McBride for Business Blog

Are You Really Prepared for The Future? Advanced Planning Techniques for Assessing Your Preparation

January 3, 2017 // R. Shawn McBride // No Comments »

I speak about The 3 Laws of Empowerment – which is to prepare, plan, and protect ( The 3 Laws of Empowerment have turned out to be a valuable framework to analyze people’s plans, their ability to succeed, and their preparation.

The three laws are interconnected, and they’re a valuable way of figuring out whether we are where we need to be.

Let’s start with a plan. When we are in the planning stage, we start with a vision of the future and a plan based on that. We assess preparations by asking to do the preparation for the plan allow the plan to unfold?

You don’t have to have everything done for your plan to work as the plan is obviously going to happen over time. The purpose of a plan is to give you a roadmap of how things are going to unfold and how things are going to come together. There’s definitely a timing element involved with the planning.

The preparation step is getting ready to start executing the plan. Now, we’ve talked about empowerment in other blogs (

The fact is each of us is uniquely empowered which allows us to set that course, to set that direction, and get there. In the preparation stage, what we want to do is accumulate base skills that allow the beginning of the plan.

We know that during the execution of the plan more skills are going to be acquired. Many plans are synergistic. As things start happening, you gain more and more power and ability. Part of the unfolding of the plan is that more and more activities are going to happen, skills are going to be built, and things are going to unfold. To determine whether you’ve properly prepared in the beginning, we need to look at what’s necessary to start the plan.

For instance, if you’re going to open a law office, one of your key preparation steps would be going to law school, because most states won’t license you unless you’ve graduated from law school.  A law degree is a necessary precursor. If you’re going to open a hotel, one of your preparation steps would be having appropriate investment contacts because typically you’re going to need money to pay for the hotel.

Preparing and planning is a continuum. So we start with the basic items that are needed to start the plan. Figure out where the plan starts (Day 1 of the plan), and figure out where you need to be. Once that is established, determine whether you’re prepared – have you built the bridges to get from where you are today to where you need to be to start the plan?

This is not simple. This is going to require detailed analysis and thinking. This is a great time to assess weak spots.

Throughout this process, you need to poke holes in your preparation strategy. Talk to wise advisers, other people in the business world and other people that have been successful and explain your plan to them.

Figure out where your holes are in the preparation. Run some “what if” testing. What if one of my steps in preparation, doesn’t happen? Where does that leave me? How do I find my path forward? Even more of the doomsday scenarios, what happens if some of my preparations fail? Can I still execute my plan? Allocate your resources accordingly.

What’s been your experience with preparation in the past? Have you been fully prepared for the plans you’ve executed? Have you had good or bad experiences with them? Join us in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.


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This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein.  This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique.  Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. 


About the Author

Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment (, gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at or (214) 418-0258.


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