The mortgage crisis, foreclosures, Iraq & Iran,
etc. seem to have quite a few people in a panic these
days. Many are
seeing the glass half empty and some are hunkering down, pulling back
from spending on their businesses and generally waiting for the sky to
fall. I agree there are signs that could signal a recession and I think
the spending of our government is out of control. I also have concerns
about what is happening to our environment and how that could affect us
in the long term. It’s only sensible to have appropriate alternative
strategies personally and for your business. But, are you using these
fears as an excuse for failure?
I remember many times over the
last 40 years that if I had let myself be restricted by the events out
of my control, I would never have gotten out of bed in the morning to
go to work. Very few businesses fail because of a poor market – but
lots of them fail because of poor marketing.
Too many people
seize on bad news as a reason to justify their lack of success and
their lack of even trying. When I first started in sales for 3M I was
given the worst territory in the region. It was a small county in
northwest PA that had been decimated by steel plant closings. If I had
listened to all the "smart guys" in the company I would have known I
could not succeed there. Instead, I went about meeting people and
talking to them about their businesses. We talked about the positive
attributes of the area. I got to know them as people and I built
And, you know what I learned during that time of
double digit inflation, double digit interest rates and double digit
unemployment? I learned life still happens! People still bought houses.
People opened new businesses. People still made things and people still
bought things. And, I learned that if I engaged in good marketing and
positive thinking, they bought from me. They bought enough for me to
set new sales records for the company out of that county that wasn’t
The salespeople and businesses that failed during those
challenging economic times bought into what other people were saying
about the market; they bought into a justification for failure. Don’t
fall into that trap! Next month – next year – there will be more
calamities (just listen to all the talking heads on the network news).
It’s how you think about them and the action you personally take that
will make all the difference.