen, ram, BluRay player, network card, bluetooth module, processor, etc…  I can actually sell these parts individually and recoup even more money.  In fact, I would be making money because of my “Bad Luck”.  I call that Good Luck!

With what ever money I can make, I’m going to buy myself another laptop to use for when I need to be mobile as well as a backup machine if something were to happen to my desktop.  I will also be buying an external hard drive to back up all my data.

So that is how I’ve taken advantage of my “bad luck” and will actually profit from the situation.  ye’haa!

Scott Costello
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Comments 10

  1. This is great logic Scott and I like where you’re going with this…minus the part about backing-up to an external hard drive. So the next-time all of your internal and external hard drives are water damaged or stolen…then what?

    Ditch the hard-drive purchase and auto back-up to a cloud, you’ll never look back. I use a combination of dropbox and carbonite. But really you only need carbonite.

    1. I’ve thought about those, but never looked into them. What kind of price point am I looking at with dropbox and carbonite?

      1. Yeah I use a combination of dropbox and Carbonite as well. Carbonite cost me around $50-55 if I remember correctly (for a year). I mostly use dropbox when I know it’s a file I’ll want to share with others.

        1. How does the sharing work? can you give access by email address or user name and password? also will it allow you to link to a file where people can download from?

      1. carbonite is like an online backup solution. You use it to backup all your hard drive files and stuff. It’ll do it automatically (like syncing your ipod). You can also access the files from any internet connected computer.

  2. Hi Scott – You certainly made “lemonaide” out of lemons! Dropbox is free! I don’t know anything about carbonite. The great thing about Dropbox is that you can load a file into it, and you can retrieve it from any computer. A lot of folks use Dropbox for virtual assistants. You can store the file there and you can both work on it. How cool is that! Just go out and set up a free account.

  3. There ya go Scott, every cloud has a silver lining n all that 🙂

    I remember my daughter knocked my pc over, and I lost EVERYTHING! So I learned a valuable lesson that day, two in fact….one back your data up, two get insurance ha ha. I too use drop box and google docs just to be safe, Sally 🙂

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