Whew! What a week it was. It started when I dragged myself to a 7.30 AM flight to Florida last Saturday. On Sunday, I awoke to the sounds of a blood curdling scream. My 89 year old father, who has some dementia, fell. My mom and I couldn’t move him. EMT came and we got to the hospital. He broke his leg. He had surgery and I spent 5 days with him in the hospital because my exhausted mother needed to get her rest. Who knew that a week in the hospital would teach me some business essentials that I will never forget.
Don’t question your choices. It’s when you have to care for someone else that you realize how little you know. My dad takes very few medicines despite having a serious blood disorder. He played tennis till he was 83! Yet, one thing I learned in a hospital is that when you are immobilized only bad things happen. First the nausea. Then the constant hiccupping. Then the elevated heart rate when he never had that problem. There are medicines to cure everything it seems. My family had experience with a few drugs before. None were good. The zombie like effect one produced was scary for us. Who knew what my dad felt?
We declined the heart medicine. After a day of nausea and constant hiccups my dad hadn’t slept but 2 hours. Enough already. We let the nurses administer the zombie drug. The hiccups stopped and my dad started to feel less nauseous. After a day, the zombie state went away. As I agonized with my sister and mother whether we made the right decision, I realized that in this stressful situation, whatever decision we made was right. We couldn’t question our choice. In business, it’s the same.
It’s stressful in business. Often, you don’t know everything. You can’t. There’s not enough time to know everything. You make decisions and move on. Some people agonize over their decisions after they’ve made them. Forget it. You can’t. It’s a waste of time to agonize. You will have a different set of circumstances going forward. You might make different decisions then. In any case, whatever you decide when you make any decision, just know that at that time you are making the right decision. End of discussion.
Stay ahead of the curve. My dad had a few falls before this one. We were lucky. He never hit his head. He only suffered a few bruises. We knew he would fall again. My mother had an aide in the house during the day. We knew on one level that we needed an aide in the house at night. We thought we weren’t there yet. Of course, we were wrong. Staying ahead of the curve means anticipating and addressing the problems you will have before they occur. Yes, we might have avoided the fall had we had an aide.
In business, what issues might present bigger problems for you if you don’t address them now? Stop. If you address them now, I promise you that you will be a lot better off down the road. After this experience, I looked again at my business. As a result, my calendar is on the Internet with phone contact information if I have to change plans. I can remotely operate my business from anywhere as long as I can get the Internet. For your business, consider the materials you need to work remotely, contact information for key people while you are gone, an emergency back up, or procedures for while you are away. Ask yourself, what should I prepare now if I were not able to run my business for a week or were not in my office?