Things don't always go as planned. This is why I believe that part of being a successful entrepreneur is having the ability to go with the flow.
We can spend all of our time planning out exactly what we want to accomplish. But the reality is things almost never work out the way we intend them to.
2020 — case and point.
But another curveball came with the beginning of 2021.
Keevin & I launched a three hour kickoff event for the first cohort of the 8 week Startup Sprint yesterday. Two tools we're using for the program, Notion & Slack, were both down yesterday morning.
(We later found out that AWS had an outage.) Oh nooooo, Silicon Valley is crashing 😯
The plan was to onboard everyone in the Sprint Dashboard in Notion during a section of the call. We tested the Notion sharing capabilities before the call and everything was good.
When the time came for me to onboard everyone into Notion I sent everyone the shareable link.
Notion gave everyone an error message. Without a backup plan in place, we had to make decisions on the fly. This reminded me of the single greatest piece of advice I received from a business partner/mentor in 2019.
"Most people and/or situations will present problems. Your job as an entrepreneur is simple — present solutions to these problems."
Practicing this mindset in 2019 & 2020 helped me to quickly think of a solution in yesterday's situation on the fly.
Normally, I would share my screen and present the pertinent information to the group.The issue was that we designed a specific page in Notion for the cohort members to create their weekly experiments in real time.
I quickly copied the interactive onboarding content we needed to cover into a Google Doc, shared it with Keevin, and asked him to share the Google Doc with everyone on the call to make their own copy. Then, I proceeded to share my screen & cover the logistical items on the list while Keevin got everyone set up with the weekly experiment framework Google Doc.
I'm not writing this to brag on how we handled it (ok maybe just a little bit.)
But my point of the story is to ALWAYS be in a mindset to present solutions. Even when curveballs are thrown at you. This is just as much a reminder to myself as it is to anyone reading this.
The advice my mentor & business partner gave to me in 2019 is one that I'll continue to revert back to. And I believe the way we handled yesterday's situation is a direct reflection of a concept I learned 18 months ago.
Start practicing a solution mindset now, and swing at the curveballs when they’re thrown at you.