I’ve noticed a theme through all of my professional and personal conversations lately: how do you plan when everything can change next week, or tomorrow or in the next hour? It can be exhausting to think about or try to move forward when you feel like the ground beneath you is in a full rolling earthquake.
My daughter: “Are 100 people coming to my wedding or 10?”
My students: “How do I plan a career when no one is hiring right now?”
My colleagues and business owners/professionals “What if I lose my job? What if everything gets shut down after I make all of these strategic business plans?”
I think we all know, deep in our hearts, there are two choices: 1) Freeze, panic, feel paralyzed or 2)
Plan for the worst case scenario.
Now you might think, planning for the worst case scenario is really a very pessimistic view of the world and should be avoided at all cost. I would argue, the opposite. I would argue that if you can dare to plan for the worst case scenario, it will free you up mentally to move optimistically forward.
In fact, I can almost guarantee, you will feel tremendously better if you can put a plan in place for what you think might be the worst thing that can happen.
Planning for the worst might mean going over your finances or making a worst case business scenario plan. Write it down. What would you do?
How can you create a bit of a safety net, an action plan?
For my daughter, it’s making a plan for the smallest possible wedding, just in case.
For my graduating students, it might be living at home, taking an internship or part time jobs or freelancing until the economy straightens out.
For my professional friends and colleagues it might be figuring out where assets are, finding ways to cut the budget, move things around, or other ways to bring in income.
Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter.
You need to have a plan, so that you know, if the worst happens, this is what you are going to do. You’ll know where the “life raft” is.
Chances are what actually happens will most likely be somewhere between the best and the worst thing you can imagine. And I figure if it’s anything better than the worst, then great, right? Because you already know, it could have been worse.
You know the old saying,
“Expect the best, prepare for the worst.”?
That’s great advice right now! Prepare.
Then move on. Innovate. Change or take some strategic risks if necessary.
Do you have a plan? Now you are free to dare on!