Top iTunes Business Podcast

47+ Million Downloads

SPI 646: The Computer Story.

Boy, do I have a story for you today.

All I wanted to do over the holidays was to play video games with my son. It’s our tradition. But how I reluctantly ended up paying a stranger $125 to spend hours in his home with an overstimulated cat purring at me is just crazy.

This bizarre series of events all started with a PC that broke down on me. But when I reached out to John, a computer repairman on Yelp, is when things started to get downright weird.

You’ll have to listen to today’s episode to find out exactly what went down. I’ll say this — the Yelp reviews didn’t warn me about what would happen next.

This is not how I thought I would spend my time off, but there’s a lesson here about not giving up and how a nudge in the right direction can completely change things. It’s also a great reminder about the power and utility of building your story bank.

Oh, and I did end up playing Fortnite and Overwatch with Keoni. All’s well that ends well, right?

SPI 646 The computer story.

Announcer: Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, where it’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host, he’s reminded of how dorky and awkward he was as a teen because he is a teenager himself now. Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: This is the story of a computer, a computer that’s given me a headache for the last couple of years, that has come to a tremendous end. Just today actually, which is why it’s fresh in my mind. And I wanted to tell you this story. So two years ago I got a brand new PC. This PC’s called a Corsair one, and this was a top of the line gaming PC that I got for my son and I to play Fortnite and Overwatch and some other games.

It was amazing. It is super fast. It held all the games really well, and it provided a lot of good times for Keoni and I. And then six months later, when using this pc, the device had asked me to update my drivers. And if you’re at all familiar with the PC and how it works, you know that one single update or one single change can just bust the whole system. And that’s exactly what happened. I updated the driver just like it asked me to, and I rebooted just like it asked me to. And while it was rebooting, it rebooted again. And I said, huh, that’s weird. So I waited for it to go through its usual cycle. The same point, maybe 12, 13 seconds later, after it started over, it shut down and restarted again.

Now, this isn’t my first rodeo with PCs. In fact, I used to be a PC person before I was a Mac person. So I tried some of the tricks that I knew from back in the day, like holding F8, so it could go into safe mode and I could adjust a few things and head back into Windows and see if that would work.

And so, yes, I was able to get into safe mode and as soon as I rebooted from there same thing happened, just this recycled reboot was happening over and over and over again. I went into the bios, which you don’t need to know what that means if you don’t, but I went in there, updated a few things, and it didn’t work.

So I was stuck in this loop where I couldn’t do anything. So I emailed support for Corsair and they suggested some things, some stuff that I had already done. And they said if I could restore back to an earlier point, then I might be able to essentially time travel back to before when I updated that driver and hopefully the computer would work.

So I went into the computer and went into safe mode and went into advanced and then decided restore from earlier point. Cool. Let’s see what earlier points there are that are available. There were none. For some reason, my computer was not capturing restoration points prior to this install, so that was shot.

Now, unfortunately, I just couldn’t do anything, and so I let the computer sit and I let it sit and let it let it sit, and then I let it sit. A year goes by. It’s just collecting dust at this point. And I end up getting my son a MacBook for school. So he’s using that computer now. And so it’s kind of like, well, I have a MacBook for my work.

This was supposed to be our gaming pc. He’s playing Minecraft, which could be done on this MacBook Pro anyway, so he didn’t really have a need for, nor did I have a need for this pc. Well, it is winter break now here in the Flynn household. And one thing that we love to do on winter break is game with each other, especially my son and I.

Unfortunately, the games that I wanted to play with him required two separate PCs, these multiplayer games like Overwatch or Fortnite or those kinds of things. So he had his setup. He had a setup. That was fine. And I had my PC that wasn’t working, so I said, you know what? I’m gonna fire this up and see what happens.

And lo and behold, I fire it up and 12 seconds later, it reboots. And I said, you know what? I’ve tried taking care of this. I remember what that was like. I’m just gonna go to somebody who knows what they’re doing. So I go to Yelp, which is where I often go when I have some issues that I dunno how to take care of myself.

I find a reputable computer repairman. I text him through Yelp at 11:48 PM. And he actually texts back immediately, which was just really interesting. But I said, Hey, or it, it actually said, call me. I was like, I’m not gonna call you at midnight, but I will call you tomorrow morning. So I called him in the next morning and his name was John.

