In business, there are so many things that we are taking control of. There are also things that we cannot control. If you’ve ever done a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis, you will know that often the threats (which are external) are often the things we cannot control. The Serenity Prayer probably says it best:
In life, there are simply some things we cannot control.
Whilst some things are out of our control – such as losing a job, a pandemic, change in Government regulations, poor health, competition setting up across the road from us – there is still an element of control. That control, I believe, is broken up into two areas:
Preparation Before the Event
This is often called “Risk Management” where you mitigate the effects of things which can go wrong. Insurance is a classic example. Having a Workplace Health & Safety plan is another. Decades ago when I was in my early 20’s I lost my job and it took a while to find something else. I vowed at that point to learn as much as possible to make myself more employable. Computers die, but if you have a good backup system, then that backup can mitigate any issues.
Maintenance of assets is reducing the likelihood of an issue. Taking control if you keep your car well-maintained and serviced, then there is less likelihood of a breakdown. Because you’re having the vehicle reviewed regularly, a good mechanic will alert you of potential upcoming problems and you can rectify before it even happens.
Another example is saving money ‘for a rainy day’. There will always come a time where sales are down, or an unexpected emergency expense comes up and having some cash behind you will not only alleviate the problem but reduce the stress.
I suggest you consider in your business what potential things can go wrong, and then put a plan in place to either reduce, eliminate or quickly manage that problem.
How to Handle the Event & Post Event
When anything adverse happens in our business we naturally get upset or stressed or even depressed. Having feelings is normal.
However, I believe you should ask yourself this question. ‘Can I do anything about this?’ If the answer is no, then please focus on not stressing about this occurrence. Focus on moving past it. This is taking control.
If you can’t control what is happening (or has happened) you can control what you do next/now. Look at the airlines in this Pandemic. Qantas has come up with their “Flight to Nowhere”. These flights are selling out quicker than any other flight. That is thinking out of the square and finding alternative solutions. I’m sure they don’t have anywhere near as many flights as before, but it’s still doing something. Other businesses are doing similar. I recall a sign once where a hairdressing salon had a competitor set up over the road and advertised $10 haircuts. The original business then put up signs “We fix $10 haircuts”. Things change, but an entrepreneurial mind will find alternative solutions and fixes to almost any problem. If you are stuck, then talk to friends, associates or a business coach. Brainstorming solutions and different options may actually assist you in finding a brilliant new idea. “Invention is the mother of necessity” is another great expression.
So, if you have a challenge:
- Allow yourself to feel the emotion – but do this quickly.
- Then sit down and brainstorm ideas to rectify/fix/solve.
- Talk to others if you can – remember though that if you have a problem in your business, be selective on who you select and ensure that the discussions are confidential.
- Due your due diligence and research on your plan – to ensure it will work.
- Make a documented plan to implement the new idea.
- Include in your plan who will be involved, budgets and all the action steps needed.
- Begin action.
In life (and business) there will always be challenges, but my strong belief is that a challenge is an opportunity in disguise. So embrace these challenges in a more positive manner and strategize on how you can find a great solution.
If you would like help with a challenge or are interested in business coaching – give me a call on 0411 622 666.
In these current times, things are tough and I’m in no way making light of that. However, being stressed, frustrated or angry will not solve anything. If need be, find solutions to reduce that stress. Check out my Stress Busting Tips That Work ebook. Overcome the distress and look at taking your next steps forward. Look back to remember what not to do, but mostly look forward to see where you are going.