How to Stay Proactive When Life Gets in the Way

John Lennon wrote, “Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.” Eloquent words from a modern poet-prophet, to be sure! But sometimes, life isn’t limited to the swirl of activities on the sidelines of your work and ambitions. Sometimes life actually monkeys with the plans you’ve made. Life can be hurricanes and broken legs, busted carburetors and cancelled flights, sick kids and lost dogs. Sometimes life is an unexpected mini-disaster that brings everything to a grinding halt. Sometimes life is the hulking bully who runs down the beach to stomp all over the exquisite sandcastle you’ve been building all day long.

 

You can be meticulous and careful, have capable staff on-call to help in emergencies and a half-dozen backup plans … and still get screwed by natural disasters, germs, or planned obsolescence. No matter how diligent you are in your business plans and entrepreneurial actions, sometimes life steps in and derails you.

@@ No matter how diligent you are in your business plans and entrepreneurial actions, sometimes life steps in and derails you. @@

I watched this happen to a dear friend of mine just last week, so it’s top-of-mind for me now. And I realized that many of you lovely readers could likely benefit from the advice I gave to reassure her that all was not lost. (And to prevent her from constantly hyperventilating.)

 

Here are some simple, smart actions you can take when life throws roadblocks onto your path to success:

Simplify your business plan

Never forget that 80% of your income is the result of 20% of your efforts. Your top-performing classes or offerings are always exponentially more profitable than less popular ones, so when life gets hairy, cut the dead weight. Identify that uber-profitable 20%, and simplify your business to that / those offers. Even if this is just a temporary switch, it can make life in emergency mode SO much more manageable. Need support identifying that 20%?

@@ Never forget that 80% of your income is the result of 20% of your efforts, Identify that 20% and simplify your business to that. @@

Choose one point of focus per week / month / quarter

Conscious entrepreneurs are chronic multi-taskers., and we tend to try to do everything ourselves. It’s a risky way to operate, but many of us make it work right up until the studio floods or the server crashes. When that finally happens, we are forced to focus. Focus is practical magic and the more you can laser in on the things that need to happen to move your business forward, the easier juggling everything else will become. Separate the day-to-day operations tasks from the growth tasks, and assign out the former to trusted employees. Pick a single item from the latter group to tackle each week, month, or quarter. Just one. That’s plenty. And focusing on it will help you feel productive and forward-looking even when you’re functioning in the wake of catastrophe.

@@ The more you can laser in on the things that need to happen to move your business forward, the easier juggling everything else will become @@

Stay narrow and strong

Which of your regular responsibilities, roles, or offers are causing your now-limited energy to dissipate? The more you stay in your strength zone—your zone of genius where your unique magic lies—the less of a drain your business will be. And it’s essential that you conserve and manage your energy in times of crisis. Not sure what your zone of genius is or how to identify your unique magic? I’ve got you covered right here!

Let it go

Let’s be real: Sometimes life happens and you absolutely have to breathe into the holes that it creates in your business. Let it go and ride the wave: this too shall pass. (Even if it feels like it never will.) Remember to be gentle with yourself as you put the pieces back together. Ease yourself back into the swing of things when you can, but don’t apply any undue pressure.

Self-care is a business strategy

Speaking of which, never forget to listen to your needs and ask for help when catastrophe comes a’callin’. You are the beating-heart center of your business, so self-care is absolutely a business strategy! Identify three or four self-care practices that encourage you to feel vibrant, healthy, capable, and strong. Then stick to those come heck or high water. Promise me!

@@ You are the beating-heart center of your business, so self-care is absolutely a business strategy! @@

Find your tribe

If you’re in the throes of a business-derailing disaster right now, I sincerely hope some of these tips feel do-able to you. But if not—or if you could use an extra shot of support and empathy—come join us at the Conscious Entrepreneur’s Kula. Don’t go thinking this is “just an online community.” This amazing group knows how to help, heal, and nourish its members, and we’ve always got room for one more.


Crises can teach us essential lessons and illuminate what’s most important in our lives. But that doesn’t make them any more fun to live through. The next time life gets in the way of your plans, use these strategies to keep yourself moving forward.