I had an incredible vacation recently, but it was not the vacation I had planned by any stretch. I had flown my whole family down to Miami, Florida: my wife, my two daughters, and my son. We were going on a cruise. We were so prepared! I had a speaking spot during the cruise and was so excited to see new parts of the world while sharing my vision about financial freedom with investors and the amazing network of people I knew I would meet.
But I didn’t go on the cruise.
I know, I know. I said I would talk about my Disney vacation and all the things I learned! Well, it wasn’t a Disney cruise. It was a cruise with another company, and part of the itinerary was a trip to Cuba. We were just waiting to board the ship (our luggage had gone on earlier) when the cruise line informed us our kids would need a passport book, not just a passport card. Now, the difference is important, but my wife had even called to confirm the kids would be okay with passport cards, not books. So, we were shocked, to say the least. I was trying to solve the problem, asking things like, “Hey, can we go and just not get off in Cuba?” The answer was “No,” over and over again.
I was trying to figure out what to do and finally, someone in the office said he could get us all passport books within the hour. I called the immigration office in Miami, and they told me there was no way he could deliver on that promise. They said the soonest would be a few days, and even that was not anything certain. In one ear, I had the U.S. Office of Immigration assuring me what the cruise line rep was telling me was entirely impossible. In the other ear, I had the cruise line rep telling me to calm down, not worry, and they would fly us to the first destination, and we could get on board there. It was surreal.
As you have probably figured out at this point, the cruise line was just saying anything they could think of to get me out of their offices at that point. They were lying about everything. And I admit: I was livid. I would have wanted me out of my office as well if I were the cruise reps, although I wouldn’t have lied to make it happen.
By that point, my wife was crying; my kids were crying, and I realized I was actually thinking more about myself than I was about my family. I stopped thinking about solving the unsolvable problem of getting on that cruise (it wasn’t going to happen) and started thinking about how to make a good situation out of a bad one.
As is often the case with me, I started thinking about my relationships and my network as I thought about a solution. I wondered, “What other relationships do I have that could make this week a good one if I cannot spend the week on a cruise?” Then, I remembered my wife and I are Disney Vacation Club members (and, as you will see, I really recommend this if you love Disney like our family loves Disney)! I called the resort and, to my surprise, discovered they had rooms available. We drove up to Disney, spent the week, and had an amazing time! I will share a lot of the things I learned that week with you in the remainder of this series, but here is my lesson for today:
Always be willing to have a Plan B!
I could have stayed in Miami for the week and been miserable. I could have complained, made the cruise line reps miserable, and tried to make sure everyone knew just what a bad experience it had been for us. In the process, my family probably would not have had a good week, and neither would I. Instead, I decided to consciously resourceful. I looked past my anger and my disappointment and found a plan B that resulted in an amazing time with my family that was probably even better than the cruise experience would have been.
A lot of people out there talk constantly about being resourceful or creative, but most people do not practice the skill of being resourceful. They confuse being resourceful with having resources. When they run into trouble, they try to buy more resources instead of being resourceful and using what they have.
That is the first set of lessons I learned at Disney:
- Be resourceful
- Have a Plan B
- Be willing to roll with the punches
You, your family, and your business will all benefit.