The SHTF Manual, Part 1: 10 Steps to Navigate Crisis
When the proverbial “Shit Hits The Fan,” it’s all too easy to get sucked into the chaos and destruction. Whether or not you can control the circumstances, you can control your reaction, so long as you have a playbook to do so. Right now, we’re needing such a playbook to get through times like these. So, here’s my personal success manual for when things really take a turn for the worse.
What Does it Mean When SHTF?
I don’t need to tell you all of the ways life can go wrong. Losing a job, a business, or going bankrupt are just a few of the examples I can think of for 2020. Then there’s divorce, loss of a loved one, illness, and more.
Life is beautiful, but that does not mean there aren’t moments of pain or crisis. Often, they look different for everyone, which means that the playbook will also look a bit different for everyone. In fact, one of the key definitions of a crisis is an emotionally stressful event. It’s often stress that deteriorates our health and mental wellbeing. And we all experience that stress differently.
Here’s how you build your personal playbook.
1. Change the game.
When it comes to a crisis, you must change the game. And I do not mean playing the same game in a different environment. You must switch it up entirely. 2020 has been a great occasion for switching up the game — we’ve seen dozens of companies change up their brand entirely to stay relevant.
A great example of “changing the game in action” is sports. Take football or rugby: if there’s a huge change or shift in the game, you need to make immediate adjustments. You cannot just make the same plays over and over and hope for the best results. You must identify a new play, and make it happen. If you are taking blows, the first step is to get off the ground. Only then can you go on the offense.
You’re not looking for the long-term, either. In crisis-mode, all that really exists is the next 24-hours. You have to be in the moment, so you can steer yourself clear of the stress. Crisis is about surviving now, so you can thrive later. Build your 24-hour contingency plan, change the game you’re playing, and get to work.
Coming from South Africa, one of my favorite sayings is to eat the elephant, you have to take one bite at a time.
2. Protect the Asset
If you didn’t already know, you are your number one asset. And in times of crisis, you need to do what you can to protect yourself physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. You must take care of your own well-being, like putting on your oxygen mask before you help someone else with theirs.
In this case, that oxygen mask is your mindset. Do not compromise who you are or what you believe, and protect your mindset of abundance, even in times of perceived scarcity.
This also means that in times of stress, you still need to take care of yourself. Exercise, eat properly, and get sleep. We often let these things slip through the cracks when we’re living day to day. Don’t. Otherwise, your cortisol levels rise, and you can throw your hormonal balance out of whack entirely.
3. Own it
In the deepest, darkest moment of my life, I took responsibility for everything that I had done. I owned it, and the outcomes of my actions. The moment I stopped blaming others for the outcomes in my life, I got clarity and started to turn my life around.
It’s one of the most painful things you may have to do, yet owning your actions will help you move forward. Do not let your mistakes simply be mistakes, learn from them and grow. You are not a victim, you’re the master of your own circumstance.
4. Control What You Can
You cannot control everything, but you can control some things. Let go of the variables beyond your control. In crisis-mode, the easiest way to get sucked into the muck is to worry too much about the uncontrollable.
In March, when the world was going into lockdown, it was beyond most people’s control. The businesses who thrived controlled what they could — their business model. Restaurants are the best example of such. Curbside pick-up was quickly adopted by many restaurants, as well as innovative outdoor dining. Even restaurants who had never previously delivered found ways to adapt.
Whether you see it or not, you have more control than you think. However, you won’t be able to see it clearly until you let go of those uncontrollable variables.
5. Resources and Skills Inventory
Like number four, you need to focus on what you have. In this case, I’m talking about your unique skills, abilities, and resources. What you need to do is ask yourself, “What do I have at my disposal?” Then you can write down a literal inventory.
If it helps, create categories for your inventory. Break it up into skills, contacts, assets, resources, and more. Write down everything that you have access to. At the end of the exercise, not only will you have a visual reference, you’ll also have a confidence boost.
This exercise will remind you of all of the things that make you valuable, and the people who support you.
Crisis can often tempt us into overcomplicating things. Yet the best thing you can do is simplify everything. Times of uncertainty are the worst time to complicate your life further.
Distill your daily tasks into their simplest forms. Resist the urge to build complex, time-intensive plans, or strategies. Remember to stay in the moment and take everything step-by-step until you see the crisis through.
7. Respond (Rather than React)
There is a huge difference between responding and reacting. Reacting is often knee-jerk, with little thought. Thus, reactions can often make stressful situations worse.
Take the time to thoughtfully respond to the things that are happening to you and be intentional. You are more likely to have favorable outcomes when you do so.
8. Be A Leader
When we respond to a crisis, there’s some benefit to being like a rock — solid and unyielding. However there comes a time when you must be the river current instead. Because in the end, the current always beats the rocks.
The water flows with its own force and power. Decide to be the leader in times of crisis; be the hero that you would want to lead you and take charge.
You will make it through, one way or another, if you take charge of your situation.
Nurture your relationships during the hard times. Genuinely care about people, whether they are friends and family, or clients. You are a person of value, and this is the time to let that shine.
Don’t just sell products, showcase the possibilities and opportunities your clients have available to them.
The final piece of the SHTF Manual is to have courage. Nothing in this world happens without courage. It is one of the hardest things to put yourself out there and make bold decisions. Yet courage is required to navigate crisis.
Stand up, man/woman-up, and take charge of your life.
The Skills to Tackle Any Crisis
This has been a challenging and unprecedented year. My hope is that no matter what 2021 brings, you can navigate it confidently and with courage. The steps in this “manual” are meant to help you focus on what is most important in uncertain times. Only then can you truly focus on big-picture strategies.
You can listen to my new podcast, Cashflow Investing Secrets here.
Live your Freedom, Live Your Legacy, On Your Own Terms,
M.C. Laubscher is a husband, dad, podcaster & Cashflow Specialist. He helps business owners and investors create, recover, warehouse & multiply cashflow. You can learn more about exclusive cash flow strategies in M.C.’s new video series at https://www.yourownbankingsystem.com/