What would happen if the lights were to go out early in the third quarter of the Super Bowl game? Would the TV broadcast crew be able to fill time in an informative, compelling, entertaining manner? If you watched the CBS broadcast Sunday night, you know the answer to that one.
What would happen if you were about to give a presentation from your laptop and an unexpected glitch caused the entire file to vanish? Or the A/V guy at the venue did not have a VGA adapter for your MacBook? Would you be able to make your presentation without the PowerPoint (or similar program)?
What if your trade group had paid for a round-trip plane ticket, hotel room and appearance fee for a hot social media thought leader to speak at your sold-out luncheon and a personal matter came up that required he fly home immediately? Would you have a backup speaker ready?
What would happen if you were the lead person on a major PR campaign and you had an illness that kept you in sickbay for two weeks? Could you get a backup to take the reins and do the job in your place?
What would happen if you were to lose your cell phone? Have you transferred photos and videos to another digital device or to “the cloud?” Are your important contacts backed up elsewhere?
What would happen if you prepared a speech and, moments before you were to be introduced, you realized you had left all your notecards in the pocket of your other jacket? Would you have rehearsed the speech enough to be able to give it from memory?
What would happen if your main client were to decide to close his business and move to Florida? Would your other clients provide enough business to keep you afloat? Are you always working to develop new business?
I am not promoting pessimism, but thinking about worst-case scenarios can help you be ready, if necessary. Things happen.