One of our healthcare portfolio companies was distracted and anxious this week over a potential issue related to cash-flow and so I reminded them about this quote from Lao Tzu:

“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

Clearly no company can avoid potential issues related to cash flow but my advice was to focus only on getting a prioritized and organized to-do list rather than worry about something that may or may not happen.the power of now

Years ago someone I respect a great deal told me to read “The Power of Now”, they told me to take it one step at a time and concentrate on what you can accomplish in this moment, and focus only on getting just this one item finished.

a) List everything that needs to be done.
b) Prioritize that list by your goals (in this case driving cash into their company)
c) Focus on the items at the top of the list. Remember to first tackle the quick wins as these make it easier to achieve and you get an immediate sense of accomplishment. Next avoid distractions and work on on the harder items from the top of the list.

As an extra tip, when I find it hard to concentrate I find it valuable to focus for 45 minutes and then take a break for 15 minutes – give this a try.

When you establish a company being able to get a structured, prioritized and organized to-do list and focus on the key issues will get you through many difficult times.