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The most serious failure of leadership is the failure to foresee. ~Robert Greenleaf

There really isn’t a way of predicting what bad things might happen that can have a devastating impact on your business. Or when. And by “bad things” it isn’t just accidents and natural disasters I am referring to.

Accidents are random events, but so too are other adverse life changes such as illness (for example Justin Levy’s brain tumour and Sylvie Fortin’s cancer), and relationship betrayals and breakdowns (marriages and business partnerships aren’t always as solid as they appear). Not mention any number of other reversals of fortune that can hit you at any time. Without warning.

The question I have for you today is:

Have you prepared for change in a way that allows your business to carry on even when you cannot?

I know the truthful answer is many of you have not.

SMARTSTART did have such a plan in place and it kicked into high gear at the start of business October 6 (the accident took place the night before). Because the Business Continuity Plan had already been prepared and tested, there was an orderly transition in my absence. That’s equally important to you and your customers, suppliers, and other partners.

Putting such a plan together is an important responsibility for business owners. There are many advance decisions and provisions to be made. I’ll show you what they are so you can plan accordingly.

Usually your plan would be in effect for a short term period only. Mine certainly was designed for that. But then it had to be relied on for 5 long, hard years — I could never have predicted that!

Nor could I have predicted the levels of insanity the business would be subjected to with the personal injury claim process. I could not have prevailed without the appropriate records and documentation. (I will share my methods and tools with you as well to help shorten the planning process for you.)

However, my horrendous experiences will prove valuable to our community now. As farfetched as what I share will sound, and as much as no one will want to believe it’s real, the fact is, IT IS ALL TRUE. I have lived it. This advice will therefore be based on firsthand knowledge and present day reality, not theoretical possibilities.

Your plans definitively need to provide for this sort of thing. Everything that happened to me and my business could also happen to yours. And you don’t have to have the same experience I had for your business to be similarly affected.

The tendency of an event to occur varies inversely with your preparation for it. Better to have the business continuity plan and not need it, than to need the plan and not have it.

Most business owners have no idea where to start and/or have never heard of, never mind ever prepared, a Business Continuity Plan. And that’s something we are going to work on changing in the coming months. I don’t yet know what form this will take but, ideally, I’d like to put something together for you for early next year.

More next time. Until then, remember to LOVE YOUR WORK, whatever it may be.

PS I hope you’ll find the new RAISING THE BAR series inspiring. If so, please share this post with friends and followers. You never know what burdens others are carrying or how much their load might be made lighter by doing so. ♥♥♥


Raising The Bar is a new series for the SMARTSTART community that has been taking shape in my head for most of the time I’ve spent working to recover from catastrophic brain, spinal cord and psychological injuries resulting from a near fatal accident in 2009. Success, whether it’s in rehab, business, relationships, or life, hinges on our ability to master this simple formula: Belief (B) + Attitude (A) = Response (R).

I’m excited to be sharing it with you now as a next step in my injury recovery. Consider this your invitation to join me on a grand adventure. Oh, the places we will go! Including all the places that scare us most. For that is where the greatest opportunities for joy and happiness — the true measures of success — reside!