A host of external factors can impact the well-being of your business. As is often said "there are things over which you have no control." Amen! If you can't do anything about it, STOP WHINING, it won't make things better. Ah but whine you do, woe is me, the economy stinks, if only they would... Enough about them, enough about the economy, the environment, the world. What are YOU doing about it?
Negativity like positivity consumes energy. The former depletes energy whilst giving you little in return; the latter provides benefits that match or exceed the energy you expend. Which do you think is a better use of your limited time and effort? I know, you're thinking what difference can it make if everything around you stinks. Are you saying you stink too? It's time to revisit just how much control YOU have over YOUR situation. And please, you do not stink!
A Lesson From the Sea
Imagine your business is a ship sailing on the open seas. Despite your best efforts you find yourself entering a storm and turning back isn't an option. In addition to yourself you have a crew of 8 (your employees) and cargo, which is to be delivered to a company 2000 miles away (your customer). At a time like this you might say "damn, mother nature" but rest-assured she isn't listening. You quickly realize that bitter complaints won't work and more importantly, taking no action may well mean the loss of your business (and in this case possibly far more).
Consider the impact and the reach of your business. For you it's the fulfillment of your dreams, for your family it's the means to a substantive life. To your employees it's many things, many of which you cannot conceive of or understand. To your customers it's the ability to obtain goods that are not otherwise available, perhaps even their survival depends on it. Survival is instinctual but it goes way beyond that- the impact that your business has on so many is compelling enough to move you to action.
At a time, such as this you must be a leader unlike at any other time. Your crew is looking to you, trusting in you to provide guidance and calm. In turn you look to your crew to employ their skills, resources and stamina like never before. While the storm rages around you, you realize that you, your crew and your ship are working in tandem and that while the task is daunting, you realize that together you're doing the very best you can possibly do.
When the dawn arrives the next day the seas have dropped, the sun peeks through the clouds and though you're only 20 miles of the desired 250 miles closer to your destination and your ship has incurred minor damage, you're pleased to note that you, your crew and cargo are fine. In fact, you sense that this experience has invigorated everyone and an even greater sense of comradery envelops your team. You believe there's not an obstacle that you can't overcome.
The lesson to be taken away is this: there are things over which you have no control and they may impact your business. What matters is that you have choices. You can whine and assign blame, you can permit these things to impact you as they will or you can choose to do the best you can do despite them. You'd be surprised just how many people select option 1 or 2 (believe me, I've worked with them); perhaps you're one of them.
Come tomorrow I'll be riding fair winds on a following sea; I hope I'll see you there.