In May of this year I became very ill and ended up having emergency surgery. For months prior to that, I had several other health issues that were annoying to me, and to everyone including my clients. All of it related to a compromised immune system (I never knew, until I ended up in the hospital ER May 19th as my body was busy fighting an infection going undetected). I was told I “dodged a bullet” by the surgeon. This entry is longer than the normal post; it is important to stay with me and read on.
The reason I am sharing this intimate experience with you is to use myself as the perfect example of, “it will never happen to me” that stays somewhere inside our minds (even if we deny it). It’s right up there with knowing you need to take better care of yourself and you don’t, because you can’t tear yourself away from the computer. We all procrastinate as we need to get one more thing done, right? So what happens if there is an emergency, a crisis in our life that affects our business?
Emergency being the key word. Did I have a crisis plan in place in case of a personal disaster? Did I work with colleagues I consider partners to put together a reciprocal plan?
No. I was blessed to have people that cared enough to help me out. I was too sick to even know to call anyone (including family and friends) and I was out of touch when I shouldn’t have been. However, within the last day I’d been in touch with a friend and colleague (that knew I did not feel well), Janet Powers who happened to call me at the hospital on my cell.
She is founder of Women’s Toolbox and was kind enough to make a call to one of my clients for me (Janet had a full plate—it was not her job to call my clients for me) and explain how sick I was. I can tell you in complete honesty, if Janet had not reached out I don’t think I would have had it together enough to do anything; I was so ill. Ironically, this client Janet called for me was Cindy Rakowitz, CEO of Blackman Rakowitz Public Relations, and author of Emergency Public Relations Crisis Management in a 3.0 World.
Imagine my embarrassment. This is hard for me to say, but can you also imagine what Cindy must have thought? She felt bad for me and wanted me to get well; however, I am sure she was saying, “Where is her crisis plan?” Cindy is a crisis management expert. Earlier this year I promoted Cindy’s book and I can tell you, I am reading it again. This time with a pen in my hand taking notes to build my plan. Her book lays it out step-by-step.
When a plan is in place you think about that plan and you have that mindset. Reading a book like Cindy has written and acting on it are two different things. I would have made calls before I went to the ER. My plan building starts with my next blog post and I am going to share my process with you. A crisis plan for an entrepreneur is emphasized in Cindy’s book and I have even blogged about it myself. I cannot tell you how hard it is to admit I was not prepared. Never again! Look for my next post and let me know what you think. In the meantime, buy Cindy’s book and take charge of your brand’s (business) crisis management. This should be an element of your overall marketing and PR plan.