Proactive vs. Reactive

Several years ago I took my 2nd trip to Phukett Thailand, a beautiful tropical oasis on the southern tip of the country.  Our 3-week trip included a week’s stay in Bali, which I’ve decided is the most magical place I’ve ever visited.

We planned this trip for more than 6 months our airline tickets were purchased 5 months prior to our departure date, so far so good.  The airline called and confirmed that we were still going last a week Chatting with students at the Waat Chalong in Phuketbefore out scheduled departure date and verified our date of birth for security.  Sounds like we were all set, right?

Well, just to be safe 4 days before our trip we called, to get seat assignments and make special meal arrangements.  To our surprise, they told us our flight to LA had been canceled and they’d rerouted us to San Francisco and then onto LA.  Unfortunately, this change made us 2 hours late for our international flight.  Sadly the airline hadn’t put that together till we were on the phone with them.


This is where the benefits of being a proactive kick in.  You see, because we’d called on Saturday, we were able to have our entire trip rebooked, leave 18 hours earlier, and still get to our destination in time for our planned activities.  Being proactive not only saved us time but a huge amount of stress, not to mention a total interruption in our trip.

Good planning is important. I’ve also regarded a sense of humor as one of the most important things on a big expedition. When you’re in a difficult or dangerous situation, or when you’re depressed about the chances of success, someone who can make you laugh eases the tension. Edmund Hillary

In business, it’s no different; no matter what you are expecting or even have in writing, things often change.  Sometimes we have to confirm, confirm, and then reconfirm.  Last-minute changes always cause stress and are usually caused by planning that went wrong.

Michelle Spalding at a Bali TempleBeing proactive also allows you to control your day and function much higher.  Planning the calls, handling any issues, and having plenty of time to work through them is a far less stressful way to manage a day.  Yes, I know business can be challenging, things change, and it can be stressful, but with a proactive approach, planning versus reacting, you’ll have far less stress and more time for business-building activities and helping more clients.  Or simply some time off for a vacation somewhere fun and exotic.

I’m a big fan of planning, using checklists to ensure things aren’t overlooked, and creating systems. I wrote a post about the POWER OF CHECKLISTS I think you’ll like.

Whether you’re planning a session with your client, a trip to a foreign country, or even a product launch for your business, taking the time to be proactive, to double-check that everything is in place will create a much better experience for you and those you’re working with. This doesn’t mean waiting until everything is perfect before you take action; it means taking inspired action and being proactive on the journey.

Here’s to fun adventures, exotic locations, and having the business of your dreams.