I have a friend who likes to say, we’re all only one phone call away from disaster. That’s what I want to talk about today, what happens when the phone rings, and you know it’s going to ring some day, so let’s dig in.


Make the correct decision the first time



I have a friend who likes to say, we're all only one phone call away from disaster. And that's what I wanna talk about today. I wanna talk about what happens when the phone rings, and you know it's gonna ring someday, and that when it does ring, it's likely not gonna bring you good news. So let's bring you in.

First, I wanna tell you a story about my entry in the cancer world.

You see, I was having all sorts of health issues. I felt like my heart was going too fast, my blood pressure was all over the place. And I kept calling the doctor, and I kept calling the doctor, and I kept calling the doctor. And I was starting to get the feeling that my doctor was thinking I was a hypochondriac.

So finally, I get sent from his office to the emergency room, because he thought, and I thought, I might be having a heart attack. You know, after I got back, they said that you weren't having a heart attack. Go home and your doctor will call you.

And I got that call and he said, well, I've got some good news for you and I've got some bad news for you. You know, that little spot on your lung we found with the x-ray? Well, after the CAT scan, that spot is not a problem, so you can stop worrying about that. But I've scheduled you for a biopsy because you might have cancer.

And that phone call changed my life. That phone call started me down the world into cancer world. And for the next three years, I was mostly out of commission, and for two years after that, I really wasn't very useful.

So for five years, my life pretty much was on hold. And so was my business.

Now, the good news is because I managed to stay in touch with clients when I could, they stayed with me. And because I touched them every once in a while, they're still mostly clients today.

Now, the thing that got me there was I had thought about it. I had planned for it. Not getting cancer, but for something that would take me out of the business for quite a while. And for me, that phone call meant that I was out of commission. I couldn't be really useful the way I was used to being, but making a few phone calls, keeping in touch with people, letting them know I was around, and letting them know what the progress was with my treatment really, really helped.

So the truth here is you need to learn to weather any storm. And for that to happen, you need a game plan. Or you can work on scenarios that could ruin your day. Now you can also work on scenarios that could make your day also. That's a whole lot more fun. But the scenarios that could ruin your day, those are the ones you really need to be paying attention to.

You know, these scenarios need to be things that can happen in your business or something covers your personal life, as well as your business. Just like my trip into cancer world. So too often, business owners like you tell me they're too busy. I get that. We have urgent and important activities in front of us all the time. And planning for a disaster is rarely urgent, but I can tell you, and I can tell you from personal experience, it's always important.

So I believe that you can at least think about what you would do if the worst happens. And you have plenty of time for doing that, while you're driving in your car to work or you're driving to see a customer, you're driving someplace, just think about it for a while. And the more you think about it, the better you'll be prepared if the worst happens. Now, I'd rather have you do more than just think about it, but that's the minimum you really need to do.

I understand how difficult it is to plan for horrible things to happen. For example, no one wants to think about their own death, nor does anybody wanna think about what sort of plans you need to do if you do die. Well, you better be thinking about that stuff because there is a chance that you're gonna pre decease your significant other. And if you own a business, there's a whole lot more stuff that's way more complicated than if you were just an employee for IBM.

So here's the thing. I've had more than one disaster like my cancer event happen. And here's what's helped me out with that.

  1. Number one, at least start thinking about the various things that could ruin your day. That's where you start. Now, if you can't write it down, you need to think about it, but thinking about it will at least bring it to top of mind.

  2. Number two, and this is important. Write down two or three things on your list that have the highest probability and could cause the most pain. So you have to look at that. Is this something that's got a relatively high probability of happening? And if it does happen, how much pain would it cause? If it won't cause much pain at all, cross it off your list and come back to it some day when you actually get some time, but keep going through that list til you get something that has a relatively high probability and could cause you a ton, a ton, of pain.

  3. And number three, stay prepared and be aware. of when things start to move south. You know, think of my health issues before I was diagnosed. There was no question things were going south. I didn't really do a great job of thinking what would the next step might be? Once I got diagnosed, luckily I had a few days to sit down and start writing stuff out of what I had to do. What we had to do, what changes had to be made, who I had to talk to, who I wanted to tell about this. And by the way, the more open and transparent you are about this stuff, the more help and support you're going to get.

So now that you know about the challenges that can happen that would ruin your day, here's something that would be really useful for you. Start by having a conversation with me. I can help you think about what you need to do for scenario planning.

And in the meantime, if you're not ready to talk, download our free infographic on our stage two decision process. It's a simple five step process that will help you make wise decisions in what you wanna do. And while you're at it, scroll down and let me know what you're thinking about having the phone ring with news you really don't wanna hear.

Hey, this is Josh Patrick. You're at The Sustainable Business. Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope to see you back here really soon.

Topics: disaster planning, scenario planning, health, when the phone rings, disability

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