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Contingency Planning for Life
I probably do not have to convince you that life is full of surprises – some good and some bad. Thus, the Scout motto, “Be Prepared,” is appropriate for both work and life.
Planning is an important aspect of being prepared. Some of us love to plan in great detail. Others are not natural planners, and keep it to a minimum. Most of us are in the middle. Too often, we focus on the desired outcome. But, what if something unexpected happens?
In fact, there are two types of contingency plans.
Type One: Determine a fallback, or Plan B, if you are unsuccessful with Plan A. For example, you might buy trip insurance in case a family member becomes seriously ill right before an expensive vacation. Or, you might decide on your second-favorite house before beginning negotiations on your number one choice.
Type Two: Identify ongoing risks and ways to minimize them. For example, if a tire blows out while you are on the road, does your cell phone have enough juice for you to arrange roadside assistance? If you want or need to change the tire yourself, do you have the necessary tools? Is there air in the spare? Have you ever practiced changing a tire on the car you are driving? Is a flashlight available in case this happens at night? Is there a way to aim the flashlight if no one is there to hold it?
I thought I was a good contingency planner, but I have to admit that my husband is a rock-star at it. We had a blow-out last year on the way to a long-awaited concert. My husband had us back on the road in less than fifteen minutes, and we did not even miss the opening song. This is because he always learns how to change the tire on each one of our vehicles, and makes sure that the required equipment is available and in good working order.
We used to live in Colorado, where the temperature can fluctuate wildly and blizzards occasionally appear from seemingly nowhere. My husband always insisted that each of our cars be equipped with a warm coat, hat, and gloves so that, no matter how warm the winter day, we were always prepared in case our car broke down – or we skidded off the road – during a sudden, severe snowstorm and corresponding temperature drop.
Is there something you can do to prevent inconvenience, or even disaster, down the literal or figurative road?
Until we meet again,
The Entrepreneur’s Friend