Think back to the last time the lights suddenly went out at your place of business. Maybe it was during a thunderstorm or an electrical surge. Or maybe your building's generator went on the fritz.

Whatever the cause, what was the response?

Was there a minor panic amongst the staff? A collective cry of, "What do we do? What do we do?"

Or was there a feeling of release, of treating the situation like an unexpected, but welcome, party: "The lights are out; we obviously can't do any work, so let's go to the conference room and chill out!"?

Or maybe the boss (you?) simply threw up his/her hands in resignation and sent everybody home for the day.

But perhaps you're one of the rare ones who has never actually experienced a temporary blackout at work.

That's okay, because I'm really using the lights going out as a metaphor--a metaphor for anything that disrupts the normal course of business.

Yes, that's happened to me, as I'm sure it has happened to you. Something disrupts the normal course of the day, the week, the month, the year, and, whoops, now what?

When your most important sales or accounting person leaves one day and doesn't return the next?

When your #1 go-to staff member, the one most requested by your customers, has an entrepreneurial seizure and decides to start her own business? Doing exactly what you do, and taking your clients with her. Ouch, that hurts.

Or when interest rates go up without notice?

Or when your bank decides to cancel your line of credit?

Well, that's where my mantra of "Working On It" comes fruitfully into play.

If you allow it to, that is.

Because, when the lights go out, there's no time to think. There's just you, depending upon the business you've created to speak eloquently through its standardized, systematized actions--as though "lights out" is simply the normal course of doing business (which it really is, or should be), rather than the disruptive thing most people experience, unprepared as they are for any unannounced, out-of-the-ordinary occurrence.

Do you understand the drill, now, of what it means to do business in the dark?

Because the lights always go out, for every single one of us, in one form or another.

And when they do, most of us are completely unprepared to do business in the dark.

Simply because we never really learned how to do business in the light.

Doing business in the light calls you to see the system, as inelegant and un-eloquent as it might be, so you can begin to shape it with your mind's eye to become the thing of beauty you truly wish to see.

This can be true of every single kind of company on the face of this earth including, of course, yours.

It's what makes Wal-Mart so miraculous and Google a thing of beauty.

It's what makes every organization on the face of this earth a production in potential, what Plato thought to be the perfect form in waiting.

Plato said, "We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light."

Are you prepared to do business in the dark? Or are you afraid of the light.

Then come dream with me.

You won't believe the difference a dream can make.