The weather forecasters are warning that a winter storm is set to dump up to seven inches of snow and ice in my neighborhood between tomorrow and Saturday morning. Right now the sky is clear and the wind is calm. How would you respond? I’ve noticed that in these situations, people fall into three camps:
- Individuals who rush out in a panic to hoard food and supplies. I imagine these people are convinced they may not emerge for days – or even weeks.
- Individuals who take a “fearless” approach and do nothing. I imagine these people believe if they act like the storm isn’t approaching it won’t happen.
- Individuals who have sufficient (but not extreme) food and supplies in place, along with contingency plans to launch into action if necessary. I belong to this camp.
Incidentally, at least two times over the past several years, forecasters have predicted that the New York City metropolitan area (where I live) would get The Storm of the Century. Fortunately, on both occasions they were wrong. In a striking parallel, I’m noticing that people are responding the same way to forecasts about the economy. There are those who are scaling way back based upon preliminary reports, those who are “fearless,” and those who regularly monitor the situation and have contingency plans in place but still live into business and life. Ultimately, we can’t know for sure what will happen with either the weather or the economy. But I do know that taking a balanced approach – prudently investing in growth while having checkpoints and contingency plans in place – will end up benefitting everyone more than hunkering down in a corner and waiting for the worst to happen.