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Adversity Edition, Business In Case of Emergency: Aviate, Navigate & Communicate


By: Karen Brook •  4 years ago •  




am a pilot and have grown up around aviation. I have been flying around outback Australia with my Mum and Dad since I was a baby. Our plane was our mode of transport. It was more ‘normal’ to get in the plane and fly 30 minutes to a sports carnival than it was to jump in the car and make the two-hour road trip. I got my own private pilot’s license in 2012, at a time when my own branding and design business was doing it tough. If it wasn’t for learning to fly, I would never have had the desire or knowledge of how to turn it around. I could see very quickly the synergies between learning to fly and running a thriving, profitable business.

Let me explain…

When you are a pilot there are three little words that pretty well sum up the whole process of flying and being a good, safe pilot: “Aviate, Navigate and Communicate”.

“Aviate” means to fly the aircraft first, always be in control of your aircraft, before you think about anything else. In terms of business, we can think of this as always being in control of your business. If you don’t feel like you are, then what needs to happen to take back that control?

Once we feel we are safely flying the aircraft, we then “Navigate”. This is about situational awareness; knowing where you are and where you want to go, then setting an intention and a plan to get there. It’s true, sometimes our plans have to change. We have to try another approach, go via a different route but without that clearly defined goal of where we want to get too and why, we may be tempted to just throw our hands in the air when things get tough! That is the surest way to crash and burn, both the aircraft and your business!

The three basic principles of flying “Aviate, Navigate & Communicate” can be applied to any situation or circumstance.

And finally “Communicate”. This is all about letting people know your intentions. As a pilot, we make radio calls to let other people know who we are, where we are and what we are planning to do. But we don’t make these radio calls unless we are in control of the aircraft (Aviate) and we have some kind of plan (Navigate). In business, you can relate this to talking to your employees, your customers and your prospects.


Here’s how you can easily put these principles into practice in your own business:


  1. On a sheet of paper, write down exactly how you are currently experiencing a situation or circumstance. Describe it in all of its detail. This is where your mind is at. Your results always tell what is going on at a subconscious level in the mind. On another sheet of paper, write down exactly how you would like to be experiencing the situation or circumstance. Take and burn the negative and focus only on the positive written description you have made. Read and write it out every day. You are starting to reprogram your subconscious mind, through the power of repetition, to experience and expect a new result. This activity may sound simple but it is powerful. You are now taking back control of your thinking and organising your mind in line with the results you desire to experience.
  2. Express gratitude. Being grateful for what you do have sets up a powerful force to attract more good into your life. To form the habit of gratitude, every day for 30 days, sit down and write 10 things you are grateful for beginning with “I am so happy and grateful now that…”. Remember that you can express gratitude for things past, present and future. At the end of this activity, sit quietly for five minutes and ask for guidance from source and then send love to three people that might be bothering you. You will feel really good after this activity and it will set-up a powerful attractive force in your life.
  3. If your concerns are financial, stop putting things on your credit card! I learnt this the hard way. I once had upwards of $25,000 in credit card debt. It’s been years since I’ve used credit cards, and I now pay for everything in cash and have no credit card debt. It’s a great feeling to know you can do what you want, when you want, with your own money! To get out of the credit card cycle, first create yourself an ‘emergency account’ and build this account up to an amount you would feel comfortable with (for me it was $2000). The idea of this is that, if something was to happen or you needed money quickly you would have it and not have to put it on your card. It also gets you used to the idea of having money again. Once you have money in your ‘emergency account’, cut up your credit cards, and start paying them off. You may have to curb your lifestyle while you work on repayments, but it is worth it in the end.
  4. Following on the finances route, talk to your bank manager. If you have any business loans, make sure you are getting the best deal and be confident in your dealing with them. This is your business! Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Over my business career, I’ve got myself into many tricky situations and I was too embarrassed to ask for help. Stay in control and always be proactive.
  5. Keep a close eye on your bank account and your book keeping. It’s ok to have someone help you, but if money is tight then you need to have your finger on the pulse everyday! I’ve met so many people who are trying to improve their financial position but don’t want to look at their bank account or their books! Ask your bookkeeper or accountant to explain what the numbers mean to you if you don’t understand.
  6. Discover and set a clearly defined goal. Get creative! What do you really want? You are the Captain of your own life, so lock onto what you really want to create. A goal that is big, bold and beautiful will cause you to grow in your business, to bring more of yourself to the game, to innovate, to refresh and push. It will bring a dimension of creativity and inspiration to how you experience day-to- day life and give you the motivation you need to turn things around and keep on going.
  7. And finally, a word on time. There is no such thing as time management! You can only manage activity. Form the daily habit of writing down six goal achieving activities that you can do each day to move you in the right direction. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get through them all in the beginning, but this habit will quickly help you develop your ability to focus and identify what activities are most important in helping you reach your goal. You will quickly find yourself becoming calmer and more productive on a day-to- day basis.

Everything I have shared with you here comes back to being in control, knowing where you want to go and letting people know your intentions. The three basic principles of flying “Aviate, Navigate & Communicate” can be applied to any situation or circumstance. As you start to take control of your thoughts, feelings and actions in line with what you really want, your results will begin to change. Make sure your dominant thoughts are in line with what you want, then follow that through with positive action and you will transform not only your business, but your life! Now get back out there, it’s your time to fly!

Karen Brook is a leader, a connector, a facilitator, a motivator and a synthesizer of all that is around her. She is also an entrepreneurial expert, a results mentor, and someone who is truly focussed on converting thinking intro results. For more information, please visit

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