Blackouts, Fear and Business


Just last week there was a MAJOR blackout in Southern California and I was smack dab in the middle of it.

A Blackout Doesn’t Seem Like a Big Deal….  Initially.

Your thinking oh, just a minor thing, they will have power back in a couple hours or something.

I was on may way to get my eldest daughter from school and none of the street lights are working in multiple areas. Pretty much everywhere we go… no street lights.  (Never mind the terrible traffic… that was a sight to see.)

While driving I noticed people started lining up outside convenience stores… long long lines.

All the gas stations have yellow tape around everything and they are waving people off. Essentially chasing them away.

So I think to myself… “Ok, maybe something important is happening here”.

Flipping on the car stereo I hear some troubling news….

” The two major power lines feeding southern California, Yuma Arizona and Baja Mexico are down and there is no specific news about how, why or when they will be restored….”

Keep in mind this is the Friday before the 10 year anniversary of Sept. 11th …. “freaking perfect!” Just when I decide to make a move to cooler weather, the “bad guys” figure out where California is.

That isn’t the biggest problem actually….

In an “every man for himself” scenario, which was unfolding in front of my eyes, I can hold my own. I am confident as a well trained ex-military guy that I can handle most situations.

But not with two little girls to protect, feed and care for.

It was me and my two little girls, totally unprepared and alone (extended family is in Arizona).  Bottom line…

I am unprepared for this event.

I immediately think of the events in Japan and New Orleans. They had it WAAYY worse but just like other catastrophes… no power means… no food, no gas and the potential for riots and looting. Granted none of this actually happened but in my head I was playing out different scenarios:

  1. I could drive to some place more hospitable. Problem, no gas and really bad traffic.
  2. I could just buy a bunch of food and water. Problem, most stores are closed, open ones are only taking cash and I have $10 in my pocket.
  3. Ummm…. hope the power comes back on.

I have absolutely NO CONTROL over #3 and that is not a good feeling. And here is another thing I started to think about, there are other people in the #3 scenario. And some of them might do desperate things to survive. I am thinking to myself….

I REALLY Need to Be Better Prepared!

I mean, the people in New Orleans and Japan probably had more time to better prepared. Or maybe not. Maybe they just figured bad stuff just happens to everyone else and ignored the warning signs.

This whole incident reminded me of  Tim Ferris, in his book he talks about taking a leap, leaving your job or whatever BEFORE something bad happens. Essentially being prepared. I can’t tell you how many people think they are going to quickly jump into internet marketing and replace their lost job income, only to be disappointed later.

Despite this flawed planning, there are some important lessons and useful suggestions in the book. Suggestions that are best used prior to an actual catastrophe.

Have You Read Tim’s Book?

In his book, The Four Hour Work Week, he uses the example of having a health problem like a heart attack or some other catastrophe.

Ultimately I used his pretend scenario to think through my day job situation prior to make the leap into full-time entrepreneurship.

I had some real motivation too.

In a previous job, working for a major corporation, I thought I was safe, secure and untouchable. Working for a large corporation is actually not safe at all. They make decisions based upon numbers and stockholders, not long term logic. After almost five years of work I was part of a large unannounced lay-off.

So when I was reading this part of his book I was feeling the reality of the potential situation (without the illness part).

Here Is Another Cruel Example …

My father-in-law, after 25+ years working for a large drug company was given notice. He could either relocate to a new state 1,000 miles away from his home or take a severance package.

Behind the scenes I am sure the corporation was looking for a way to “flush” all the highly paid senior staff and replace them with “fresh blood”. In other words, young, hungry and lower paid workers but that is only an assumption.

My father-in-law later discovered, from some work friends, the drug company closed the new location all together a few years after. Leaving those who moved to this far off place…. high and dry. The problem, in general, is that…

You Never Know.

I know, I am wondering a little here but there is a connection between these events and stories. The bottom line is that you need to be aware risks and do more to reduce all threats to your livelihood and family.

The government can’t save you from floods and earthquakes. And your employer isn’t going to go the extra mile to make sure your employed….

Because The World is Changing.

You need to look out for yourself, stay educated, motivated and maintain an edge. Some take this concept to the extreme maybe to a level or crippling paranoia. That is not what I am advocating here… I prefer to manage risk but also take some risks too. Calculated risks.

If our still sitting on the sidelines, stop. Do not become complacent or assume that your J.O.B. is not at risk, it is. The world is different. You need a plan B and maybe an emergency survival kit (also referred to as a 72 hour kit).

This Free Resource Might Help…

If you have certain income goals, the only way to achieve them is have a plan. Consider it your pay-cut or layoff survival kit.  I created a income calculator as part of my Internet Street Fighter Program. Here is a simplified variation I call the Offline Cash Calculator.

Of course it assumes that you are interested in pursuing the offline niche as an income source and that you have excel. It is fairly self explanatory, you have three columns and each represents a financial target based upon what you charge and how many clients you get. This will allow you to determine what you need offer and how many clients it will take to hit your cash flow targets.

If you have questions or comments please leave one below.




P.S. – If you are interested in discussing this in-person I suggest you consider joining me at the Offline Underground event in Las Vegas in October. I will be covering pricing strategies and “client getting”. But you don’t need to rush to signup if your busy or far away, probably wont work out for you… as we are nearing capacity and raising the price anyway.

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