Ed. Note: "Sarah" wrote to ask how Personal Safety Nets® concepts would help her navigate
the time between starting a business and seeing revenue from it.
Time and again, we ask audiences for a show of hands if they've ever faced an unexpected change or a challenge. Every time, every single hand rises. Of course everyone has had such an experience! Then, when time allows we ask for some details about these situations, and what or who helped people cope. Each time, participants demonstrate that we're not in this world alone, and that we can be better together. We show that if we believe in a certain set of values and work from Personal Safety Nets® assumptions, we'll have begun well. Employing thoughtful planning that focuses upon all aspects of our lives will better prepare us for whatever may come. Our resourcefulness and resiliency will grow.
Sarah wants who wants to start a new business. The first step is for her to look at her self, with this goal, as being in the middle of a safety net. Next we have to ask, who or what will provide support? While the sides of her personal safety nets are strengthened by resources covering financial, spiritual, family/friends, the stuff of life, intellectual, health and career issues, Sarah will pay special attention to what resources of support will be directed specifically to: financial, social, business planning, marketing, and business development.
We might suggest that she start by identifying the resources that are available to her: Which people she has met who might serve as a sort of board of directors or sounding board as she ponders options? Which people, institutions, or organizations can fill the various roles that she'll need? Which can suggest others? Her third task is to gather resources: pulling together information and knowledge to create a plan. Her financial base will be stronger if she know as much as possible about her competition: everything from how they work, to how much everything will cost.
Social or spiritual support might be valuable when seeking or adding stakeholders or board members - when facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles, staying focused or when networking. Creating a mission, vision and statement of values will provide more support. Using existing resources and people to build interest among others will help spread the word as well as build some anticipation for the end product.
Seeking professional and technical assistance from others (and not getting discouraged when someone declines to assist - it's NOT personal) will bolster this aspect of Sarah's net. Seeking to extend her outreach to people with broad connections who have created pitches or presentations will help things move more smoothly. Most people are flattered by a request for their expertise or assistance, especially when it's clear that it's OK to say "no" or "not now."
Sarah will be wise, too, to think of ways to take care of herself and her health while in this stress-related time of beginnings. Keeping her eye on her goal of sustainability, sustaining new business shouldn't mean that she ignores her needs for sleep, exercise, and balance in her life as a whole.
We heard from Sarah as she thought about her journey: "Far deeper than the mechanics of people and process in developing a PSN is the safety net one must develop in their soul, heart and mind during trying, and what appears on the surface, impossible hurdles." We wish her luck and hope to hear more from her - AND YOU!