It's 2021: What's Your Plan B?
As I write this, it's been just over nine months since the COVID-19 pandemic completely changed the way we work, play, and interact in almost every part of our lives. Many people continue to work from home, many doctor appointments are taking place via "telemedicine" calls, and much of people's air travel - whether business or pleasure - has been seriously curtailed.
And despite our best efforts, sincere hopes, and the emergence of several viable vaccine alternatives, in many ways, we're in worse shape now than we were last spring and summer.
That's why - now more than ever - you need to continually evaluate your situation, assess your options, and prepare a "Plan B" to help you navigate the uncertainty that will continue to dominate your life this year.
What If Your Plans Don't Work Out?
Below is a photo Lorie took during a mini-vacation we took to Vermont last summer. In order to "smooth out" the waterfall and showcase the flow of the water, she had the camera on a tripod, set the shutter speed for a long-exposure to capture the motion, and used a neutral-density filter (kind of like sunglasses for the camera) so the image wasn't overexposed.
Take a minute to examine the photo and see what you notice:
The image itself was almost exactly what she wanted: very sharp focus on the trees, leaves, and rocks, and smooth-flowing water on the stream.
The only problem? There was a boy playing on the rocks, and he seemed in no particular hurry to move out of the way. After waiting for a while, Lorie made a decision - her "Plan B" - in this situation: instead of being frustrated because of the "intruder," she incorporated him into the image!
The effect is strong and actually adds to the mystique of the photo.
Did 2020 Go As You Expected?
If your year was anything like ours, the answer is a resounding "NO!"
The in-person speaking part of our business came to a grinding halt (I haven't been on a plane since March 18, 2020); we've had to restructure our business model to continue working with our clients; and, on a personal note, we had to postpone a long-planned trip to Japan - twice!
For our part, we responded as best and as quickly as we could, offering free webinars and mastermind calls to help customers and clients navigate this new reality.
But the situation continues to both challenging and fluid.
It's Never Too Late to Plan...
We've been fortunate - in the 26 years we've had this business, we've always designed it with multiple streams of income. When shifts in markets, customer needs, and learning preferences appeared, we've been able to pivot and regroup.
In other words, there's always been a Plan B. (and sometimes a Plan C and Plan D") In the midst of the pandemic in our business, for example, we've been able to shift smoothly and successfully from in-person events to a focus on remote training and one-on-one consulting.
You see, sometimes, circumstances that can seem dire and insurmountable can actually present unique opportunities to incorporate new markets, new products and services, and new delivery methods. For many of our clients, the pandemic actually created a "perfect storm" of sorts that helped their businesses actually grow - including a 100% increase in revenue in one case!
2020 certainly didn't unfold as we had planned or hoped it would, but we're still here; our clients are doing well, and we have some exciting new programs to share with you this year.
So keep your head up, take the opportunity to analyze and retool your business, and you may just find that your Plan B will help make this one of your best years ever!