Be Preventative vs. Reactive

A good entrepreneur must be able to react when fires come up.

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Any successful entrepreneur has had to make a decision that, if dealt with incorrectly, could leave their company in a very bad position. It’s a very fine line. How you react can be the difference between success and failure in a given situation. You may think I’m over exaggerating but it’s true. Anyone who has started their own company will know exactly what I’m talking about.

Now, it’s typically not one single moment that makes or break something, but rather a culmination of moments. And along those moments, some are more vital than others. The decisions you make along the course of those moments, especially the larger ones, is what can and will really make the difference between success and failure. Great entrepreneurs are the best at reacting. You have to be able to flip a switch when a problem comes up and deal with it when no one else can.

As the head of a company, you are the last person in the line of defense. You are entirely responsible for everything. It’s a huge eye-opener when you realize that you are responsible not only for yourself and your family and loved ones, but for other people’s, too. – Gary Vaynerchuck

As important I think being able to scramble successfully is, I actually believe the best entrepreneurs are preventative.

Being preventative vs. reactive is better. It’s why people get a flu shot before flu season. It may be time-consuming to drive to the doctor and get the shot, but it’s sure better than being sick for a full week, right? The same principle applies to business.

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The biggest preventative measure I’ve learned is necessary: sales. Having a full sales pipeline is extremely important. If you don’t have a full pipeline and lose a client, you must then react. When you have to react, you start operating from a place of scarcity. This is a position of weakness and you can start to make poor decisions out of fear. However, you can prevent having to react to a situation like this. How? By maintaining a full pipeline. So then if a client leaves for any reason it’s no problem. You have a full pipeline of potential clients waiting and wanting to work with you. Much less stressful.

The only way I really have learned the value of being preventative is to have gone through something like the scenario I just mentioned. Situations like that (not always with sales though) have happened to me numerous times over the course of my four years running Jakt. What I can definitely say is that I am an amazing scrambler. Put my back against a wall and I will find a way out. But after doing that for years, I’ve realized theres a better way to operate. Think ahead, play out different scenarios (best and worse case) and then put measures in place to counteract the worst case scenarios. Even if they don’t happen, wouldn’t you rather be prepared in case they do? It’s naive to ignore those cases because sooner or later, one of those worst case scenarios will actually happen.

If you’ve put preventative measures in place, your life will be easier. If not, you better be a damn good scrambler.

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