Have you ever noticed how, when you hit your lowest, that is when you reach out and start trying to change and improve things? You hit rock bottom emotionally and you decide to start working out, meditating, going to therapy, and you sign up for three groups at church and buy five self-help books. (Granted, you never get to half of those books and finish none of them.) Or from a business perspective, you wait until you absolutely CANNOT tolerate your employee’s (or boss’s) disrespect and the stress they cause anymore, so you fire them (or quit) without any plan for what’s next or for dealing with the fallout of that rash decision. You create more stress on top of stress and set yourself up for failure.
What if, instead, in our strongest moments, we push forward into improving ourselves? Like ants planning for winter, we plan ahead, strengthen our bodies, minds and skills and pack our toolboxes full of tools that will help us when we hit those days when we are holding on by a thread.
I remember when the economy tanked so suddenly in 2008, our company had to lay off about half of our staff. It was heartbreaking, painful and scary. And though we certainly didn’t anticipate such a shift in the economy, it forced us to have an honest conversation with ourselves that we HAD been complacent. We hadn’t been marketing like we should because business was coming in through years of organic growth and previous marketing efforts. We were letting unproductive habits and employees remain in place because business was good and revenue was high. But when the economy shifted, perhaps we would not have been hit so hard or would have had more reserves to carry us through if we had kept improving and running the business in a healthy manner like we should have.
I also remember going through a really tough divorce. There were really good days, when I felt strong and capable of moving forward, and days when I was hanging on by a thread. I learned that trying to pull myself up by my bootstraps on my hard days wasn’t very effective. The most I could do on those days was stay my course and not make any decisions or take actions that would make things worse. But on my good days, I feasted on anything and everything that strengthened me. I meditated, I worked out, I ate well, and I listened to sermons and Ted talks that fed my soul. I found that strength made the bad days come less often and last for shorter time periods, and the habits I was forming began to show up on the hard days. It gave me a reserve of strength to pull from when I needed it.
It’s really a proactive approach versus a reactive approach to the natural ups and downs of life, in business and in your personal life.
So what can you do now, on your strong days, to make your business or yourself more stable? To be on a growth path, so when the hard days come, you are more resilient and capable of hanging in there? To make sure you’re packing your toolbox with tools to help you when a crisis comes?
If you aren’t sure, but want a plan, consider our VIP Strategy Day. You might be a fit if you are in the Building phase of your business, with little capital and resources at your immediate disposal, and you don’t know how or what to do. Or maybe you’re evolving by default vs. design and seeking a written, specific, measureable, attainable action plan – for every area of your business. Or you may just be ready to Grow Your Business without the snowballing overhead, time, budget and staff.