Home Business Coaching What do you do when you’re ‘lost for words’?

What do you do when you’re ‘lost for words’?

One of my professional colleagues from E4Editor– Peter Horton- has a tag line of ‘when you’re lost for words, we’ll help you find them’. Well this week, not even the amazing writing and proofreading skills of Peter could help me, as I have been lost for words literally! I’ve been sick (and a poor sick male) and have been unable to speak since Tuesday. Not just crackly, but 100% gone- not good.

This caused me ongoing issues in attempting to operate my business in a ‘normal’ manner and resulted in the forced cancellation of client and prospect meetings and appointments. It also saw me attend a networking event, stand up to talk about myself and nothing came out! Not the best networking meeting ever! This now means all my scheduled work for this week needs to be pushed into next week and beyond to catch up, making this week an effective write off. This got me thinking about the solo business owner and how such events impact them and what can they do to prepare for such a crisis?

I would be interested to get your views on these matters:
– can such an event be planned for in a crisis management plan for a solo business owner?
– what are your plans of action if you are struck down by illness?
– is this just a fact of life and business that no action can fix?
– what would you do?
Thankfully, I am now on the road to finding my voice and being me again. It has been a quiet week for me so I will have to be twice as loud next week to catch up perhaps?

Tony Ozanne
Small Fish Business Coaching
0447 610 279

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3 Comments  comments 

3 Responses

  1. I agree with all your points Tony. Hope you are back up to speed soon.

  2. Yes, you can certainly plan for events like this. It comes down to risk management and you can identify the actions you will take if say an illnes occurs.
    The first and obvious is “Avoid the risk”. That is stay healthy and try not to sucombe to an illnes… not a practical plan if things go bad.
    2 – “Accept the risk”. We all get sick at some time or another. It just haoppens and there isn’t much we can do about it. put a plan in place to reschedule your appointments and inform your customers.
    3 – “Mitigate the risk”. This in the instance of an illness would mean having contingencies for others to take on your workload or maybe communicating via email etc. In affect reducing the impact of the illnes by being able to carry out some of the tasks without impacting your clients severely.
    And the last one being “Transfer the risk”. This effectively is insurance against loss of income.
    So to answer your question, I would use all of the above together to reduce the impact to my business and clients.

    • Thanks Don,

      As always you offer insight and eduacational thoughts.

      I absolutely agree with (dont get sick) as the best option, and this is one of the few times in my life when I have, so I guess it’s Murphy’s Law it happens when working for myself, but @#@# happens. So I am not sure how to ‘avoid the risk’ 100% in this instance?

      I absolutely agree with ‘accept the risk’ as this was the approach taken. Nothing could be done about it, apart from manage the client relationships and implement a forced re-schedule, this is about all that can be done. It’s frustrating, but a simple unavoidable fact that we must accept, espeically if there is no back up plan. Clients get sick and re-schedule too, so managing that expectation of flexabiliy is essential in establishing client guidelines up front, and not being too rigid (espeically in a service based sector).

      The point on ‘mitigate’ the risk, is the biggest challenge I see for the solo proprietor. Often there is no one else who can ‘take the workload’ as in this case, and other technology may be an option if simple communication is sufficient i.e email, but not suitable for coaching or consulting, as you generally need to ‘talk’.

      “Transfer the risk’ is a no brainer- all business owners should have an income protection plan in place for long term illness or injury. I think the challenge still appears with a short term absence, such as in the intital article, as there is usually a minimum time frame for claims I believe (and I’m no Insurance expert). Fortunately this instance caused no loss of income based on my cycle and process, more an inconvenience of time and potential income from potential clients.

      The four point plan, which I know you have Blogged about previously is a solid, critical plan that business owners need to consider, but I am still a little perplexed as to how to mitigate some of the risk if it is only you and no one else can replace the offering? But I guess that is another article based on how to diversify your offering to be less dependant on time for money!

      Appreciate the comments…Tony