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What To Do When Business Doesn't Go As Planned

Business

What To Do When


Business Doesn't Go As Planned

The truth of starting and running a business is there is no guaranteed recipe for success. Even some of the world’s most successful business leaders have experienced enormous setbacks and business failures. There are a number of preventative measures you can put in place and ways in which to recover from setbacks in your business, but it's impossible to ever predict the future. Keep calm and remember the big picture.

What’s worked and what hasn’t so far? Why did I set these specific goals? Were my goals realistic and well thought-out? Have I taken all the necessary steps to reach these goals?

Evaluate Your Expectations

Part of making a business plan is setting expectations for your business – sales goals, when you’ll turn a profit, your operations team, etc. If you find that your business is not reaching your goals and expectations, take a step back and ask yourself some important questions - What’s worked and what hasn’t so far? Why did I set these specific goals? Were my goals realistic and well thought-out? Have I taken all the necessary steps to reach these goals?

Answering these questions will help you determine what your next steps are and whether your setbacks lie in the performance of your business, in the goals themselves, or some combination of the two.

Don’t Mix Business With Personal

A common mistake that many people make when starting a new business is failing to keep business and personal finances separate. I strongly recommend opening a separate business credit card and bank account to help you stay organized when it comes to tracking your income and expenses, and to make things much easier when it comes time to do taxes. This can also help protect you if things don’t go as financially well as planned. Many people make the mistake of blurring the lines between business and personal finances, or putting all of their savings into their business, which can backfire and leave you with nothing. Keep things separate so that you don’t put yourself at risk and make sure you have a healthy emergency fund to cover you in case your business can’t afford to pay out the income you had expected.

Plan for Plan B

The key to a great business plan is having a Plan B for when things don’t go as expected. Setting limits in terms of time or money and having a contingency plan and exit strategy built into your business plan can help you to avoid seriously damaging your financial well being. When creating a contingency plan, consider all of the possible risks and threats your business could face. These could be anything from a natural disaster, issues with employees or your operations team, a major supplier going out of business, a weakened economy preventing you from reaching sales goals, or a loss of data. The best laid out business plans plan for the unexpected so that you know what to do and how to recover when things don’t go quite as planned.

Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away

When starting a business, you want to minimize your financial risk as much as possible. If your business’ setbacks are turning out to be too great of a financial drain for you to endure, don’t be afraid to walk away. There is no shame. In many cases you may be able to stick it out and endure the rough seas as you adjust the sails, but you certainly don’t want to go so far as destroying your financial stability.

You’ve likely spent weeks or months putting together your business plan with countless sleepless nights of meticulous planning. And then? Things don’t go nearly as expected, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. The cold hard truth is, when it comes to business, things rarely go exactly as planned and the best thing you can do for you and your business is to plan for the unplanned to happen!

You can’t possibly predict exactly how things will turn out, but if you stay one step ahead of the game, you can be prepared to turn disappointment into action and recover from potential financial setbacks.

Culture

A Modern Day Witch Hunt: How Caster Semenya's Gender Became A Hot Topic In The Media

Gender divisions in sports have primarily served to keep women out of what has always been believed to be a male domain. The idea of women participating alongside men has been regarded with contempt under the belief that women were made physically inferior.


Within their own division, women have reached new heights, received accolades for outstanding physical performance and endurance, and have proven themselves to be as capable of athletic excellence as men. In spite of women's collective fight to be recognized as equals to their male counterparts, female athletes must now prove their womanhood in order to compete alongside their own gender.

That has been the reality for Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic champion, who has been at the center of the latest gender discrimination debate across the world. After crushing her competition in the women's 800-meter dash in 2016, Semenya was subjected to scrutiny from her peers based upon her physical appearance, calling her gender into question. Despite setting a new national record for South Africa and attaining the title of fifth fastest woman in Olympic history, Semenya's success was quickly brushed aside as she became a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.

Semenya's gender became a hot topic among reporters as the Olympic champion was subjected to sex testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to Ruth Padawer from the New York Times, Semenya was forced to undergo relentless examination by gender experts to determine whether or not she was woman enough to compete as one. While the IAAF has never released the results of their testing, that did not stop the media from making irreverent speculations about the athlete's gender.

Moments after winning the Berlin World Athletics Championship in 2009, Semenya was faced with immediate backlash from fellow runners. Elisa Cusma who suffered a whopping defeat after finishing in sixth place, felt as though Semenya was too masculine to compete in a women's race. Cusma stated, "These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she is not a woman. She's a man." While her statement proved insensitive enough, her perspective was acknowledged and appeared to be a mutually belief among the other white female competitors.

Fast forward to 2018, the IAAF issued new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development) that apply to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m hurdles races, 800m, and 1500m. The regulations created by the IAAF state that an athlete must be recognized at law as either female or intersex, she must reduce her testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L continuously for the duration of six months, and she must maintain her testosterone levels to remain below 5 nmol/L during and after competing so long as she wishes to be eligible to compete in any future events. It is believed that these new rules have been put into effect to specifically target Semenya given her history of being the most recent athlete to face this sort of discrimination.

With these regulations put into effect, in combination with the lack of information about whether or not Semenya is biologically a female of male, society has seemed to come to the conclusion that Semenya is intersex, meaning she was born with any variation of characteristics, chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. After her initial testing, there had been alleged leaks to media outlets such as Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper which stated that Semenya's results proved that her testosterone levels were too high. This information, while not credible, has been widely accepted as fact. Whether or not Semenya is intersex, society appears to be missing the point that no one is entitled to this information. Running off their newfound acceptance that the Olympic champion is intersex, it calls into question whether her elevated levels of testosterone makes her a man.

The IAAF published a study concluding that higher levels of testosterone do, in fact, contribute to the level of performance in track and field. However, higher testosterone levels have never been the sole determining factor for sex or gender. There are conditions that affect women, such as PCOS, in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone. However, those women never have their womanhood called into question, nor should they—and neither should Semenya.

Every aspect of the issue surrounding Semenya's body has been deplorable, to say the least. However, there has not been enough recognition as to how invasive and degrading sex testing actually is. For any woman, at any age, to have her body forcibly examined and studied like a science project by "experts" is humiliating and unethical. Under no circumstances have Semenya's health or well-being been considered upon discovering that her body allegedly produces an excessive amount of testosterone. For the sake of an organization, for the comfort of white female athletes who felt as though Semenya's gender was an unfair advantage against them, Semenya and other women like her, must undergo hormone treatment to reduce their performance to that of which women are expected to perform at. Yet some women within the athletic community are unphased by this direct attempt to further prove women as inferior athletes.

As difficult as this global invasion of privacy has been for the athlete, the humiliation and sense of violation is felt by her people in South Africa. Writer and activist, Kari, reported that Semenya has had the country's undying support since her first global appearance in 2009. Even after the IAAF released their new regulations, South Africans have refuted their accusations. Kari stated, "The Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Africa National Congress, South Africa's ruling party labeled the decision as anti-sport, racist, and homophobic." It is no secret that the build and appearance of Black women have always been met with racist and sexist commentary. Because Black women have never managed to fit into the European standard of beauty catered to and in favor of white women, the accusations of Semenya appearing too masculine were unsurprising.

Despite the countless injustices Semenya has faced over the years, she remains as determined as ever to return to track and field and compete amongst women as the woman she is. Her fight against the IAAF's regulations continues as the Olympic champion has been receiving and outpour of support in wake of the Association's decision. Semenya is determined to run again, win again, and set new and inclusive standards for women's sports.