emergencies Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
poor planning

Poor Planning Can Lead To Problems

I just had someone send me a document that they needed to have completed RIGHT NOW for an important deadline they had.  Mind you, they could have sent the document months earlier. Due to their poor planning, they waited until the last minute to send it to me.  Normally, I wouldn’t sweat it and I’d fill it out pretty quickly and get it back to them.  However, on this occasion, I was in Panama on business.  I was headed home to Austin for less than 24 hours, then I was off to Charlotte for business meetings at BNI Global, and then I was off to Necker Island for some downtime.

They could not have caught me at a worse time – and they were completely aware that I was in the midst of my travels. Regardless, they emailed me, emailed my assistant, emailed my wife, and emailed all of us twice more (all within two days). In between my meetings, I dropped this person a message and said, “I’m sorry you have a problem but your project is not my priority due to your poor planning.  You had months to send this to me and you sent it at the last moment (when I’m swamped) and you want it right now.  NO.  I am not able to do it right now.”

In my bookWho’s in Your Room, I said that sometimes, “no” is a one-word sentence.  This is one of the times I made it a one-word sentence (OK, I know I had other sentences but I wanted to include that one-word sentence of “NO”).

I understand this person’s frustration.  She made a mistake in her poor planning and dropped this in my lap.  I’ve been there before but I did not handle it like she did (multiple demands for completion, reaching my assistant and even my wife – several times)!

Poor Planning Tips

I recommend you consider these suggestions if you find yourself in a situation where you are dropping your problem on someone else due to your poor planning:

  • Start with an apology:  “I’m really, really sorry but something has slipped through the cracks. I am getting this to you late.  I know you should have had it a long time ago but you didn’t and that’s on me.  I’ve attached it to this message. Is there any way you can get it to me by X date or time?  I know this may be an inconvenience but I would appreciate if you could make that happen.
  • Copy the assistant on the message (once – not multiple times).
  • NEVER harass the spouse.  Ever!  Mine didn’t particularly appreciate being pulled into something she had nothing to do with.  More importantly, she’s pretty confident that I’m a big boy now and don’t really need further parenting.
  • When you do get what you requested – thank them.  Throw yourself on the sword again. Tell them you appreciate them helping you out by getting it to you quickly.

Always remember – Someone’s poor planning can lead to problems! By the way, feel free to send this blog to anyone who tries to make their problems your projects.  Maybe they’ll get the message. 

Think You Don’t Need a Network?–Think Again . . .

As a small-business professional or entrepreneur, how do you:

  • Get advice and help when problems arise
  • Gather the information you need for making important business decisions
  • Identify your markets and locate potential clients?

Unfortunately, most people get help in times of need from individuals or businesses they don’t know well. Instead of anticipating and planning for needs and emergencies, they are forced to react to every situation. They search the internet or ask friends and associates to help solve problems or recommend solutions, even though these people may not have the necessary expertise, and the sources they recommend may have little relevance to or experience with the business operation that is in need.

As a small-business owner, you don’t have the built-in resources to employ a management team to plan ahead, proactively problem solve, obtain and maintain ready access to vital resources–information, personnel, funding–and make informed decisions quickly in an emergency.  What you need is the functional equivalent of a management team and that is exactly what a network is for!

Your network is a systematically and strategically selected group of people on whom you can call as the need arises. It is a diverse, balanced and powerful system of sources–people from all facets of the business world–that will provide referrals, information and support in key areas of your business or profession, over both the short and the long term.

So, if you know someone who doesn’t want to put in the time and effort to establish a network because he thinks his business is just fine without one, do him a huge favor and explain why he needs to think again.

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