How to disaster-proof your business and your life, part 3 - SmartBrief

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How to disaster-proof your business and your life, part 3

The pandemic continues, and businesses are not out of the woods. Here are four experts on how to build disaster resilience and recovery.

5 min read


How to disaster-proof your business and your life, part 3

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In my previous post, I shared insights from a group of female leaders about how to position ourselves and our businesses for coronavirus and “disaster-proof” our lives moving forward. This post follows along the same theme and highlights the perspectives of four exceptional business leaders and thinkers.

How to disaster-proof your resilience, with Brian Wallace, founder, NowSourcing

Wallace is a straight-shooter, so I knew that there would be instant value in our conversation. While he acknowledges the catastrophic economic impact of COVID-19, he maintains that we were already due for a market correction and reality check. The US economy had experienced 129 consecutive months of growth, and we had foolishly come to take growth for granted.

Now that we have entered this correction, Wallace says, to survive and thrive moving forward, people must ask themselves, “How good are you at delivering what you said you would do?” More and more, people will want to see concrete value for their dollars. Those that can deliver it will rise to the top.

The NowSourcing CEO also spoke about antifragility as the antidote to any black swan. Many people, he contends, are too fragile. When things don’t work out, there’s no disaster-recovery plan or fight in them. Those steeled with antifragility, however, come back to an even stronger position because they simply do not stop, even in the face of setbacks.

Some of the greatest wealth, Wallace pointed out, was amassed during hard times, such as the Great Depression. The ones who became wealthy refused to let market conditions slow them down or dictate their future.

Now, Wallace says, is the time to examine everything. For example, we assumed for the longest time that people were far more productive at the office than when telecommuting. But we have since found that “telework works!”


How to recession-proof your value, with Bob Sager, founder, Spearhead Solutions

Sager, a business innovator, shares the fundamental question all business owners must ask themselves: “In what ways can we add more value to more people?” Don’t become complacent, even when things are good. Learn to ask better questions that will help make the invisible, visible.

An avid networker, Sager added that we need to continue to expand our networks and find ways to connect more people. Continually ask yourself, “Who do I know that this person should know?” When you build your network with strong, deep connections, reciprocity develops, and you can tap into your contacts during times of need.


How to disaster-proof your business with Hunter Thompson, managing principal at Asym Capital

Thompson’s company held a decided advantage during the pandemic as it is well-positioned in several counter-recession industries, such as self-storage, which is currently in high demand. This was no accident. Thompson, who got started immediately following the Great Recession, is an avid reader and believes strongly in the importance of business continuity plans and forecasting, as well as heeding the advice of experienced, successful mentors.

Here are some nuggets that I took from our conversation.

  1. Set ambitious goals and then reverse engineer outcomes by turning six-month goals into two-month goals. Doing so will help you plan the specific steps that you need to take to reach your goals.
  2. Imagine telling yourself a story about COVID-19 years later. This will message to your subconscious that you will have a future — an empowering thought during this time of travail. 
  3. The debt portion is the most important factor of running a successful business. It determines how long you have to repay debt, affects interest rates and terms, as well as your relationship with lenders, which is particularly important during times of crisis.

How to disaster-proof your operating style, with Leigh Durst, principal, chief squirrel herder at Live Path

Durst, author of “Walk, Climb or Fly,” has created a powerful system to help professionals operating in the “Workplace Wilderness,” as she calls it, determine their operational style (“Walker”, “Climber” or “Flyer”) as well as those of others they work with.

According to Durst, our business operation styles are deeply ingrained within us. Invariably, there are natural tensions between our styles. This is even more the case during the pandemic, as we work remotely and lack the benefits of in-person communication. By understanding our different styles and giving ourselves permission to operate in that manner, people can more easily identify and share how they can work together to best support one another and collaborate during COVID-19 and beyond.


Naphtali Hoff, PsyD, (@impactfulcoach) is president of Impactful Coaching & Consulting. Check out his leadership book, “Becoming the New Boss.” Read his blog and listen to his leadership podcast. Download his free new productivity blueprint and his e-books, “Core Essentials of Leadership,” “An E.P.I.C. Solution to Understaffing” and “How to Boost Your Leadership Impact.”

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