Anyone who says, “we’re prepared for anything” is a big, fat liar. In business and in life, it’s impossible to be prepared for anything or everything that might happen. But, there are ways you can be more prepared than not.
5 Steps to Being Better Prepared
- Learn from your mistakes/failures. We all make mistakes, we all fail. When it comes to being an entrepreneur, many will say that you need to fail in order to succeed.
- Write a well-organized, ever-evolving to-do list. Keeping simple track of what you need to do is important; we’re cramming more and more into our brains every day and it becomes harder to keep track of all the minutae. The list will change frequently as you complete tasks, and as you re-prioritize items.
- Anticipate roadblocks and possible failures. While you’re learning from your mistakes/failures to avoid being a repeat offender, you also need to spend time anticipating other roadblocks and failures that might arise. Very few people do this. It feels negative, but good risk assessment can save your tush.
- Allot time for planning. Being prepared is about good planning. But in the hustle and bustle of life we often spend more time “putting out fires” than we do making progress. Allotting specific time per day for planning and getting prepared will help. I prefer early in the morning when I look at the day’s goals, and briefly at the end of the day, so I’m prepared the following morning.
- Conserve Cash. In any business, and particularly in an early venture (and when you’re bootstrapping a startup) conserving cash is key. Even if VCs have given you millions, save some for a rainy day. Why? Simple: it eventually rains. Anyone that tells you there are no rainy days ahead is a liar or delusional (or both.) I’m no market expert but I’ve been through the bubble burst and seen my fair share of tight times; enough to know that if you don’t save cash when the going is good you’ll sink when the going gets tough.
You’ll never be prepared for anything and everything; it’s just not possible. But you can be better prepared, both individually and for your business on a whole. Work on your preparedness but don’t get obsessed with it. Sometimes you have to jump in with both feet and see what happens. Good luck!