And he said, Hey, what’s the problem? And I told him the problem. He said, Hey, I can fix that. We can do a clean, like, do you have any data on there that you really need to try to save? And I said, no. And he said, great. This will be super easy. So I drop off the computer at his house and he says, Hey, you could pick it up at 3:00 PM This was at 11:00 AM.

So five hours later, not bad. So I come back to his house at 3:00 PM. And he says, Hey, I haven’t fixed it yet. And I said, well, you could have texted that to me before I drove 20 minutes to your place, but okay. And then he decided to try more experiments with this computer while I was there standing over him in his home, he had asked me to come pick up the computer at his home because it was winter break for him and his office, but he was still doing some side work.

And so I went through a back door of a house, felt like I was sneaking in. He was like, Hey, Pat, I’m back here. And it was like through his kitchen, through his living room, and there he was in his little office tinkering with my computer and he had a monitor set up and he was showing me some stuff. And an hour and a half later after random conversations, after a cat was purring at me, maybe half the time after his son came in and just wanted to know if they were gonna go to the movies or not, an hour and a half went by, he said, you know what, Pat, I’m gonna tinker it for a little bit longer tonight.

You won’t have to pay me, but I’m gonna work on it and, and I’ll get it back to you tomorrow. So I go to bed and I wake up and I have a text. As I’m waking up, I see it, I read it, it says Pat, I fixed it, it works. It doesn’t reboot anymore. And then I end up going over to his place to pick up the PC and I take my kids and my wife with me cuz we’re gonna head to the mall to do some shopping.

And my, you know, my kids, my wife are sitting in the driveway to his house. I sneak around the back just like I’m supposed to head into the house, cross the kitchen, cross the living room, see him there. He’s showing me some stuff and he says, look, it hasn’t rebooted. Here is a fireplace from YouTube that’s been playing for two hours and it seems to work now.

So I Venmo him $125. Okay. And as he is exiting windows, he says, okay, well I gotta just update this real quick because when you finish with your PC, sometimes instead of shutting down, it updates so it’s ready the next time. And so I’m looking at the update and it says 1%. A minute later it says 5%. A minute later it says 8%.

It is going really slow. All while John’s continuing to tell me about what the issue was in a language that I did not understand. Meanwhile, my wife sends me a text, says, Hey, where are you? Are you okay? And I said, yes, John is telling me things and I will be there as soon as I can. Well, the percentage finally gets to a hundred after about 15 minutes, and then it restarts.

And he says, oh, you know, sometimes with PCs you gotta restart before you can, you know, shut down again because it’s just reinstalling, whatever it downloaded, et cetera. So it restarts the way it’s supposed to. And then he says, okay, well here you go. I’m gonna shut down, shuts down, and it’s downloading another update.

At this point, I’m 25 minutes chilling in his office. The cats nowhere where to be seen. And. My kids are sitting in the driveway of a random stranger’s home. So I said, John, you know what, I, I have to go, we are going to dinner, we’re going to eat, and we have plans. And he said, no, no, just like, give it 10 more minutes.

Can you give it 10 more minutes? I said, I can’t. And he said, okay, well I will make sure this all works and if you wanna pick it up tonight on your way back, you can, or tomorrow, you’re welcome to. And I said, okay, I’ll let you know. So my kids and my wife and I, we go to the mall. We have a great dinner. On the way back.

I text him, I said, Hey, can I pick up the computer? He says, sure. And I tell him I’m gonna be there in about 25 minutes. I’m there. He’s outside in like boxers holding up a PC and ready for me to take it. Super weird. Just, okay. So I go home, I turn on the computer, it fires up. Everything’s seemingly good. I go to, which is a website to download one of the games that Keoni and I play together, and it shuts down.

It just shuts down on, like again, I log back in, you know, I power up the computer, I log back into Windows. It’s getting me further than when it used to restart over and over again before. But as soon as I started doing something, like going on the internet to download something or trying to get access to, you know, my email inbox, it just pew shuts down again.

I’m like, what the heck is going on? So I said, okay, you know what? I’m just gonna turn it on again and just leave it be and see what happens. So I turn it on, I don’t touch anything, and all of a sudden I start to hear a clanking noise every 10 seconds.

