“Life is all about how you handle plan B”
– Near the Till
Every few weeks I spend some time trying to figure out what feels like the most important thing to share through this blog. I am not sure if what I share is unique. It’s likely my messages could be found in a number of other articles. What I do know is that I have lived them. Each post pulls from a chapter of my own experiences. I have been burnt and blessed a million times over. This post comes from a real-life understanding. It doesn’t just take a village, it takes the users manual as well.
What if I’m not here? I want you to look at that phrase through whatever lens feels best. Are we asking that question as a parent? Are we asking that question as a spouse? Are we asking that question as a business owner? Now that we are really uncomfortable, let’s relax a bit. This doesn’t have to mean that you are ill or have passed away. It could mean you are on vacation! It could mean that you are sneaking off on a mini trip with your hubby! It could mean that you have chosen to take a sabbatical.
So often I am talking to other mamas, business owners, and clients and I hear a lot of the same thing. “Oh, I could never go anywhere for a week,” ” The place would fall apart if I wasn’t here,” “There is no point, my phone would be ringing off the hook, because everyone would need my help.” Let me be the one to break it to you. How you are living or working, is not sustainable. It just isn’t! Tell me, what happens truly if you aren’t there? Is everything you have built whether it’s a family or a business going to truly fall apart? Why is that ok? It shouldn’t be, it can’t be. Our lives and our work are some of the most important things in the world to us. They are our passions and are in some cases literally born from us. Why not build a plan to protect it? Be the owner in your life and not just the operator. It is incredible the amount of peace that can come from knowing well in advance what Plan B is. Nobody initially likes Plan B’s, if they did, we would call them Plan A’s. But here’s the thing, we don’t appreciate paying our insurance bill every month either, but when you get sideswiped out of nowhere, you feel pretty confident about calling that insurance company and getting things taken care of.
Here is a list of a few things that I strongly recommend to help you feel confident that if you aren’t there, the world will keep spinning.
- Empower Your People: This could mean your team at work or it could mean your children at home. (suitable ages of course). Allow them the opportunity to take accountability and ownership over tasks that contribute. This is different than “chores” or ” assigned tasks.” This is about teaching them and giving them the power to try something on their own.
- Provide systems: This allows for any Tom, Dick, or Harry to figure out what needs to happen. I am not a process girl by nature (that is another story for another blog). However, I have become fanatical about it. If you are at work use a CRM to organize and set workflows. Write down your steps, so that someone else can do them. If you are home, automate your groceries (helps with social distancing too). Post schedules or nightly dinner menus up where everyone can see them, then they don’t have to ask, they can find answers on their own.
- Have the hard conversations: Create a trust and will. Create a dissolution agreement. Get it done, put it in a drawer, and I hope that you never ever need to open that drawer again. Take care of what is most important to you.
The entire globe has been impacted by something none of us could have seen coming. COVID-19 has changed the way we live our lives and conduct our businesses. I am not saying a Plan B would have made people invincible from this pandemic. What I am saying is that once you have gotten used to creating Plan B’s, it won’t take you so long to shift into the mindset, you, your family or team need when something comes up; swiping Plan A off the table. – Megan