From the May 2002 issue of Startups

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly life can throw me for a loop. This morning, I left my house in sandals--not an unusual occurrence in Southern California--and by 9 a.m. it was pouring rain. Now, here it is 2:30 in the afternoon, and the sun is shining.

And that's just the weather. Not that we consciously think about it every day--at least I hope not--but we wake up each morning not knowing whether we'll live to see dusk on that particular day. Anything can happen--a natural disaster, a car accident, a freak heart attack.anything.

The more cautious among us would know this and try to prepare for anything. Bring that umbrella in the car; have an emergency plan in place. This just makes good sense. Why is it, then, that we're often so unprepared when a real crisis happens?

I can't say I know the answer to that question. Perhaps we're all living in denial, thinking that nothing bad could ever happen to us, believing that the gods of good fortune will smile down on us no matter what. The question becomes particularly important in the context of entrepreneurship, when so much of your life is spent playing Russian roulette: You take a huge risk just in the act of starting a business, but being in business, by its very nature, means risking everything day in and day out.

Let's put it in concrete terms. If a fire were to strike in your home, where would that leave your business? You might have homeowner's or renter's insurance, but is your business insured? If it is, are you completely covered? Read all about this critical business topic in Home Zone; you might be surprised at the things you don't know about insurance.

But don't just think about insurance. It's clear that life can change in an instant, right? So make each and every moment count. Take the time to adequately prepare yourself for any kind of crisis, but don't forget to take the time to appreciate how far you've come in life. Instead of always thinking about the things you don't have--the impressive client roster, the beautiful mansion, the million-dollar bank account--think about all the things you do have. For one, you have your own business. And that's nothing to sneeze at.