So here’s how my week has started. Got up to an email that involved a change of plans for a fall seminar.

My daughter and her family left for a two-week road trip. The road they were planning to take is closed due to a bridge collapse. They rerouted themselves, but forgot to leave a housekey for the sitter.

Fortunately, I have a key to their house and live close by so delivering it was not a big deal.

However, this has me thinking, yet again, about how flexibility is a valuable stress management tool.

This is not something that comes easily for many of us who have had a lifetime of conditioning to follow a predictable path. It’s something we need to challenge and eliminate if we’re going to be self-employed.

Quite simply, it is impossible to create anything of significance if we aren’t willing to embrace unpredictability.

Building a business is one way of acquiring those skills. Another way is through travel.

Several years ago, Nick Williams and I met in Switzerland to do some brainstorming. The trip was wonderfully productive and included a glorious day in Chamonix, France.

We were on the train heading back to Zurich where Nick had a flight to catch back to London. I was staying for another day. “Do you know where you’re staying tonight?” he asked.

I shook my head, laughed and said, “No, but I’ve never had to spend a night on a park bench so I’m trusting that I won’t have to do so tonight.” Of course, I located a perfect place to spend the night.

I know there are many people who would be in a dither without every detail of their travels in place. Seasoned travelers, on the other hand, opt for a bit of unpredictability since that’s where the adventure resides.

Same thing in our business. And the more flexible we’re willing to be, the more evidence we gather that a change of plans can often open the door to bigger and better things.

Remember, too, that a perfectly acceptable answer to the question, “How are you going to do that?” is “I don’t know.”

We take the adventure, accept the challenge, head off in new directions to find out how to do that. If we know in advance, what’s the point?

Test it for yourself—as often as possible.

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