I admit it. I’m a W.I.M.P., but not the kind who is afraid of doing things. In my case, this is the euphemistic acronym for being a “What If” Master Planner. I’m in the habit of making contingency plans. Sometimes, it frustrates my family because I don’t ever pack light. They tease me about all the extra stuff “we don’t need” until they suddenly do need something. Guess who they turn to on a hike when they feel a blister coming on? Yes, I carry a blister kit in my backpack.

That might be expected, but there are a few “What If” items that may surprise you. This week, I’m cross-country skiing, and I keep a butter knife in my backpack. It’s not there in case I find a baguette in the mountains. I’ve discovered it’s the perfect tool to push packed snow out of my shoe clip so I can get my skis on when it’s a powder day.

Having the right “What If” tools for business is just as important. When I speak at an event or conference, I anticipate what to do in case things don’t go as planned. If the technology isn’t working, I’ve got alternative ways to illustrate my points. If the event is running long before I get on stage, I know exactly how to cut my presentation without the audience feeling short-changed. If people are hesitant to ask the first question, I offer something irresistible to get the ball rolling.

What are your W.I.M.P. tools or habits that help you deal with unexpected situations?