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Don’t Get Blinded by Unforeseen Pain

By Joey Havens

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You may have caught last week’s blog on disruption. Disruption that I knew about, understood and monitored but took no real action to avoid. Knowing is not doing.

As if being pulled over on the side of busy I-55 South with a blowout on my boat trailer wasn’t enough disruption in my trip, I also incurred some pain. Pain that came out of nowhere. I expected the pain (inconvenience, really) of trying to locate where my car jack was, the actual changing of the tire and, of course, the fear of thinking the next car or truck might crush me. I was mad at myself for not acting and causing my current inconvenience but at least I had my mind wrapped around it. However, I certainly didn’t see the most painful part of the disruption coming. 

In my SUV, the spare and jack rest in a well below the surface of my rear storage area. You know, the one that you have never opened before to check things out, at least I never had. So first I unloaded the whole back area—a large ice chest full of fish, tackle box, life preservers, waders, boots, extra tools, towels and a few other miscellaneous “must haves.” The side of the interstate looked like I was about to have a rummage sale or maybe CeCe threw me out with my stuff. These next events might remind you of, “Be Quick, but Don’t Hurry.” And yes, I was definitely in a hurry.

So the rear floor panel has a nice handle that I grabbed and began to swing upward but it would only come up and open about 2 feet. I could see my spare but this was feeling heavy—no way the panel should be this heavy and definitely no way to pull the spare out of this small opening. I had left a few things close to the back seat, so I assumed they must be keeping the lid from completely opening. So, I moved them around, threw some over the seat & grabbed the handle again. Same problem!

Now I’m aggravated and my hurry mindset was peaking. I grabbed again and this time pulled up with all my might and as soon as I felt it give, everything went black. I staggered backward and fell against the boat trailer. Suddenly, I felt severe pain in my right eye. I gently reached up and touched it—no blood—thank goodness but now my vision was blurred. I quickly looked in the side mirror and saw my eye completely bloodshot and turning blue around the edges. What hit me?

Knowing I still have this trailer tire to change, I go back around to the rear of my SUV and very gently lift the lid to see what is going on. This time, it lifts very easily with just one hand. I see hanging down from the lid is a bungee cord with a plastic clip on it (which I later figured out was designed to hold the lid up by hooking it to the ceiling of the SUV so you can access the spare and all of the tools).

Obviously, the clip had caught itself somewhere on the spare tire and when I forced it open, it came loose and that plastic hook hit me directly in my right eye. Fortunately, it hit on the side of my eye and not directly on my pupil. Very lucky I did not lose my eyesight by being in too big of a hurry.

Pain, a completely unexpected and devastating blow that literally came out of nowhere. It’s unexpected pain like this that we need to be on guard for in our business models today.

New competitors that see our business models and services as being disruptable and are working every day to find new ways to deliver what our clients want, need and value.

Over the next few years, I expect we will feel more pain from new competitors than our existing competitors. Even some of our vendors today will develop business models to compete with us if we do not make the changes to be relevant. As Daniel Burrus says, “If you won’t do it, someone else will.” The cost to start a new business today is pennies compared to the start-up capital that we may have needed. The ability for new competitors to connect with and provide our clients with relevant information, insights and opportunities is unending today. 

Let’s not be blinded by the unforeseen pain of a new competitor. What are we clinging to in our business model that might come loose and hit us in the eye? What are we providing today that could be taken away by a new business model?

I got lucky with my eye. Let’s be sure we don’t lose part of our business model or client base to disruption that we saw and understood but took no action to avoid. 

Thank goodness people have finally stopped asking me, “What happened to your eye?” Next week, I will share the third life lesson from this disruption. And remember, be quick, but don’t hurry.