How do you stay motivated through business setbacks?
Happy Motivation Monday! I want to know how others deal with business disappointments. Feel free to share any specific examples.
I work for a small community newspaper. Compared to past years, our sales and contributions are down. I understand the market is changing and people prefer to get their news sent straight to their cellular phone.
Everyone copes with setbacks. How do you react?
I stay motivated by remembering myself why I do what I do.
I sense passion and a desire to contribute to the community through your work. How can you use these wonderful qualities to connect (with) people and explain the benefits of the simple gesture of buying the newspaper?
May I also suggest this article?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-chavern/why-buying-a-newspaper-ma_b_9809256.html (especially "The print parts still make money" part).
I hope this helps :)
I think that context is key. How you deal with business setbacks should mirror how you deal with life...I assume your life hasn't been perfect, so fundamentally understanding (and maybe working on) your nature to have a long view and understand that the view from the peak and from the valley will both pass and roll.
In terms of understanding print publishing, I worked in the industry for 25 years and with products that made millions. The days when people were declaring "print is dead" was over 10 years ago. Obviously that was an overstatement for effect but it is dying as opposed to growing. So you aren't so much talking about a setback as a sinking trend (even with occasional bumps up). I think you can take one of two tacks, you can go look for little peaks and try to hold water using nostalgia or print product innovation, utility and design or you can try to embrace (simultaneously) new opportunities to offer and merge digital products like community bulletin boards or social media with sponsorship (or other revenue ideas) etc.
The only thing you can't do is sit around feeling sorry for yourself. If it wasn't hard they wouldn't call it work.
Kelly, I stay motivated by looking at an A.B. Frost picture of a setter on point.
It reminds me to stay laser focussed. I believe in who I am and what I do, so it's a reminder to stay on task and directed to what I need to accomplish.
Roland also gave a terrific response which offers a great road map.
I like this question. Not one I have to think through often, because I react first.
I use the same approach I taught my children: 1. Still yourself, take 10 deep breathes. 2. Pray and ask for guidance from God. (my older insists that it is the universe, I accept her understanding) 3. Pull out the paper (computers don't work here for me) look at your plan and pinpoint/define the challenges 4. Brainstorm for the solutions, pick the top 3 and 5. Implement in order.
I usually sit down, wait until my mind becomes clear and start looking for an opportunity to put my business in a correct, and sometimes, a new path.
We know, there are lots of opportunities around us and we can't be blind because of a setback. Go ahead.
I run a leading Digital Marketing agency in the UK called Odyssey New Media (odysseynewmedia.com).
Here is my list of top tips:
1) Analyse your sales/contributins setbacks - was it you or external circumstances
2) Can setbacks be avoided? - Can you avoid sales/contributions setbacks in the future, if so place actions to stop them recurring.
3) What else can you be doing? - are you pushing sales in all areas? e.g. digital marketing, search engines, social media etc. or are you waiting for business to come to you?
4) Set actions - Set actions to address the areas where you are weak and caused setbacks to occur
5) Don't dwell on setbacks, move forward positively - Ultimately setbacks will occur but its those that move forward and don't let it hinder them that often go the furthest and succeed.
I hope that makes sense. If you need any sales/digital marketing advice, please contact me. We offer consultancy as well as managed services to help businesses increase traffic, brand awareness, sales and leads.
MD @ Odyssey New Media
That's a great question. In my experience, the biggest challenge when dealing with setbacks is understanding the source of the problems and redefining them as temporary challenges. The key here is to look and think about it differently. Here are some suggestions based on personal experiences.
I started my second retail business and about a year into the business (still at pre-revenue and yet to breakeven) the financial crisis hit and I was left with all my inventory, hardly any sales let alone cover my expenses. I decided to stick with it for a while until such time when I realised this problem was not going away anytime sooner and I'd better "think differently".
Thinking Differently - The problem or challenges was caused by the economic climate which I had no control over and could not have anitcipated it - caught everyone off guard.
Tackling The Challenge - What are the options?
Shut shop, offload stock at cost or even take a loss, hold back and wait for a change or shift in the market or crash and burn.
The Decision Process - Impact and choices?
By looking at the prohlem as a challenge, I was able to minimise the impact on my finances - cancelling future orders, negotiating a wholesale agreement with other smaller outlets, dsmping down some of the stocks, closing down the unit and not forgeting, I still had unpaid bills and other costs.
The learning - In times of crisis, you need a cool head, and despite the difficulties, you still have to prioritise your actions.
Somehow, there is a blessing in every misfortune, but it takes a different thinking to get through it. I was able to grasp the key issues that had led to the problem, Ii also allowed me to learn about rrlated businesses and what others were doing differently to weather the storm.
If you have a team, do bring the team along with you, discuss the issues, brainstorm ideas and most importantly, show leadership by involving them in the decision making to ensure everyone understands the process and shares in your ideals - what is best for the business and it's people.
Hope this helps and feel free to connect if I can be of help.
Best of luck
I find one of the better way to deal with setbacks is to keep the dialogue going with the people who are still working with you and make a list of some of the things that worked well in the past.