S1 E13: Never Waste a Good Crisis



Any time something doesn’t go like you thought how do you learn to go with the flow?


Focus on the Why? This lets you let go of the details.

Story: The perfect 4H terrarium – In 5th grade, Joe’s dad carried it in to the fair and spilled it, Joe recreated it on the spot with extra supplies and still won first place. Joe’s dad saw the ability to take something that went bad and make something of it and knew Joe would be alright.

Story: Didn’t plan on having a camera. Client walked in and said “where’s the camera stand?” We were able to use our relationship with the AV company and scramble to get a camera for the event.

Story: Entertainer stuck in traffic and we were able to get him to the event by chartering a private plane.

Story: Wrong color of 300 table cloths. Use the opportunity to show that you have the mindset to solve a problem.

Story: Program on flatbed trailer with antique furniture, storm came up at the last minute. Joe had a back up plan that if it rained, we could pull it under a shelter.

Today: Events are changing to online, video, mailings, fundraising campaign etc.. How do you need to change your busines model to provide what your clients need?

Eight Companies that changed their business model

  1. Paypal – started as a cryptography company but 4 years later was bought by Ebay for $1.5 billion and is now the default payment system of millions.
  2. Google started as a search engine but now it’s really an ad company with its AdWords program where it generates the majority of its profit.
  3. Nintendo started as a playing card company
  4. National Geographic went from paper magazines to TV and multimedia.
  5. American Express started as a courier service for banks
  6. Avon sold books from door to door and offered gifts of perfume as incentives to customers
  7. Timex started as a bomb company?
  8. 3M was originally Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company


Lessons learned:

  1. Always have a plan B or C or D
  2. Bring more than you need
  3. Focus on relationships
  4. Never let a crisis go to waste


Secret of any good company is pivoting to be the company it’s supposed to be.


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