Always Be Prepared

A few weeks ago we celebrated my mum’s 70th Birthday. It was a big family event with all of my immediate family attending. My mum, dad, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, grandkids…you get the drift.

The night started off well. We had a pre-meal drink and a good catch up, then ordered our food. You know, the usual stuff when families get together.

My nephew wanted a steak, But being only 15 years old he didn’t know the difference between Rump and Sirloin cuts of meat.

I humored him with some old wisdom. Something along the lines of “Rump is a tough as old boots and Sirloin will melt in your mouth…”

He replied, “But the Sirloin is much more expensive.”

Well as you and I know, you do get what you pay for in life… But that’s a lesson he’s yet to learn.

He ignored his initial instinct and went with the cheaper option. It was a big mistake.

What happened next really was proof that you should follow your gut and make decisions based on your values, not price.

He took a bite. The steak was ok. A bit on the tough side as I had predicted, but not terrible.

On his second mouthful, all hell broke loose.

His eyes widened. His chest heaved frantically as he struggled to take a breath.

But he couldn’t.

A chunk of the old boot steak was firmly lodged in his throat.

He was choking.

My sister in law, soon realized what was happening and jumped to the rescue.

She walloped him on the back hard.

Nothing.

His eyes were getting wider and you could see the panic start to spread around the table.

She thumped him again.

Still nothing.

Finally, after performing an excellent Heimlich Maneuver, out popped the piece of boot!

My poor nephew gasped for air and we all breathed a sigh of relief.

The whole restaurant was in shock, but the young lad was breathing again. To be honest, I don’t think he really understood just how lucky he was.

But for me, there was a lesson to be learned.

As an entrepreneur, I strongly believe that the universe constantly provides me with the opportunity to learn and grow. This was no exception.

So what were the lessons for me here?

Firstly, always go with your gut.

This lucky young man knew what he wanted. He did his research. But he still went against his instinct and that’s where it all went wrong.

This happens in business time and time again.

We know what we want, we find the right solution, then we opt for something else because of the budget. It never ends well.

And most importantly, always be prepared!

It was my sister in law’s fast response that saved my nephew’s life. She was aware of what was happening all around her, even though she was having a good time, so she noticed the problem quickly. She had learned how to perform a Heimlich Maneuver, so she was prepared should this situation arise. And she wasn’t afraid to act hard and fast.

This all resonates in business too.

As an entrepreneur, you should always be aware of what’s happening around you. In your office, your company and your industry. Even outside of your industry too! You have to learn, practice and acquire new skills all the time, so that they are there and ready when you need them. And finally, you must be prepared and willing to act hard and fast.
Follow your instinct, listen to what the universe is telling you, be prepared and be willing to act quickly!

In this instance, it was a life-saver and these same principles could save the life of your business too.