All Posts · Ion Syrup · My Company Projects

Always have a Plan B

Its what hits you side on that takes you by surprise – they say. The train arrives faster than you had allowed and you thought you had enough engine power to get across the line. But you don’t. You have driven over this route so many times, you know the risks, you have assessed, put in contingencies, checked the vehicle, got up speed, kept your eye on the green light. Then one day you relax and POW!

The next day, survivor, your numb, you spent the night evaluating where you went wrong, how did you think that everything would stay the same. You relied of a set of knowns, predictions, rational actions. The world of business is not like that. My personal world is not like that – it appears.

I wont sink into melancholy, I have been here before. Thriving business, a partner, winning contracts in my world of finance, recruitment and manufacturing. Then the partner fell apart, caused embarrassment, the client was in my office telling me to “dump the threat”. Again I felt numb – I had seen it coming, but parked it amongst the ever increasing pile of parked things to do – another day. My world imploded. I cried a little, I yelled and then I assessed and regrouped.

I sacked that partner. Years before a partner in another business had been extremely rude to a client. Maybe the client deserved to be told they were not omnipotent, but no one deserves to take rudeness in any form. Both these partners were apparently “loose cannon”. I cant have loose cannon in any of my businesses. Boring as it seems, I need reliability, I need client empathy, I need risk takers, I need a partner who keeps me informed and doesn’t have a separate agenda.

My husband, and now partner from 2012, is totally reliable, a solid assessing risk-taker. He has a clear focus and works hard, I mean the proper long hours if needed. I am the same. I work long hours in my new businesses for free, I fund the company, I am often in deficit – but I am ambitious and I want to stand on my own two feet. We are a team, we get that, on our own it is difficult – the highs and lows of making isolated decisions impinges on creativity and a second opinion doesn’t go amiss either.


Last night we had our train hit. The long Skype conversation, remote and therefore easy for the other to be more selfish than I know they might be in person, although my husband says not, made it clear, hard work is unpleasant, the lack of instant remuneration is unpleasant, making judgement calls is unpleasant and it is easier to simply sit and moan. Well I cannot have in this volatile economy, with a home to build, a business to push along, a body that moans on Skype.


We made a decision, accommodated the news, and redefined how we would go forward. In business there is no time to think about bad news for too long. A second hit might happen, you have been disconcerted and the bad news has filled your every thought. Eye off the ball. Wrapped up in one problem, you miss another. Lets stop talking about it.

At nine this morning, hot coffee and tea in hand, we both felt relieved. Not everyone in your business empires wants to enjoy the ride. We now know that we have more control, we can enjoy the hands on process of making our own products and if the business needs extra hours, we will do that because we love what we do.

I have evaluated our role in this event too. Our fault? Too demanding? Business not growing fast enough? Maybe, but after years working in many, many companies, including human resources and running my own recruitment agency, people are volatile and can change overnight and you actually have very little influence over that. So take it on the chin, its not failure, you need a plan B. We have a plan B.

Its now half past ten. Plan B looks calm. It actually gives us time to breath, to build reserves of energy and money and take a safer route without red lights, fast trains and potential fatal injuries.

[today is a café day – coffee – nurture raw emotions – evaluate – and don’t worry that you didn’t get any sleep last night and your hair looks terrible – I have a good excuse!]

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