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Tough times, Gritty Entrepreneurs

I thought I would share an extract from the recent article I wrote for the community newspaper. I trust it is of some encouragement to you.

Tough times; Gritty entrepreneurs.

I hear people talking about the times we live in as being strange, frightening and unusual. Certainly, as a mature person (that means just over 60), I cannot recall a time when the world has faced a similar challenge. Small businesses are facing tough times that impact hugely on their lives.

I want to share 5 thoughts regarding identifying how the opportunity within a crisis could benefit your business.  Before I do that, however, I want to encourage you regarding the value of choosing a right attitude.

We can become drained as we struggle with a bad news overload. This may blunt a resilience of attitude required to navigate the journey ahead.

Here’s what a writer, “Charles Swindoll, had to say about attitude.

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.  Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.  It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, say or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.  It will make or break a company… a church… a home.  The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we embrace for that day.  We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes”

Here are 5 things to consider that may add to your grit in navigating the journey.

  • Focus on the facts when considering the news. The authorities take the impact of “fake news” so seriously, that spreading the same is seen as a crime which could result in serious consequences.  I remember the wise words of a past financial mentor, “What are the facts?”.  Make sure that the quality of your decisions around managing your business is based on solid facts.
  • Play to your strengths and what makes your business different or unique.   The traditional model for growth holds that we should focus on those areas we are weakest. The strengths model holds we should focus on the areas we are strongest in. It doesn’t say we should dismiss or down- play managing weaknesses, but rather play to our strengths.   “What’s more, we had discovered that people have several times more potential for growth, when they invest energy in developing their strengths instead of correcting their deficiencies.” – Tom Rath.  Remember too that you can tilt the field towards what makes your business offering unique, but you need to work on this consistently.
  • Ask what hidden opportunities may be found within the challenges .  The front page of a newspaper only had 4 articles on the Corona virus, nothing else….except one advertisement a plumbing/electrical service provider- who proactively demonstrated they were prepared to serve in a most hygienic way. That’s seeing opportunity!
  • Consider innovative ways of delivering on your value proposition. All schools have closed this week in response to the crisis. School boards and teams are working hard on building capacity to deliver learning online. My wife’s school is at the point where this could strengthen rather than detract should the need arise.
  • Turn up the relational dial with your customers and clients. Social distancing has already been put in place and many obvious points of connecting with customers and clients are now heavily restricted or even removed.  How about exploring valid ways to strengthen your relationship with your clients? What social media platform can you leverage for this purpose? Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t.

 

Finally, “A crisis can be a jump forward or a leap backward, depending on your attitude.”

 

Here’s to gritty entrepreneurs.

 

Steve.

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