What the heck is wrong with me? I thought to myself…
Despite the obvious (so no need to comment and tell me what is wrong, trust me I know 😉 ), let me back up and explain.
Recently, I’ve taken up the sport of triathlon as a way to lose some baby weight, release some stress, have some “me” time and get to know others in the area. Being a small business owner can be lonely if you only see clients for a few hours a week and interact with the world through a computer screen.
One of these key aspects to being able to do a triathlon is swimming in murky (sometimes dirty) water with potential lake-monsters swirling below the surface (and who knows what else).
In fact, up until I started this sport, you would never catch me in something I couldn’t see the bottom of. Too many Discovery channel and CSI shows that lead to this anxiety.
Even though I have been a competitive swimmer for the majority of my life, my anxiety increases in water like this. So this past week at our regular practice, I kept feeling something tapping my toe.
I freaked out.
And kept stopping and splashing with all extremities as hard as I could to keep whatever touched me – far away.
Yet, whatever it was kept touching my feet.
Long story short – any guesses what it was?
My other foot. Whomp whomp. I was the cause of my issues.
After the redness of embarrassment had left my face, I continued swimming and realized – what would I have done had it been a lake-monster? I had no plan of defense.
And I feel that many business owners don’t have one either. They plan to get from start-up to success, but don’t have any contingency plans.
Sure, there are contracts, insurance, and other liability protection – but what happens if you end up hurt? Sick? In the middle of a divorce?
And I have to apologize if you guys are in this position. I haven’t equipped you.
I’ve been so focused helping everyone prevent issues in business by teaching formation, taxes, contracts and efficiency that I have completely omitted a key aspect of business.
The reality is, eight out of ten businesses fail – Y’all have heard that before. And while I try to have faith in everyone, the honest truth is that not everyone is going to make it. Whether they choose to quit, give it their all and fail, or have external circumstances that impact their business.
So what is my point?
When I was in my infancy of business, I was diagnosed with cancer. At the time, we only had one child, and it left me wondering “How am I going to do this?” We depended on my income to help make ends meet for our family. I had other business owners who rallied around to help, but it would’ve been so much easier if I had a plan in place.
Instead, the night before going in for surgery to remove the tumor, I was scribbling passwords on a piece of printer paper I dug up from my office. I was trying to explain to my husband the clients that needed to be communicated with and my deliverables.
I had no plan. Just like I had no plan in the lake.
Sure, this situation turned out fine as the majority of my clients were decent human beings and understood I didn’t choose cancer with a quick-surgery date turnaround.
But I would’ve felt much better, and probably offered better service if I had it all in one place to reference.
It’s funny because at that time, cancer had been tapping my foot through symptoms but I had no idea. And I still had no plan.
I want you guys to get a plan – so if your foot is ever tapped on – then you’re ready.
I’ve created an Oh Snap Readiness Toolkit that walks through the largest circumstances that could impact your business. It walks you through family emergencies, medical crises, divorces, unexpected deaths, leaves of absence, disability, natural disasters, and bankruptcy.
You’ll learn how to:
- Back up all of your information in a way that’s safe and sound
- The best insurance coverage for your equipment
- What to do in case of an emergency
- How to hire your spouse as an employee or business partner
- Sell or dissolve your business
- How to keep disability from interfering with your business
- Which systems you need to put in place to make splitting up assets in case of a divorce easier
- The basic list of protections every photographer needs
It also has a 22-page packet of fillable PDF worksheets, so you can keep all of the information you need at your fingertips. I wish I had possessed something like this to hand-off to my husband the night before my cancer surgery. I would’ve been able to focus on the battle at hand, instead of distracted with the business.
You guys can check out this kit here.
Whether you go for this already made-for-you and tailed-for-photographer kit, or just want to take these ideas and create your own – please get a plan. Because I don’t want you to be scared, anxious and lost when something comes tapping on your foot.