5 PR Lessons From a Broken Limb

Life hands you lessons from time to time that force you to understand that you can’t do it all, you don’t have all the answers, and you are not in control.

This summer didn’t turn out quite the way I had planned. Just when it was kicking into full gear, I broke my leg and ankle. Be warned: tripping over a log can do that to you.

I had a lot of plans for the rest of the summer that I had to shelf for future “sunny” days. So instead of pursuing any more adventures, I’ve juggled quiet moments of reflection with problem solving the recurrent dilemma of how to get from point a to point b. (My driving leg is currently in a rehab boot.)

As with any life event, this occasion offers PR lessons. But before I get into those lessons let me offer that proactive planning is smart for business, even if everything does NOT go according to plan. So what do we do when our well-thought-out plan veers in the wrong direction?

1) Prepare – Every plan should come with Plan B. Enough said.

2) Accept – Denial will get you nowhere. If you don’t have a Plan B, put one together in quick order.

3) Emote – It’s okay to be frustrated, mad or even sad. Be visceral: shout, cry or laugh maniacally.  Once that’s over, channel your emotion into something constructive. Like building or acting on Plan B. 

4) Focus on the Positive – You already know what didn’t work. Take the opportunity to relish what did. Also consider the good things that happened as a result of the bad, or unplanned, incident.

5) Ask for Help – People are happy to help – all you need to do is ask. When it comes to business, asking for help or another person's perspective can support your quest to put together a plan that is better than the original. 

I’ve learned a lot of lessons from my broken limb. Key among them is that people are compassionate. Equally as important is the need to move forward with plans, while being alert to potential obstacles. And finally, planning is really great, and a lot of fun. But for every plan, there must be an alternate plan – a Plan B.

Which in my case was enjoying summer in a more relaxing fashion than I had planned: from my back patio, with my foot propped atop pillows, and flanked by my devoted pets... Henry the cat and Sally the dog. 


Not part of my summer plans... 

Not part of my summer plans... 

Me spending a lot of time at home was not a part of their summer plans... but they were happy to share the patio with me, anyway.