A backup plan had never been on my radar before. I've always been focused on growth, company culture, and hitting goals on a path I was hellbent on planning. This was a good learning experience.
It was spring break, so almost all of my employees were on vacation with their families. I had told them to go have fun and that I'd hold down the fort. I also teach a few classes at the community college, so I called my boss at FVCC, Dawn Rauscher, who stepped up for me in a huge way. She called a lot of my clients and explained what had happened, took care of my graphic design classes and all the student projects, and most importantly, helped me and my injured brain come up with a plan on the fly. The woman's a champ.
Most of my clients were very understanding of the schedule changes and delays. My employees returned from their vacations. Deadlines were shifted and slowly met. My designer, Amanda, worked nights and weekends on projects I had been forced to abandon. Thank you for all your hard work, Manda.
Meanwhile, I had to lay on my couch with a pillow over my head and try not to think. This injury was kind of bananas. I found a bunch of food in my fridge and had no idea how it got there. I couldn't remember how to make coffee or balance on one foot. And one afternoon, I broke down in uncontrollable, brain injury-induced tears because a lawn mower across the street was too loud.
Even though I wasn't supposed to think while my brain healed, this whole chain of events really got me thinking. (I mean, it's me. All I do is think.)
If you own a business, you need to have a backup plan.
Maybe this is morbid, but it's important. When it comes to needing a Business Plan B or C or D, I wish someone had given me a heads up---pun definitely intended.
I know you can't truly plan anything and that life always wins, but I wish I had put a little more thought into this before I needed to. Plan for the unexpected. Can your business run without you? Will your employees know what to do? Will your company put out a good product if you're not there?
Come up with a backup plan. Put it in your employee handbook, or at least in a drawer in your desk.
If you're like me, you care tremendously about your business and your clients, and you put a lot of thought and work into the everyday operations. Make sure your business can run without you.
This sense of security will build itself into your brand, and you will be a happier business owner, boss, and creative collaborator. Believe me on this one.
Luckily, my brain is healing well. I still have a few weeks to go before I'm totally back to normal, but my memory is sharp, and I've never felt more creative in my life. We are fully caught up at Wheelie and accepting new clients again.
On Friday, I spoke at FVCC graduation. This is something that normally wouldn't scare me, but I was terrified leading up to it. I mean, three and a half weeks ago, I was crying at a blender, and now I was standing up in front of a whole lot of people, staring into bright lights and giving a speech I wrote on a piece of drawing paper. I stood up there in my skate shoes and said "um" a painful amount of times, but I got a few great laughs out of the audience and played a very well-received video I made about the power of play.
I'm me again, and my business is a stronger, better version of itself.
I made a two minute video about my head injury. You can watch it HERE. It's heartfelt, and I'm proud of it.
Oh, and best of all, Nerdspeak101 is back in full force.
Happy Sunday, and I'll see you next week.
Hi, Lisa here from Wheelie Creative. Nerdspeak101 is back, sending a free email straight to your inbox every Sunday. Thanks for your support.
You may or may not have noticed that I haven't sent out a Nerdspeak email in a few months. It has been a long few months..... As my current clients know, I was in a snowboard crash that resulted in a few bad concussions, and then a few weeks later, things really escalated when I got hit by a skier (a big one) who pretty much pile-drived me straight onto my head. Back to the ER for more pictures of my brain, only this time my pupils were different sizes, my memory was speckled, and I couldn't stop crying at what I thought were horrifically loud noises (pretty much everything).
I'd really done it this time. A neurologist told me I needed to limit all of my brain activity and to lay in a dark room without any screens or brain stimulation of any kind. No thinking. No working. No physical activity. And absolutely no bumping my head again. I had fifteen live projects at work, and I was suddenly cut off from them.
I had a business to run, and I couldn't run it.
By: Lisa Slagle
Wheelie Deep Thoughts
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