Anticipate, analyze, and act to eliminate the unexpected.

Optimism is a beautiful thing – we should all live as if the universe is conspiring on our behalf, and we should strive to see the glass as perpetually half full. A positive mindset can enable a “can do” attitude when difficulties arise…but even optimism has its limits.

And that’s where preparation steps in to save the day.

It’s all too easy to focus on the here and now and assume that the future will take care of itself. It will, but perhaps not in the way you’d prefer. Invest your time in creating financial and emotional safety nets. Best case scenario is that you’ll never need them but will benefit from knowing that they exist. Worst case scenario is that you’re prepared regardless of what goes wrong. Either scenario is definitely better than nothing.


Dedicate some time to play the part of a pessimist and consider everything that could go wrong and its potential to affect your bottom line. Diagnose existing systems and processes that need refinement, predict natural disasters and their potential repercussions, and monitor the market you work within for possible changes. A strategic planning session with your financial advisor can help define your goals, monitor performance, identify potential bottlenecks, and make informed decisions about the future of your business.


Knowledge is power, and honesty is one of wisdom’s strongest currencies. Do you have an objective understanding of how much your business is worth and what may be at stake if the unknown happens? Don’t fall into the trap of loose estimates or including emotions in your appraisal; an annual business valuation can help determine real numbers to keep you informed about the value of your assets, an analysis of your earning power, and a check-up of your market health.


Having a plan isn’t enough either. You have to be prepared to turn those ideas into actionable steps:

  • Practice fire, storm, and safety drills with your employees.
  • Identify and evaluate any processes you already have in place, including those that seem automated.
  • Keep everything from staff to software updated.
  • Monitor trends, patterns, or changes in your market and create a timeline for adaptation.
  • Train your team to identify issues big and small, to communicate those clearly, and empower them to develop and implement solutions when appropriate.

Above all else, be flexible and ready for anything. You’ll find that it’s actually even easier to be an optimist when you have confidence in your ability to handle the unexpected. Preparing yourself and your business for the worst that could happen demonstrates good leadership and lends itself to prosperity against all odds.

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