Is Your Baby Ugly? Staying Agile During a Disaster

Years ago, when I started out with my first company, one of the best pieces of advice I received was to always make sure you could tell if your baby was ugly. Now, that doesn’t mean our human or fur babies (because those babies are cute and to call one ugly means that person is an a**hole). What I do mean is that we must always be able to take away the filters that blind us from being able to see things as they are and not what we want them to be. In short, being able to see what is ugly in our business.

So, what does this have to do with disasters? The answer is simple: surviving a long-term disaster puts stress on every facet of your business. Are you depressed because the pandemic doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to end? Is it preventing you from doing a cash flow analysis of your business to see when the money runs out?

Your “baby” may have looked beautiful under normal circumstances, but a crisis of the magnitude we’re facing with a global pandemic requires you and your business to be agile to receive in new data and act on it. Sometimes that data will drive you to make an unpleasant decision. During normal situations, you may have been able to take 6 months, a year, or longer to avoid dealing with an “ugly baby” situation because you had the luxury of time. During a disaster, you must quickly determine what, if anything about your baby is ugly and quickly work on a beautification plan.

Surviving this and any disaster boils down to three things: Staying agile, staying safe, and staying sane. There is an occasional fourth one – staying legal, but I include that in staying sane because while orange may be the new black for some, it’s not my first color choice.

Being a business owner requires us to confront some hard truths. My kids have heard me say 1,000 times, “Whatever you do, handle your business.” That business can be personal or professional but, in the end, make sure it’s handled. It means looking honestly at every part of our business to determine if what we are doing is really working, or if it’s holding us back.

To do this, you need to go through each of your business processes and do an impact analysis. More to come on that in the next post.

Stay agile. Stay safe. Stay sane.

– The Disaster Lady (Karen)