030: When Facing an Uncertain Future
Listen Here and Now for 5 Ways to Prepare for an Uncertain Future
Facing an uncertain future? We are very much so! Most entrepreneurs are. Here’s what we do to prepare and make the most of not knowing what the next season will be like.
Quotable of the Week
“If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
The only thing that’s certain is uncertainty. We want some flavor in our lives but we also want strategies to deal with life’s ups and downs.
Highlights from the Uncertain Future Episode
By the time you’re hearing this podcast (or reading this post), we will have had our first child. We’re recording/writing this prior to his birth but it’s scheduled to be released afterward.
Last month, we talked about money management. We thought May would be a good time to talk about self management. Of course, personally, we’re in a very different season in May than ever before in our lives. We will probably also learn a ton about how to best work in our new situation. For this episode, we want to share with you some items we’re really glad have made it into our daily lives and have helped us prepare for the uncertain future ahead.
We all have times in our lives where the future in uncertain. For us, it’s having a baby. For you, it might be a big opportunity or a big challenge you know is just around the corner. Perhaps, like many entrepreneurs, you feel the future is always uncertain. Whatever the case, here’s our best advice for how to deal with pending uncertainty.
1. Still plan.
In fact, make at least 3 plans. Plan A if things go well. Plan B is things don’t go well. Plan C if things go better than expected.
Better to have plans and know what you can be doing than throw your plans out the window and live in complete uncertainty.
Planning can happen on various levels. Of course, you want to have a business plan at the ready when an opportunity for an investor comes your way. What I’m talking about here is more of a plan for facing the uncertainty coming your way – which might require a 90-day plan or a 30-day plan.
Recap #1: Take the time to plan.
Commercial break brought to you by Brandon – Planning includes not just your activities but also your money. We’d love to help you put a financial plan together for your life and business. We offer you a complementary financial analysis that will help you build your plan around your unique financial goals and concerns. To get started, visit businessactivistentrepreneur.com/firststep or text BAEFinancial to 44222.
2. Focus on the things you can control.
The things you can control are the things that go into your plan first and foremost.
You can’t decide for someone else what they will or will not do but you can prepare your best for when you talk with them. For example, your plan might have “Schedule x # of meetings per week.” Think twice about including in your plan, “Get vendor to give me a discount.”
A personal example… we don’t know how this baby’s temperament is going to be. Will he be loud and a light sleeper? Will he be chill and sleep soundly? We can’t control that. We can control how many meetings we have lined up for when we’re back and how we spend our time when the baby is sleeping.
Recap #2: When you make a plan, focus on the things you can control.
3. Have a solid morning routine.
When we transitioned away from opening a coffee shop by 7am 6 days per week, people thought we’d start sleeping in until Noon or so. We couldn’t do it. My alarm still goes off at the same time every morning.
Brandon and I still have a morning routine – breakfast, journaling, setting priorities for the day, and reading are the 4 big components.
It makes all the difference for us. I look forward to figuring out how to continue it in the future.
Recap #3: Start each day on the right foot with a morning routine that helps you accomplish your plan.
4. Decide your non-negotiables in advance.
There are things you care about more than other things. It’s unique to each of us. I can’t tell you what yours are and you can’t tell me what mine are.
For example, one of Brandon’s big non-negotiables is making it to the gym and listening to podcasts and audiobooks while he’s there. For me, I need time alone to sit still and think, read, and write. Together, we like to have plenty of time to talk – usually on a walk if the weather is nice enough. These are constants that won’t change, even as life changes. In fact, I look forward to going for long walks with the baby.
Recap #4: Throughout your days and weeks, have non-negotiables that act like big rocks within a shaky terrain.
5. Remember your why.
Your why is a solid foundation to stand on no matter how uncertain the ground around you becomes. Come back to your why over and over again for yourself and for everyone with whom you work.
I want to help end extreme poverty within my lifetime.
We’ve shared this before but in case you’re new to the podcast, Brandon and I both grew up in poverty. Our families were below the poverty line but not in extreme poverty as defined by less than $1.25 per day. Knowing what we know about living in poverty, we can’t imagine what life is like for the 1.3 billion people in the world who live in extreme poverty. That’s why we’re activist entrepreneurs. We believe building more activist businesses and helping people develop financial plans that allow them to create the change they wish to see in the world is our way to help end extreme poverty.
For my son, I want him to have different problems to solve but be proud that his parent’s generation solved extreme poverty. This will keep me going with caring for him and working hard within my business no matter what the future holds.
Recap #5: Your why is your foundation. Keep yourself locked onto it, no matter the storms or mountains you face.
We’d love to hear from you.
How do you face uncertainty and triumph? Leave a comment now.
By the way, it’s way easier to face an uncertain future when you have a solid financial plan put together. We’d love to offer you a complementary financial analysis that will help you build your plan around your unique financial goals and concerns.
We’ll take you through the exact process we went through almost 5 years ago. This process transformed our financial future from an uncertain one to a future about which we feel super confident. We’d love to share the experience with you. To get started, visit businessactivistentrepreneur.com/firststep or text BAEFinancial to 44222.