When the Sh*t Hits the Fan … Get Resilient!
On the 5th of February 2009, I wrote the post below. I still remember the day, and I can confirm that there was no panic, just decisive action.
I Think This Counts As An Extreme Weather Event!
A Very Specific Kind of Storm
Operation Sh*tstorm is go! Well, the weather was predicted so the foot or so of snow outside is no shocker but my husband being made redundant yesterday is. Fortunately, my ‘hope for the best; prepare for the worst’ philosophy has caused me to collect rice the way a Dyson collects dust. Great big sacks of it. (Dysons don’t have sacks so that may not be the best analogy but the rice comes in sacks so stick with it.) In the event of twice the current snow and half the current income, the rice will see us through.
Hubby and I formulated Operation Sh*tstorm when the economic climate dipped. We anticipated panic if he ever lost his job so we put together a folder of relevant documents (benefit forms, to-do lists etc), labelled it ‘Operation Sh*tstorm’ and put it on a shelf. When hubby came home without a job yesterday, it was the work of seconds to locate ‘Plan B.’
Our food budget for this week is a little over a pound each a day – if they can do it on Big Brother I don’t see why we can’t. I toyed with the idea of panic. I considered rocking backwards and forwards on the floor for a couple of days but it seems daft so, instead, we set the alarm for 7.00 this morning, hubby rewrote his CV, applied for every benefit we might be entitled to and searched the internet for jobs, while I wrote another chapter. Only another couple to go now!
In the unlikely event that everything takes an even greater turn for the worst and we end up on the streets, I’m keeping very close hold of my library card. They have computers and I have books to write.
Here’s what I did right. I was RESILIENT and RESOURCEFUL. Those two words are crucial to any business. They are also vital qualities to possess if you hope for success as a writer.
By preparing for the worst and hoping for the best (as I explained in the last post), I was able to make the uncomfortable preparations for a ‘worst case scenario’ event. This took a couple of hours, maybe three. Not long. I was in a positive frame of mind when I did it, and was just fact-finding and researching. Once it was done, and in a file, I didn’t need to fuss about it any more. I didn’t need to worry about the elephant in the room… because the elephant was in a file, and it was fine.
Pay close attention to the last couple of paragraphs in that post. I was still holding myself to a deadline I HAD SET on the path to fulfilling my dream. By the end of the post, I wasn’t worrying about the fact that I had a pound a day to live on (which later dropped to around 50p). Instead, I was looking at the resources we have in my part of the world (free library access) and adopting what Tony Robbins calls an ‘attitude of gratitude’, so that I could be RESOURCEFUL enough to fulfil my dream.
How Could You Use This?
- If you’ve been blogging for a long time, go back and look at your old posts. If not, grab an old diary. Is there a situation you overcame in the past that you can look at with fresh eyes and draw lessons from? What did you do right?
- If you did something wrong, what have you learnt since then that you would use to advise your younger self?
- How can you apply this to helping your team or those around you?
Operation Sh*tstorm was a success. In the last month, around 2,000 new readers have downloaded my début novel. Today, Writing Magazine arrived. It contains two articles of mine, and my picture is on the first page as one of their featured writers.
Stay resilient and resourceful.