Recently my brother was hospitalized and I had to come home to take care of my 93-year-old mom. That meant that I needed my 14-year-old son, my husband and two Yorkies back in Brooklyn, not to mention my coaching business, go on autopilot somehow.
This has turned out to be a very interesting and fruitful exercise.
After panicking a bit I put my business go bag in place. My tech guy found me a $250 used laptop (now dubbed the ‘commuter computer’). But then I had to contend with the fact that there is no Wi-Fi in my mother’s house, and installing it was not going to be possible! That meant turning my cell phone into a hotspot, necessitating me to upgrade my phone requiring a very hot schlep downtown (I don’t have a car. More on that later.)
Then of course, it turns out that hotspots on phones can only give you 3GB of data at most. So that sucked. Fortunately I have an unlimited data plan but that doesn’t help much in terms of getting on the computer. This is why I am composing this newsletter in Google Drive on my iPhone using the dictation app! So for me, unlimited cellular data is the cornerstone of my business ‘go bag.’
This situation also forced me to turn things over to my VA (virtual assistant) things that I had previously been reluctant to let go of, such as managing my calendar and appointments.
It really wasn’t so bad. She reached out and got my clients to download a free video conferencing app. In general people were very understanding. It helped them stretch a little too.
Lastly, I’m a city girl and don’t drive… so once I realized it was too hot to be walking a mile to the bus stop, I got around to my Uber account.
So my advice, especially if you’re a member of the sandwich generation like myself, is to make sure your ‘business go bag’ has:
a smart phone with unlimited cellular data,
an Uber type account (which is much less expensive than taking cabs,)
a virtual assistant you’ve trained to be a ‘mini-me’ (bit by bit start delegating the scarier stuff NOW.)
If you have these things, you can probably even make due without the laptop, unless you do a lot of writing off-line… In which case go download Openoffice onto it immediately before you end up someplace without an Internet connection like I did…
Lastly but most importantly make sure you’re always cultivating the village! Thanks to neighbors and friends, my dogs are getting walked, the kid is staying reasonably occupied and thankfully, my husband has always been a Mensch.
That’s the other thing. You have got to train your partner to be your ally. But that’s another blog in and of itself.