To me this is such an important consideration when it comes to doing business. And for the record, I'm by no means a pessimist, I'm just a realist who has seen everything that can go wrong in business, go wrong, time and time again.

My thinking is very simple, plan for the things that can go wrong now, file your thoughts away to be pulled out when needed and the challenges that you may face will be nowhere near as challenging when they happen.

Now where does this concept apply in business? Pretty much everywhere. Working with a big client, team members, business partnerships, products that are selling really well now, a good economy that will always become a bad economy at some stage and so on.

Think about what could go wrong and what you will do about it if it happens. There is a lot to be said for this technique. It's much more powerful than we realize at first glance. In business a lot of the time we can be fearful of the "what if" scenarios that we face every day. If we are prepared, and we have a plan, everything gets easier and less scary.

The bottom line is simple. We all get caught up in the early stages of a business relationship, a big contract or new client, a dynamic new staff member or a new business partnership of some kind. In the early stages, the honeymoon stages, everything is fabulous and perfect. But what happens when things are not going so well?

Plan for the divorce, not the honeymoon and save yourself a lot of grief somewhere down the line. It's a great investment. All you have to do is sit down and ask yourself what will you do if this happens or that happens? Be creative, think laterally. Capture all of your ideas and put them somewhere safe.

Plan for divorce in every situation and you will survive challenging times much more effectively and take a lot of the stress and worry out of any typical (and common) business issue that you are bound to encounter at some stage.

Published on: Mar 22, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.