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How to React when Life Throws you a Curveball

A curveball can come in all shapes and sizes. There are the small ones that just throw you off track a little bit, and then there are big ones that come out of nowhere that rock you to your core. 

As business owners, we’re on the receiving end of a curveball all the time.


  • the client who doesn’t pay your invoice on time, 
  • a client who promises to pay your invoice on a particular date and doesn’t
  • the employee who demands a pay increase
  • an employee who resigns unexpectedly
  • notice from your landlord to vacate the premises or not extend your lease
  • major price increase from a supplier
  • a significant change in the exchange rate that impacts your purchases
  • your bookkeeper disappears without a trace 
  • a major client doesn’t renew their contract
  • you lose your biggest customer or client


In reality, we should be ready for curveballs. We should have thought about the various possibilities of what could go wrong and considered their financial impact. It’s one of the benefits of doing a SWOT analysis, and I’m specifically talking about the Weaknesses and Threats sections. There’s more information on SWOT here.

But what often happens, is the SWOT analysis is done as part of a business plan, if it’s done at all, and then ignored. The key is to use that analysis and input the information into financial modelling, creating what-if scenarios that cover each of the potential curveballs.

If you’ve done the planning and thought through the impact, the curve ball can be taken in your stride without too much of a bump along the way. 

When you haven’t done any planning, you’ll get caught by surprise and have to find a way to deal with it quickly and effectively. How you react will determine the impact not only on the numbers but on the team and potentially on your clients if they are impacted too.


Does it upset your day, does it upset your mood, does it distract you from what you had planned to be doing, and does it impact you in a negative way?

Or do you take the proverbial bull by the horns and start working out how to deal with it as quickly and efficiently as possible so that you can get on with your day, not allowing it to negatively impact you in any way.

I do both! It depends on what it is. 

I’ve recently had two small curve balls thrown my way; both are quietly churning in my mind. I’m disappointed with one of them and at the moment can’t do anything about it. The other one has made me question whether to continue on or whether this is the catalyst that makes me stop that particular activity.

But when it’s something that’s within my capability or that I have control over, I deal with it and get on with my day.

However, when it’s out of my comfort zone, I subscribe to the Nike slogan of “Just Do It”. I wrote in more detail about this, specifically in relation to recording my first podcast episode. Check out my earlier article here.


Being in business means being in control, or at least that’s how we want to feel. But a curveball by its very nature throws us off track and often into that dreadful feeling of being out of control. Planning for identifiable eventualities will go a long way to maintaining control. Having a positive attitude to get on with it helps with those other situations that you just didn’t expect ever to happen.

Now if I could just get those two existing curve balls sorted, I’d be a happy businesswoman again.


Originally published on www.smallville.com.au

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