Murphy-Proof Your Biz & Life by Christine Wilborn
If there is anything I know about life and business at this point, it's that it is unpredictable. I love certainty and predictability; it makes me feel confident and comforted. However, I have gotten more comfortable with uncertainty and unpredictability the longer I run a business.
Murphy's Law states that “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Two months after I first opened my brick and mortar business, I found out that my mom had breast cancer. My wife and I were getting married four months in. My mom ended up in the ICU for emergency surgery two days after our wedding -- and my business got broken into on the same day of her 9-hour surgery.
I can’t make that shit up!
Now, here we are 5 years later. I have since closed my brick and mortar business, and Andrea’s is thriving while she handles illness and loss in her family and while I am starting a new one. She has to emotionally handle the ups and downs of what we already went through 5 years ago... all over again. This time with her own mom.
“Anything that can go wrong, will.”
Life happens. I have found an inner resilience that I never knew I had because of these experiences. And it forced me to think very differently about how I run my business. I am grateful for all the experience I have from running a brick and mortar, because without it I wouldn’t have become best buds with Uncle Murphy.
When we get wrapped up in our business, we often have a kick-ass pair of rose-colored glasses glued to our heads that makes everything look awesome… Even when things aren’t awesome. You’re in the trenches getting your hands dirty, taking action, building momentum…and then BOOM! Life happens.
It is much easier to resist this thing called life and the not-so-fun aspects of it; we would much rather push them away and avoid them altogether.
I found a practice of going with the flow. There’s no sense in getting wound up and anxious if you have no control over things that have happened or aren’t going the way you want them to. I am often called the “anchor” for my calm presence and demeanor in crisis situations. It’s a practice that I have learned to adopt from being in multiple high-stress situations, sometimes all at once.
The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is to plan for success where everything goes right.
We plan our goals as if everything will go right. Not many have a plan for failure. Not many have a plan for situations like your mom fighting for her life while you are the sole provider for your family.
Do you have a plan for that?
Because that, my friend, is planning for when Uncle Murphy comes knocking at your door. Do you have a plan for failure? Do you know what your next move is if you have to step away from your business for an undetermined amount of time? Can you generate income without your presence for a long period of time?
You must Murphy-Proof your life and your business, because the amount of resilience it takes to keep going when the shit hits the fan is unimaginable. But you need even more if you aren’t prepared and don’t have a plan.
A big part of our Murphy-Proof plan when I closed my brick and mortar was for us to both have businesses that could operate from anywhere in the world. We have more flexibility and freedom to make better decisions right now than ever before. The brick and mortar was a magnet for Uncle Murphy! Which, thankfully, is why I am often cool as a cucumber in stressful situations. :)
Trust me, the last thing I want to be thinking about is planning for the worst-case scenario. It’s not fun. At all. But if you have a successful business and want to keep it that way, you'd best buddy up to Uncle Murphy. Or option B is to become a super stress-free ninja who can physiologically and psychologically handle everything under the sun. If you don’t, you will train yourself to be overwhelmed, stressed, and panicked when something doesn’t go as planned. That will become your automatic habit. You’ll be constantly operating from your lizard brain and won’t be able to make rational decisions during difficult times.
Why not plan for the worst-case scenario? You might already be worrying about losing all your clients anyway! Put that worry to good use. Get in the habit of Murphy-Proofing your life and business. Embrace the uncertainty, learn from the opportunity, and take one thing at a time. You can thank me later ;)
What could go wrong in my business?
How can I still generate income if I have to step away from my business for an undetermined amount of time?
What’s the cost of not preparing a plan?
To your success,