By Erica Olsen

Written by Chris Champayne

Ready for anything? Most people aren’t, nor are most businesses. Readiness is not just about disaster preparedness, it is being ready for opportunity, as well as adversity. Readiness is a lifestyle, and any organization reaps the rewards of “all those little things” that seem to add up when the time is right. Just like they pay the price when “all those little things” weren’t done until it was too late.

Little things like examining disability insurance, especially when you’re the sole proprietor, or main principal of your business, and nothing really happens if you’re not functional. Take a moment and imagine that you sustained some kind of injury that kept you completely out of your business for ten days, and only 20% effective for 20 days beyond that. Say a bee sting that got infected and you almost lost your leg. What does your business look like in that scenario?

Little things like knowing exactly what kind of industries you want to play in, and client types you want to play with, so when someone else approaches you for partnership or an alliance, you can readily estimate whether this is an opportunity, … or a distraction.

Little things like reliable back-ups of your data and documents that are protected on site, and a shadow copy off-site. For folks in a hurricane zone, that off-site might be in a bank vault’s safety deposit box, because the news is filled with people who lost their homes and their businesses in one storm.

Little things like knowing what kind of sales person or office manager you’re looking for, and realizing that you just met a person that fits the bill on the plane ride back home from a conference.

We’re surrounded by circumstances and choices. It’s about being ready. And the first step to getting there is to simply focus on what you want, and then create a mental picture of what would fulfill that desire. If your house and your office are in ruins, it’s a lot easier to pick up the pieces when you know the only thing standing in town is that bank vault with everything you need to get back in the game. Ten minutes to burn a CD or make a tape back-up, … or make photocopies. Ten minutes to run it over to a safe place every month or so. It’s not that hard. Even if it all for naught, you never use it or the off-site get wiped out, too, … at least you know you did something.

The real barrier? Procrastination. People often feel overwhelmed by “trying to think of everything.” Stop. The old adage asks: How do you eat an elephant? Answer? One bite at a time. If you’re procrastinating, understand that worry is the source. So ask yourself, what is it about this task that concerns me? Make a list. There’s your “bites.” Eat one. Just one. Then another.

So get a folder out. Put stuff in it. Photocopy it a bit later. Now you have a spare set of those important documents. You don’t have to do it all at once. One bite at a time works just fine. Just do something, because opportunity is on its way and so is adversity. The real question is, … Are you ready for it?

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