Hi, welcome to today’s edition of the Transition Guy. I want to cover a subject with you that has been really contentious all over the world and in the press – ransomware. Ransomware is happening all over the world. What was it, 150 countries hit? Over 34,000 computers disabled? It was worldwide news. There was a public outrage. Everyone was really unhappy. Why? It’s a question I ask myself. You see, ransomware happens day in and day out. Why was it such an issue that got everyone so involved? Why was everyone so animated about it? Was it about that some little crooked hackers in some sort of, we don’t even know where they’re from, they entered, so infected your computer and looked at your computer, and all of a sudden, because I can’t use my computer, my business is paralyzed, let’s throw our arms up in the air and massively protest about it.

┬áThe reality is this, the people that got affected by ransomware didn’t do their due diligence. They were not on top of their technology. In all fairness, they didn’t have the protection in place.

But do you honestly think that the hackers look in your computer, it’s the only ransomware that you actually get hit with that only they hold your business hostage? You’re kidding me, right? I can name you a number of occasions where your business is held hostage, day in day out, and you do nothing about it, or you feel powerless to do something about it. I’ll give you a great example. The banks. Now, 2007, 2008, marked the global crisis. They call it the Great Financial Crisis. We all suffered. Granted. However, who took the most advantage out of that situation? I’ll tell you who. The banks. And a lot of people watching and listening to this episode today will be able to relate to this, the fact that the whole GFC, what they did, was to weaken the business. And a lot of the businesses were out there already weak, it made them further week, and the ratios weren’t right. We didn’t have the money. You were put into special measures. Now, I’d love to hear from the companies out there that weren’t special measures, because that was the worst ransomware situation I have ever seen. So what would happen, the bank would say, “Well, we need to put into special measures,” which means you’re going to have a special advisor come in to help you and keep an eye on you and help you with your business. Help you with your business? Are you fucking kidding me? Most of these bank managers that were this special measures squad never even ran a business in their life. They had no clue. They had a bank’s version of a balance sheet; that was it. But clearly what would happen, you would have this special advisor that would offer you pointless information, couldn’t give you much, but you would be charged extra for the facility that you currently had because now you were in special measures, and on top of that, if you wanted to borrow money, it was extortionate.

So the people that needed the money the most got charged the most! What kind of rubbish that?

Now if that isn’t being held to ransom, what is? If that’s not enough, let’s look at suppliers. How often was your credit line cut? Where they said, “Okay, do you know what? Your credit rating isn’t there.” Number one, you got paid on delivery or you had some really stupid terms, four or five days, and your credit limit was massively reduced, which means you couldn’t trade anyway. That’s not a partnership; that’s being held to ransom. And then you’re the customer! You had customers that where you had 30 days net maybe invoicing et cetera, they’d pay you 60, 90, 120 days. Are you being held to ransom there? Absolutely. What’s the moral of the story? Just because your computer gets hacked, that’s not the only method to hold you to ransom. There are far more.

Business owners need to be far more aware of all the different areas in their business they are being held to ransom, and as you come up with a strategy, how am I going to free myself from this tyranny? How am I going to be freeing myself from this control, from this being held to ransom?

Now, if you have been held to ransom, either by your banks, your supply chain, or your customer chain, I’d love to hear from you. So head over to Boolkah.com and get in contact. And remember, failing to learn is learning to fail.