In every situation (yes, e-v-e-r-y situation), there are as many opportunities as there are threats.
Right now, the message I’m telling our clients is this:
It’s is in times of crisis, more than in times of economic buoyancy, new millionaires are created.
Why? Simply put, emerging situations create an abundance of new opportunities to help and support other people AND most people are too busy wringing their hands in panic to notice.
As I mentioned last week’s blog, your perspective is everything. Your perspective dictates your response to the things that are happening around us. At the extremes, we see the world from either a perspective of doom, gloom, woe is me and/or the world owes me a living OR we see external events as happening for our benefit and so we’re more able to find opportunities that are right in front of us.
Your perspective predetermines where you’ll put your FOCUS.
Are you focusing your energy on bemoaning the closed doors of your current situation or hunting for the open ones?
Are you focused on merely surviving our current economy?
OR… are you focusing all your efforts and energy into THRIVING through our current economy?
It is absolutely possible to thrive during this time. The secret is to follow the ONE course until you’ve made it.
So what is this ONE course?
It’s deceptively simple.
The ONE course is… look after yourself first.
When you are on a plane, during the safety instructions, we are instructed to fit the mask on ourselves first, before helping other people. Thankfully, I’ve never been on a plane where I’ve been required to put on a mask. However, that instruction makes complete and utter sense to me. I CANNOT and WILL NOT be of any use to anyone else if I’m unconscious.
As a business owner, we are being called louder and clearer to stand up and lead the people within our charge more than we’ve ever done before. There is a lot of fear, uncertainty, pain and worry around us right now, as evidenced by the inexplicable behavior that many people are displaying, like fighting in supermarkets and hoarding of basic supplies.
The truth is, you’ve likely felt those feelings too. The reality is there wouldn’t be one of us that haven’t or aren’t having those same feelings at times. However, we are being called to embrace what Franklin D Roosevelt said:
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.”Franklin D Roosevelt
The something that is more important than our own fear is to be the light in the darkness around us.
We are being called to be a strong and courageous leader of our people. Not to pretend we don’t have fear, but acknowledging our fear and then making the very conscious choice every day (maybe every minute) to rise above it.
We can only do this if we are looking after ourselves first. More than ever it is crucial as business owners that we are:
For many business owners these practices are not their highest priorities. (This is evidenced by the fact that many business owners do not do any or all of the above). The only way we can make these things a priority is to link them to what, for many, is their highest priority – the greater success of the business itself.
It is very difficult for us to be the light in the darkness if we are feeling unfit, tired, stressed or lonely. More likely we’ll display grumpiness, impatience and frustration.
Making being fit, healthy, energetic, full of vitality and passion a priority will then enable us to focus on the one (and only one) area of the business that we MUST be focused upon.
That focus is looking after and providing leadership to our people.
While it’s always been prevalent, I’m seeing it more than ever before. Business Owners are focusing on keeping customers happy, worried about what’s happening in their business and maybe focusing, if they’ve got any time or energy left, on providing strong leadership to their team.
The following leadership cycle reminds us that the business owner/manager’s one focus is looking after the team. If we are doing that properly and well, the team will look after our customers. We will have a team of customer-centric players, whose one and only focus will be ensuring that our customer’s wants and needs are not only being met but exceeded.
When this is happening, our customers will ensure that the business requirements are being met and then and only then will the business be giving us, the owner what we want from it.
Our business will then be working for us rather than us working for it, our team and our customers.
The 8th point, I added to my list above, is that we as business owners and managers must also be getting coached in people management and leadership. Most business owners are the best in their specific technical field (eg builder, accountant, doctor). Very few however have ever been taught how to manage and lead people. They are two completely different skills sets, but leading people is a skill that can be learned. Now is that time.
In the last week I’ve been told by business owners, “Oh, I’ll wait until things start to improve before I do that. We need to tighten our belt”.
My perspective (and therefore my response) to these people is, “Yes, indeed we need to be wise with our money. However, if we wait for things to improve before we start making improvements to our leadership, our processes and/or our business, then we will have missed the boat.”
Things will turn around again. Nothing lasts forever. Even the coldest winter becomes the rebirth of spring. We maybe in deepest economic winter of our lifetime, but it will turn. Will you be ready to hit the ground running, or will you be one of the businesses that will inevitably be lost?
I don’t know about you, but I know what half of the equation I want to be on.
Here at Kaibizzen, both Rob and I have the skills knowledge and experience that you need to be thriving in the coming economy. Rob will work with you to ensure that you have the most helpful mindset and behaviours. I will work with you to ensure that you have the best strategy to help you move forward and both of us will work with you to hone your leadership skills and ensure you have the right team with the right skills doing the right job at the right time and that their focus is customer-centric.
If you’d like to know more about how Rob and I can help you and your business thrive in these times, reach out. We’d love to support you and your business to make these times, although challenging, the best thing that could have happened for you and your business.
What does it take to actually remove yourself from the day-to-day grind of business? Learn from our panel of Business Owners who've Been There, Done That.