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Dec 22

Plan for Adversity

Posted by: Steve Marr

Tagged in: Untagged 

Recently I experienced a week long power outage after a nasty windstorm. I work at home, and my wife has a full-time ministry position working from home.  Given the necessity of work productivity, we have a backup power generator.  However, that didn’t solve our major problem. The Internet was down because the tower that transmitted the signal also lost power.  I worked around this challenge by venturing to town several times a day to collect and send e-mails.  I was able to use my iPhone as a backup even though the cell signal where I live is unreliable.  While this arrangement was not as efficient as normal, I was able to conduct most business fairly well. Customers expect this regardless of my personal situation.


During one of my trips to Starbucks, I plugged in to a larger table with other power and Internet refugees. As faces at the table became more familiar, we began to talk to each other. I noticed two distinct attitudes. Some faced the challenge by finding a way to adapt and overcome. Others acted like they let the dog eat their homework. Ever since grade school, my experience reminds me that there is always a dog waiting to eat my homework. A few times I tried an excuse as lame as this. I learned quickly--this was no excuse.

Where I live power goes out several times a year. This is the second time in the past year I have been powerless for a few days. The reality is that I need to serve customers and clients consistently. If I am not available for any reason, it’s like I let the dog eat my homework. While my excuse may sound good, customers expect results.

“Bob” was talked at the table about how tough his situation was. He lived and died on the Internet. He talked like he made a lot of money. I casually asked Bob how often his power went out for more than a day. He replied that it happened at least once a year.

“So Bob,” I asked, “if the Internet is so critical and you work at home, why don’t you have a backup generator and satellite Internet connection?”

Bob went on about the cost and the bother to set up a backup system. He was often at the same Starbucks table each day. It was obvious that he was allowing the dog to eat his homework.

The writer of Hebrews said, “Therefore strengthen the hands of the weak and the knees that are feeble.” (Hebrews 12:12, NASB) In business you need to identify the vulnerable areas and take steps to correct weaknesses.  Bob moaned that he was losing thousands of dollars a day in business. Bob could have invested in a backup system with all the money he said he lost during the power outage.

There are always dogs ready to eat your homework. Keep them under control by making a plan.  

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