Today I have lived my worst case scenario in business.
For me, my worst case scenario is to be living in my country El Salvador, a third world country, in which you depend on cash flow, and not having any. This week everybody is on vacation, so I had to receive a few payments from my clients, but they left for vacation. I have never been pushy when getting my money back, but that is a big problem nowadays. Since the world economic breakdown, being able to save money has been difficult, so I need that extra money to pay my bills.
I have to tell you, I am not rich, but I have managed to always have everything I need for living. I have always been underpaid as a university professor, and I´ve had to sell my knowledge to a few select clients. I used to sell my services to anyone that had a family business, but after learning about the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) I have been very selective of my clients.
For those of you that don´t know, Vilfredo Pareto observed in 1906, that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas, that 20% of the population in Italy owned 80% of the land.
What´s important about this is that it is a universal principle. You may get 80% of your sales from 20% of your clients, but also, 80% of you problems from 20% of you clients.
With this knowledge, you should start observing who (of your clients) belongs to the 20% that gives you 80% of your income. Give them MORE TIME, and ATTENTION.
You need to find out WHO of your clients belongs to the 20% list that gives you 80% of your problems. When you have that 20% list of clients, ditch them. Fire them as clients, and you will feel at peace.
You need to do it. People complain a lot, but usually its the same people, and usually people have a hard time changing, so don´t expect them to.
The Pareto Principle also is useful to be more productive.
Find out when is your 20% more productive time of the day, and use it wisely. 80% of your day, is not productive, so you need to really use your 20% productive time each day, and make it count.
I am usually more productive at night, when the family is asleep, and I have time to focus. Try to extend that time, I have been able to extend it to an hour time, but then attention starts to decline.
To be successful get outside of your comfort zone
Being at my worst case scenario makes me more productive, because I need more focused energy and work to make things happen.
You may read more about productivity in a problematic situation in my post Mind like water.
Internal chaos creates external chaos
A friend of mine, and painter, told me that when she studied Sumi-e painting (Japanese Style) with the late Mr. Motoi Oi, he used to tell her “Inner mind good; outer mind, not good.”
If you control your inner mind, then you control your behavior and the situation. If you panic because of the situation, you won´t be able to cope with it, and your brain won´t be able to give you possible answers.
Remember to think before you react
Your brain is wired so that you react to a life threatening situation, and then to think.
This is actually great if you are cooking and you burn your hand. You actually yank it away from the fire, and then you feel and say “OUCH” or “Ow” or whatever, depending on from what country you are. If you where Japanese you would say “Itai” (pronounced like e-ti).
The two possible reactions against a problem scenario is to fight or flight (run away). I personally don´t like to run away, because if you run, you will not learn anything about the situation.
The thing is, if you are running a business, you really need to THINK, before you act, and never just react to a situation.
Make a list of possible solutions
Make a list of the possible solutions to your problem, or worst case scenario, and try to think in percentages % to the viability of each item.
Whenever your brain thinks in percentages, you get down to earth answers, that are not blown out of proportion.
If this post has helped you in a way, please let me know with a comment.