Saturday was supposed to be my big day. The first will be on my new radio program. I was so excited. Proud. Ready. Over the past three months, I had waited for the moment when I would be in the studio, the producer would introduce me and want to start serving the local business community with weekly performances of inspiration, guidance and expert guests to help them get the most out of their businesses and their lives.
The SPONSORS had made strong commitments to our listeners for supporting them on their journey. The guests were in the studio to share their stories. Friends and family were fairly perched on the edge of their seats in support of my new venture. I had pages and pages of notes and reminders for me … that were intended to help me relax and not to betray the anxiety that I felt on my debut. The entire free world was waiting to hear on my show, and I wasn’t going to let them down!
… Oh, Yes, I was prepared. I had the notes for each possible event … What happens if the guests do not appear? Got that covered with a characteristic. What happens if the recorded interview done with a person of local entrepreneurial success was accidently deleted? No problem… I will discuss only his book and how much can be learned from his experience. What happens if I’m hungry? Protein bar. Check. Water. Check. Bathroom … already timed the trip so that I can enter during a break.
Nothing was going to shake with me. .. I was ready for anything … Bring it on!
And then, of course, the unexpected happened. About two minutes before we were to go on the air, the manufacturer says there will be cutting away to a live press conference from Aurora, Colo., where the Governor, the Chief of the local police and the FBI will give more details about the horrible tragedy in a local cinema just a couple nights earlier. He tells me that it is not sure when the Conference starts, I know I should start the show, but that as soon as the press conference started, will be cut off.
Talk about a curve ball! I went from “all systems go” mortified in a jiffy. I have to run through my intro and get as much of it out as possible? I must introduce myself to our listeners-who have no idea who they are or why Glen Beck is not on-telling them that we have a new show, but you will have to wait for the details of a terrible national tragedy are played before we can start the fun? Can I run? Cry? Reach for a lifeline?
I think the technical term is discombobulation. My cool was completely blown. How do I view my compassion for the victims and their families, while sticking to my plan to offer a show of inspiration? What do I do now? No time to regroup. This is the radio live. I can’t call a fast 20 second time out to check with the coaches. You must call a resounding … fly … to my first game in the game … ever! Maybe, if I only had a little more experience, he would be able to better manage this … or maybe if I had given my plan, lack of flexibility, I would have been ready for a diversion.
Well, it saves the trouble of finding a link to my debacle of a debut. Suffice it to say I panicked. Kick it off right. He threw into coverage. Air ball. Whiffed it. The sports metaphor stands out … the bottom line is that I skipped. I overplanned, I know that left no room for life to intervene.
Life is much more like jazz, with crazy solos and occasional deviations, a Symphony where everybody plays their part according to a wonderful script written long ago. The great artists may have a general idea, when you sit down to create, but the end result often looks or sounds completely different from what they originally had in mind.
Our businesses are like that, too. We don’t live in a vacuum and the events that we are often beyond our control. Being prepared is important, but being flexible is essential for times when your plan needs a tweak on the fly. Of course, you need a business plan. Absolutely. Will be your guide through the good times and bad … How do you remember that is not written in stone.
So, the moral of the story is here, is that it must of course be prepared … and be ready to Ditch your well prepared when the market says that the wind shifted.
UPDATE … NEWS FLASH!!!