I took this picture on the way to a meeting the other day. As you can see, the lady driving the car has her little dog right up front with her in the driver’s seat.
Because we were driving (and I know how some of our local drivers are – think New York cabbies!), I couldn’t help but think of some of the things that could go wrong:
- A car suddenly brakes in front of her.
- A child runs out in front of the car.
- She’s rear-ended by the driver behind.
- The dog sees another dog and starts going wild.
All of these scenarios – and probably a few more – would all lead to the same result, and it wouldn’t be pretty for either the driver or her dog.
Because she didn’t plan ahead.
She didn’t take into consideration what might happen, so she let everything go to fate. Fair enough – but sometimes we need to make sure that planning ahead is core to all we do. Some of this could include:
Planning Ahead For Your Business
We like to think we’ll know what to do when our business hits a rough patch. But do we? Do we know to have X amount set aside to pay the bills, employees, contractors and ourselves? Do we make our business and/or marketing plans flexible enough to be able to change on the fly? Do we plan for trends in the marketplace and how we’ll overcome them? Do we plan ahead on changes in the administration of our countries and different mindsets to our current business approaches?
Planning Ahead In Your Job
There used to be a time when you had a job for life. No more. Now, you’e lucky you’re at the same place for more than a couple of years. So how are you planning ahead for that? Are you taking a night school course to expand your skills for a new career? Are you keeping on top of industry news about your employer or their industry? Are you planning ahead in case your employer goes bust tomorrow? Are you planning how to use the contacts you’re making when/if push comes to shove?
Planning Ahead On Your Blog
If you blog, you may or may not have a blogging schedule. Myself, I pretty much write when an idea comes to me and I’ll write almost there and then – I don’t have any drafts. But what if I fell ill, and my blog was dead for a month or more? Are you planning on having a back-up plan for you falling ill? Or vacations? Or if your server goes down, or your host goes out of business?
Planning Ahead In Your Life
Okay, this is probably the hardest to plan ahead for, since life is pretty good at throwing us curve balls. But there are still ways we can plan ahead, either for us or for those around us. For instance, have you planned how much extra you can put to the mortgage to make your home your own faster? Or how you’ll cope if your partner falls seriously ill, and you have children? Who can you reach out to? Or how about the discussion that’ll arise if your son or daughter comes home one day and says their views on a topic you’re passionate about have changed and they’re in direct – and possibly harmful – conflict with you?
These are just some of the ways we can all plan ahead, whether in our personal or professional lives, or somewhere in-between. There are many more – the main point is that they’re all related. What happens at work affects your home life, and very often vice versa.
Planning ahead might not stop certain events from happening; but it sure as hell can prepare you better. After all, you never know when you’re going to get hit by a flying dog…
How about you? Are you planning ahead, and if not, should you be, at least just a little?