Like metal on metal inside of the box that I have my PC and I have no idea what’s going on. I’m like, is this thing gonna explode? What is happening? And I look down into the box to see what’s making this noise. And it’s the fan at the top. I could see it clinking as it hits something, but then it just stops.

As if it’s trying to go, but something gets in its way. So I jostle it a little bit and all of a sudden I hear the fan going, I haven’t heard that noise in a couple years from this box. And I open a app on this computer that shows me a lot of the internals, like the cooling fans and the temperature of the motherboard and all that kind of stuff. And I see the temperature just start to dive bomb because the fan finally turned on.

So I’m looking at my computer right now. I’ve downloaded two games and it hasn’t shut down. So, moving it from my place to John’s and then back seemed to have jostled something enough for me to hear the computer to a point where then I could jostle a little bit more to get the fans to work. And now it’s fine.

So am I gonna ask for $125 refund from John? Probably not, but what a weird series of events that happened here at the end of the year. And I wanted to share this with you because sometimes, you know, as frustrated as I was getting through this entire process, I mean just I could not get outta that house it seemed like, and that cat was just purring at me, like it was about to do something.

And it was one of those cats that has like the flat nose, like the, the nose does not protrude. It’s like it was actually a pretty cute cat, but it was scaring me. But the reason I wanted to share this with you is because sometimes there’s just stuff that you can’t control, but you just kind of gotta go with the flow, jostle things a little bit and then sometimes it just starts working again.

And in whatever way you wanna take that metaphor and incorporate it into your own life, you’re, you’re welcome to. Or if anything, just maybe this was an entertaining story cuz it really was such an odd series of events that really, it took two years since I bought this computer. But you know, most of it just happening in the past couple days.

And yeah, the Yelp reviews didn’t tell me about, you know, going into his home. But at the same time, I also wanted to practice, you know, I work in public as, as many of you know, and one thing that I love to do is to experiment with different stories and how they might relate, right? And sometimes you don’t know how a story may or may not make sense to an audience, especially until you tell that story.

There might be some better ways for me to shape this story. I often talk about something called a story bank. You can trust me, this went into the Story Bank last night before I picked up the computer because I knew whatever happened. It was just a, a, after the events at John’s house, it was just really strange and worth talking about, or at least experimenting to see if this story would be worth telling. For example, on stage one day. And maybe I haven’t nailed it yet, but I think there’s something there. And sometimes you don’t know that until you just share your story, right? It’s almost as if you’re sitting across from me from a coffee table at a coffee shop, and we’re just chatting you and me, and I’m just telling you about something random that happened yesterday and you know, many of the stories that end up in my slide decks for webinars and on stage at presentations or in virtual summits that I attend are because these are stories I tell other people in my life, my wife, my friends, sometimes even my kids. And sometimes by only telling the story can I hear it out loud and understand how it might or might not be relevant.

So that’s the real lesson here and why I wanted to share this, to force myself to tell a story that may or may not actually been useful, but the idea that it could is worth the risk for sure. And so I just wanna encourage you to tell a story, something that happened, and see if there are any lessons that can come out of it. Right? And I’m, I came up with one on the fly with you at the end there. You know, sometimes you might get frustrated with how things are, things aren’t working out the way you want them to, but sometimes you just gotta keep trying. Move things around a little bit, and it might just be a small little bump that changes everything, but if I were to just go back to what it was before, which was just leaving the computer under the desk and not even trying, well, I wouldn’t have been able to start playing games with my son today.

Thank you so much for listening to this. I appreciate you and I look forward to serving you in the next episode of the SPI podcast. Till then, take care, tell great stories, and I look forward to the next one.

Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast at I’m your host, Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is David Grabowski. Our series producer is Paul Grigoras, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media. We’ll catch you in the next session.

Share this post

Smart Passive Income Podcast

with Pat Flynn

Weekly interviews, strategy, and advice for building your online business the smart way.

Get Unstuck in just 5 minutes, for free

Our weekly Unstuck newsletter helps online entrepreneurs break through mental blocks, blind spots, and skill gaps. It’s the best 5-minute read you’ll find in your inbox.

Free newsletter. Unsubscribe anytime.

Join 135k+