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What is Your Reaction to Adversity?

Very often over the last couple of years I have referenced Kit Grant's messages. Kit delivers messages in a straight forward, "tell it as it is" kind of way ... and I like that.

One of his recent messages was about people's reaction to the current turmoil in the economy.

We can talk about it, worry about it, and many people will be transfixed by it ... paralyzed because they don't know what to do. They worry that their business will fail! They worry that they will get laid off! They worry that their client's won't spend! They worry that their project might get cut! They worry, worry, worry.

This kind of reaction is worse than insanity! As you may remember from my Bob's Rules blog entry ... insanity is doing the same things, but expecting different results. In this case, your external environment has changed ... so, you MUST do things differently or your results will be worse!

What do I mean by doing things differently?

1. If you are a salesperson ... you need to work harder and smarter than your competition. You need to be out talking to your clients MORE than normal, you need to be bringing MORE value than normal. I wrote a blog entry about selling staffing solutions in a recession, many of the principles apply to any business.

2. If you are a business owner there are many things you can be doing ... see #1 above, because you are a salesperson too. I write a blog entry about Managing Through a Downturn a little while ago, referencing some work by John Izzo that you might find useful.

3. For the average employee the best message i can give you during tough times is to bring as much value to your employer as you possibly can. Work a little harder, work a little longer, have a positive attitude, look for ways to bring value and NOT cause your employer problems. IF the economy deteriorates to the point where layoffs happen, you want to be the LAST person picked!

We are starting to see projects impacted by the economy ... mostly new projects being postponed, some spending restrictions and hiring freezes. Nothing dramatic, just a prudent "tightening of the belt". It may not get any worse than this ... but ALL of the advice here applies right now. There is nothing wrong with adopting good habits ... just because!

Here is what Kit had to say in his newsletter ...

"There is little difference in people but the real difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative." ... W. Clement Stone.

Are we all going through tough economic times right now? Oh, yeah! So, how will you handle it?

It's amazing to watch and listen to people's reactions. First there is a mild sense of worry, followed by the apparent need to identify someone else to blame, followed by an increasing sense of panic or submission to "circumstances beyond their control".

Well, maybe it's not your fault and of course, you're not in control of every circumstance.

You do have control over your reaction, so the real question is "What are you going to do about it?"

You can join the doom and gloom crowd or you can ride it out and take some different actions to handle the current crisis.

I'm not folding up my tent and hiding but will take some different steps in the coming months to ensure the business prospers and not just survives. Our GOLD Member numbers continue to grow as more people recognize the value in hearing a positive message each month that can improve their situations. We do NOT pretend there is no problem, we just handle it differently.

During tough times, you can lead, follow or get run over. What's your plan?