“How do I protect my business during this pandemic?” “What do I need to be thinking about to make sure my business survives?” “What am I supposed to do now?” I’m sure you’ve asked yourself these things in the past few weeks. They are questions I’ve been getting all week. Clients, friends, family, and emails from people I don’t even know. It really made me stop and think this week. I want to make sure we all position ourselves to come out of these challenges “swinging” rather than just trying to pick ourselves up. Obviously, I don’t know what’s coming next. No one does, and if they say they do, they are full of it. It’s not that we’ve never faced a pandemic before, it’s that we’ve never seen it in an environment like this. Here’s what I do know: This too shall pass. I don’t know exactly when, I don’t know how, and I pray that the impact is as small as possible, but it will eventually end.
In studying history I’ve learned one thing: in times like this you have 3 types of people (aren’t there always 3 types of people in these things?). The first group “hunkers down.” They hoard supplies, board up their doors, and wait for the end. The second group panics. They binge watch the news, wonder where the next roll of toilet paper is coming from, and they play the blame game. The third type always seems to come out on top. They are the ones who recognize the gravity of the situation, decide to act responsibly, and realize the potential opportunity. I’m not talking about price gougers; I’m talking about the cool-headed business owners. People like you. You’re reading this because you’re choosing to figure it out. You’re asking yourself, and maybe others, questions like: How do I keep my business moving forward? How do I take care of my people? How do I help myself and others right now? How do I position myself to win when this is all over? Well, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to share with you the 5 things you need to evaluate and execute on in order to win during, and after this pandemic.
I’m going to go through each of these 5 things briefly, in this introduction, then over the next few weeks, I will take a deep dive into each of these areas. So without any further ado, let’s get rolling.
The first area you need to evaluate is your Attitude. Where are you mentally? Are you ready to tackle every day? Are you excited and looking for opportunity every time you open your eyes? Napoleon Hill once said, “In every adversity lies a seed of equal or greater benefit.” If you really think that over, you’ll begin to realize the truth in that statement. If you’re like me, you’ve seen many past adversities seemed to end up being to someone else’s benefit. When I did a real self-check is when I realized I hadn’t found the seed of equal or greater benefit in past adversities because of my attitude. The late, great Zig Ziglar put it this way, “It is your attitude, not your aptitude that will determine your altitude.” Your outcome during and after the current global situation will LARGELY be determined by the attitude that you approach it with.
The second thing to evaluate is your Association. Jim Rohn once said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” No, I’m not talking about your wife and 3 children that you’ve been locked in the house with for 3 weeks! I’m talking about who you talk with regularly. Who do you mastermind with? Who do you allow to pour their words into your mind? Are they only talking about the doom and gloom of the current situation? Are they helping you brainstorm ideas on how to position yourself, now and in the future, to win? I would encourage you to collaborate with colleagues, business partners, trusted friends that are positive. Start a mastermind of positive, successful business owners in your city (virtually, of course). And remember, “Whatsoever a man sows, that he shall also reap.” So, if you want a group of positive, like-minded, solution-oriented people surrounding you, choose to be that first. J
The third thing to think through is what are the strengths of your Advisors. We all have our own zones of genius, or areas of expertise that our skills allow us to excel (define this). There are also areas that may be necessary, but don’t make sense for us to invest our time or mental energy. Don’t forget, those are two resources that we all have in finite amounts. Choosing where to invest yours, and where to engage the appropriate advisors is critical. (define advisor more clearly here) If your strength is in guiding clients during challenging legal situations, does it make sense to invest your focus and time into marketing, or payroll, or coordinating office supplies? Of course not! In my experience, when these things that are necessary, but not my zone of genius are completed by advisors that I trust, I can be ten times more productive. Ask yourself, do you have those advisors in place, for areas that aren’t your zone of genius? Can you trust them to be partners in the success of your business? Are they contributing ideas to help you maximize the opportunities they see? Putting the right people in the right places is a vital key to the long term success of your business.
The fourth area to assess is the quality and clarity of your Plan. This is where the old adage of “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” couldn’t be more true. Obviously, there’s no way to have a contingency for everything during a time with unprecedented challenges. However, do you have a plan at all? What is your plan for the next month? How are you getting in touch with your clients? How are you building relationships with your clients? How are you showing your clients that you are their trusted advisor? These are all questions that should be laid out in your “during” plan. When everything outside of your control may be in a state of chaos, you can choose whether you have a plan for those things inside of your control. Also, what’s your plan when things begin to get back to “normal”? Or, more likely, when the world settles into a new normal. Wait, did you think everything would be the same? No way. So what’s your plan? It’s crucial you have one
Now that you’ve evaluated and executed on your Attitude, Association, Advisors, and you now have a Plan… Well, Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” This is where systems come in. John Maxwell said, “Systems help us move forward, to go as far as we possibly can.” Once you have a plan, you know where you’re going, and it’s time to put in systems. Whether it’s systems for building relationships with existing clients, systems for marketing, systems for payroll and balance sheets, they all have the same impact. They allow your business to continue to grow, thrive, and succeed. If you want your business to grow to heights you never dreamed possible, you must have systems in place to make that happen!
I know I’ve only scratched the surface of each of these 5 areas. That’s why, in the coming weeks, new posts will be going up so we can take a deeper look at each of these areas. I invite you to use these to evaluate yourself and your business. Think through what areas could use some tweaking. Make a plan, and commit to executing that plan. I am looking forward to taking the journey through each of these areas together. I know times are challenging, and they are changing by the minute. However, if you stick with me over the coming weeks, we can all position ourselves to come out on the top and thrive!
If you need someone to brainstorm with, or are looking for a mastermind group of growth oriented professionals, shoot me an email at [email protected] and I’m happy to help!