A client turned me on to this tale:
Once upon a time, there was a farmer who owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops. As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals.
Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer.
"Are you a good farm hand?" the farmer asked him.
"Well, I can sleep when the wind blows," answered the little man.
Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him. The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man's work.
Then one night, the wind howled loudly in from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand's sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, "Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!"
The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, "No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows."
Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were barred. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down.
Nothing could blow away. The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while the wind blew. (from Purpose Focus Committment)
Why did I tell this story? To underline the truth that a lot of life is simply about being prepared.
The farmer realizes that the only reason his hired hand could sleep well was that he was prepared for anything, including the worst. And that preparation can only be done proactively, not reactively.
Some of you may have been Boy Scouts. Their motto is "Be Prepared." Having been a Scout, I still regard preparation as the key to success, in efforts of all sizes.
As a remodeler, I came to believe that all the money to be made in a project is made before the project starts. If the plans and estimate are accurate, the scope of work is complete, the site assessment is sound, and you've incarcerated a contingency (because nobody is perfect), then your company will make the money it aimed to.
Skip those steps and you'll get blown away.