A Punch in the Face

tysontkoThe bank called your loan. Your supplier cut you off. The IRS found a mountain in a little mole hill.  If you’ve not had the pleasure of dealing with a real catastrophe like one of these, you’re not an entrepreneur. At the very least you’d better get ready for some Big Ugly to “knock you upside the haid; it’s coming and you need to be prepared. 

Mike Tyson is a former heavyweight boxing champion. I can’t say which is longer, his list of wins or his list of crimes, but he’s hard-hitting either way. There’s the one thing I want you to remember about “Iron” Mike. It’s this brilliant quote:  

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” ~ Mike Tyson 


The impact of these words slaps me awake like the pungent odor of ammonia. The first thing I question is whether or not I have a good plan for a catastrophe. The second is whether or not a plan could even prepare me for getting “cold cocked” as they call it: An unexpected and powerful blow to the head. It could be the knock-out punch that puts me on the floor. 


Been there. Done that. 


Please learn something from my experience: Searching for the answer to a cataclysm that hasn’t yet sprung up is simply not possible. But what is possible is learning how to be ready… ready to respond to the unexpected.  


Let’s start with some sobering thoughts: 


1) You probably don’t have a plan. 

2) You are not unique in that way, believe me. 

3) You need to implement a plan so you can be ready for the inevitable.

4) Frankly, you’ll never be ready, but you can be smart.


There is no process in the world that will prepare you for the unexpected. That punch is going to hit you one day, and since you can’t predict it, you can’t block it. 


But you can strengthen your core. 


The core of your business is trust. Without trust, no one cares. And when no one cares, you’re going to get knocked out. But where trust is systemic, you can get back up on your feet and respond. Even then there’s no guarantee you’ll win, but without trust, it’s all over.


Are you credible? Do your employees trust you? And most importantly, will they rally around you when things get really, really bad? You can answer this question right now because you know it in your gut. If you can’t answer with an unequivocal, “Yes!”, then you’re on the ropes and you don’t even know it. Trust is a bond. Trust is a foundation. Trust is the union built from every muscle, sinew and vein in your organization.


Your knock-out punch is coming. Today, as you step into the ring, carefully consider your core. Be absolutely certain you’ve earned the respect and credibility you’ll need to get punched in the face – and come back for more.


I trust you will.

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