Being cautious in our lives (and our businesses) is a noble goal. Steering clear of things that will cause us pain (physically, psychologically, and/or monetarily) is always a good plan.
But, like everything else in our world, we can take it too far. Acting out of an abundance of caution it’s called, and it’s often defined as “precautions taken against a very remote contingency.”
In business (as in life), problems are always going to crop up. It makes sense to shield ourselves from the most common pitfalls. Things like using a sound, legal contract when conducting business, having appropriate insurance coverage, and following established norms and standards are all common sense policies to use when running a business.
While it’s good to have a contingency plan, taking things to the extreme and trying to protect against every conceivable pitfall, no matter how farfetched, is a recipe for disaster. We need some brain power to focus on our task. If we spend it all worrying about protecting ourselves from improbable events, our main focus will undoubtedly suffer.
Covering our butt is a good plan. Covering our butt “nine ways to Sunday” is quite likely a bridge too far.
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