What To Do When Things Don’t Go To Plan

By Martz Witty

So you’re in business and something isn’t quite going to plan, or has happened that you hadn’t budgeted for, or has struck from the left field and caught you unaware. These all happen. But how are you dealing with them?

The first typical reaction is knee jerk and panic, but this is seldom the correct course of action.

Instead I suggest grabbing a pen and paper and answering these questions that I learned years ago at a Dale Carnegie course. It changed my life forever and is cited in Dale’s book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.

Of course, as with anything, the theory is one thing – you need to apply it:

1. What’s the problem? Try to itemise in measurable terms what is wrong, what’s happened? What is about to happen? At a fundamental level, anything we can measure, we can manage.

2. What’s the cause(s) of the problem? What has happened that led to this arising: is it a system fault or a human fault? Who is that person? What is the system? When and how did it happen? When did it come to your attention?

3. What are the possible solutions? Okay now let your worry get out of the way here. No answer or possible solution is a crazy one, from the sublime to the ridiculous. List them, don’t stop at one or two – go for gold. I remember years ago I had a staff member who did this exercise about a failing computer system the company had at the time. One of his possible solutions was to go to the roof of our building in Durham Street and throw the computers off. Yes it was a bit crazy, but the fundamental truth was that the entire system needed to go.

4. What is the best possible solution? Pick and choose; with a vast array of options from the three listed above, what can you glean, merge, pick and choose that will fix the problem?

5. Do it. Just do it. Now.

Martz Witty, Head of the Martz Group

Perhaps you are too close to the action? Then find a friend, an advisor or a colleague and work through this together. A fresh set of eyes will see things differently (perhaps less emotionally) than you do.

A more objective viewpoint can help you through issues with clarity and probably speed.

Find one to help you today. We often get called to undertake this exercise and the true power of the process is in the implementation.

About Martz Group

Martz Group is a niche marketed boutique group of companies that brings together the discipline and learning of chartered accounting together with the creativity and passion of focussed business development all carefully blended with the panache of motivational and professional speaking.

Whilst no two businesses are ever exactly the same, it is amazing how the essential skeleton of processes, procedures and protocols to run a successful business are completely transferable between almost any business. Therein lies the key to success.

We really stress that money is only one currency in business, there are others that deserve equal hearing. Time is one that we spend a good deal of effort on. Having pots of money isn’t much use if you don’t have the time to enjoy the fruits of your labours. Equally home and family needs attention.

We have seen far too many business owners striving away at work, making great businesses and lots of money only to go home and find the family have gone! Finding that integral balance between self and health, business and career, home and family, and community and humanity gives purpose for why you work so hard and so long. When you get these in balance (or at least closer to in balance) then you enjoy a core wellbeing and that (frankly) is worth more than all the money you can throw at it.

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