Most entrepreneurs have wonderful, creative imaginations which allow them to visualize awesome products and services to build their businesses and help people. However, according to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start new businesses fail within the first 18 months. That is a startling 80 percent that flop and die.
Planning for the worst case scenario is a powerful tool to use to prevent being one of that 80 percent that crash and burn. This is not being negative; it is purely being pragmatic and working with the fact that things do NOT always go as planned.
A number of the wealthiest people on the planet were interviewed to determine how they achieved success. Amongst them were Sir Richard Branson, Sir Philip Green and Dame Anita Roddick.
They all had a sense of calm which came from having a plan that covered every possible contingency. The process they used is known as “downside planning”.
As the saying goes “failure to plan, is planning to fail”. Having a plan for the worst case scenario helps prevent worry. Most people worry due to not having a plan for every eventuality in an event, transaction or business.
What I have noticed after working with hundreds and hundreds of people in workshops and as a coach/consultant is that stress caused by worrying is crippling people. Worrying diminishes creativity and problem solving abilities.
It is much more useful to be calm and relaxed and then contemplate, plan and prepare for the worst from that emotional state.
“Downside planning” essentially works like this:
1. Think about an upcoming event or transaction.
2. Imagine all the things that could possibly go wrong with that thing.
3. Come up with a solution for each eventuality. *
Most people worry due to simply interrupting the process of “downside planning” after the second step!
Basically people worry about everything that could go wrong but never get around to creating solutions.
This process also helps you realize that you will survive even the worst case scenario. The fear of failure is a very real fear for most people, and “downside planning” helps you overcome that fear by allowing you to go there, survive and grow.
As Susan Jeffers states in her book “Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway”, every time you encounter something that forces you to “handle it” your self-esteem is raised considerably. You learn to trust yourself more and your instincts and intuition.
As much as it is good to trust yourself, it is wise at times to brainstorm solutions to every possible eventuality with people whose advice you value and trust.
All the high achievers such as Sir Richard Branson have their advisors. So does every President and Prime Minister. You do not have to do it all alone.
After completing your “downside planning” give your attention and focus to your “upside planning”. This is when everything falls into place easily and the best possible outcome of your event, transaction or project is realized. Get excited about the successful product launch, business deal, best-selling book, world domination.
By expecting the best, but planning for the worst, you have increased your likelihood of being in the 20 percent of successful entrepreneurs exponentially.
Added to that you will have decreased worry and therefore stress and you will sleep better. Your longevity will have increased so you will be alive for a long time to enjoy the fruits of your labour.
* Control Stress: Stop worrying and feel good now! – Paul McKenna
Lynda is passionate about helping people live extraordinary lives and has helped thousands do just that. She walks her talk by living an extraordinary life and continues to research and learn the latest findings in personal development and human potential that will empower people to achieve to a greater level and more importantly, enjoy life to the fullest. Apart from founding a coaching/consulting business, Lynda is an owner and director of a multi-million dollar company, a wife and mother. Visit Lynda at: www.lyndapetterwood.com.au