After I had received the payment of a big project I did, I had plans. Some personal purchases. A new iPhone adapter to use with my tripod and to replace the broken part of my selfie stick. Some business acquisitions. Perhaps upgrade my Teachable subscription. I was supposed to save some too, for the unpredictable.
But the unpredictable didn't wish to wait for later.
About a month ago the owners of our apartment for the past years called. They had decided to sell, we would have 6 months to move out. Six months does sound like a lot of time, but it isn't really. It isn't long, when you have to find a new apartment in a city that has a messed up apartment situation. It's not long, when you are on a budget. So we had to hurry. Luckily we found a place that would fit our needs. The new rent is considerably higher than the previous one. Thus the rent of the new place, the security deposit, the last rent of the old place, and obviously moving wrecked our budget. And it wrecked my personal and business plans.
That's the thing about unpredictable. It happens. It happens when you least expect it. It tends to happen when you aren't ready for it, and it comes at the moments when it's the least convenient. You can have all sorts of backup plans, you can create the worst case scenarios, you can save for the bad day. And still you get caught with your pants down.
Plans are fun to make, but you are better off not getting too attached to them. If I had, in this recent situation, held on my little plans, we wouldn't be in our new home. I had to make an adjustment, or rather a change of direction. Good news is, the new apartment is a tad bigger and in a whole lotta better condition than the old place. It's been recently renovated. There's a balcony too, which is a plus. Still, I'm not going to lie and say it was a welcomed change of direction. I would've rather worked with my plans. The deal is, that this had to be done. I couldn't as well decide not to move, it wasn't an option.
When the unpredictable happens, the only thing you can really do is deal with it. Or else you may be left homeless. Or worse.
If you are fortunate enough, you can deal with it. It may leave your plans wrecked, but at least you will have a roof above your head. Obviously I understand that there are situations where dealing with it doesn't happen just like that. But hanging on to plans that can be put on the side, redirected, thought again, moved to the future or let go, it's just stupid.
Unpredictable may come as a health issue, a loss, mental issue, or as something that takes your budget and twists it into a knot. If you are the type that has huge trust on things to get solved one way or another, it will be easier for you. For those who aren't used to that sort of trust, who have had to work hard to get by in life and work, unpredictable is more difficult. It has a way of becoming the main focus of your life for a while. When it happens, you need to decide what is important, on what you concentrate. Everything else has to be put on the side.
For me, it meant mainly concentrating on the move and anything around it. During the past month I haven't blogged, I haven't sent emails to my list, I haven't done any marketing for my new services, I've been pretty infrequent with Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, I haven't worked on my upcoming course(s). None of that. Because everything went haywire, I had to concentrate on the one thing. I concentrated on moving forward. Taking a day at a time. Not making too many plans, not thinking what I will do to fix my budget. I had to take the move and handle it. The other stuff would have to wait until the dust had settled.
The unpredictable may happen in life, in your business or work. There are all sorts of unpredictables that can happen at any moment. And even the predictable ones, they usually happen at unpredictable moments. You can have a breakdown. You can cry, you can yell, you can experience any emotions you do. What you do next, that's the important part. That's where you either lie down and hope for the best, or move forward accordingly.
What if the company you are working would go bankrupt tomorrow? What if, for any reason, you would suddenly lose all your clients? What if the owners of your rental apartment would decide to sell? What if you or someone in your family would fall ill? Would you be able to move forward accordingly?
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I'm Mervi Emilia Eskelinen, an artist and online presence strategist from Finland. I coach and consult indie businesses and bloggers to find focus with their branding, marketing and web. I have almost 20 years of experience, a bachelor's degree and some fun certifications in everything about digital media and marketing.