Getting started with a business idea and the launch can be an exciting time. While there will no doubt be bumps along the way, we are often focused on the positives and spend little time preparing ourselves for when things could go catastrophically wrong.
Preparing for the worst can be part of your Business Plan (see – Business Plan – Start Simple, Plan It Out and Get Clarity) but it’s also a great idea to face some of the fears that may be holding you back from success and happiness.
Tim Ferriss wrote a brilliant and well detailed blog post on Fear Setting. Not only does fear setting help protect your business, but it also protects your own mental well-being both in and outside of your business endeavours.
Tim identifies several practices which can help break down your worst case scenarios and prepare you in the unlikely event that one should occur.
I will focus on 2 of the 7 which Tim references.
1. Define the fear/nightmare/worst case scenario – This can be an uncomfortable process, but taking time to really think about what these scenarios are and in great detail will help bring you clarity (what it is, what and who would it impact, would be life changing, how likely is this to happen, etc). It also helps you identify if they are legitimate/realistic scenarios or otherwise.
2. What steps could you take to repair the problem and get things back to a level of functionality, even if its temporary – How would you get things/people under control in a short period of time to keep life afloat and moving. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but having an idea of the steps you would need to take will remove thoughts of ‘I don’t know what to do’ or ‘there is no hope’ if something was to occur.
While the nightmare/worse case scenario might not happen, you should also use this approach to identify the more probable challenges that the future may bring. You can then map out not only how you would manage them but the positives you can take away from what would be a difficult situation (learnings, confidence, self esteem, experience etc).
For a full list and insights on Fear Setting, check out Tim’s blog here. Highly recommended!
By spending time focusing on these nightmare scenarios, you will find an increased confidence and peace of mind knowing that in an unlikely event of a catastrophe occurring, you will be moderately prepared.
You might also find that you will be open to take more calculated risks because you have the mental durability and reassurance that you will get through it one way or another.
Wouldn’t that be a weight off your shoulders?
Have you spent time running through your own fears or worst case business scenarios? Do you find yourself worrying about things that most likely will never occur? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments!