The first strategy is to become a leader. People in challenging times are looking for leaders. If you hope to create the success you want in your life you must be willing to stand for what you believe. It’s easy to try to become a follower of others in the industry in challenging times. Going along with the crowd will not provide you with the success you desire. You must stand for what you believe and advocate why what you believe is the best course of action for you and your organization. How would you define leadership in your market? Would this position in the market allow you to use your own strengths, gifts, and life experiences?
The second strategy is being willing to see opportunities where others see only challenges. Many great organizations have been founded during tough times because people like you chose to seize new opportunities instead of seeing only difficulties. Moving first can provide you with the needed edge to create a breakthrough organization. Times of change like we see today create trials but also incredible opportunities for the person who is positive about managing change and willing to take risks. You must train yourself to see opportunities and then ask yourself how you might leverage your resources to seize these new opportunities.
There are many additional resources available to you during these trying times. To seize opportunities, you need to develop better judgment and decision making capabilities. I’ve seen many entrepreneurs successfully add great people and businesses to their organizations during economic downturns. These mergers and acquisitions have helped their organizations achieve breakthroughs that their old organizations could only dream of.
The third strategy is not to do what others do. Look at how your peers do business and decide if they are doing it the best way. It’s easy to go along with the crowd on big trends. The question is, do these new trends serve your ultimate purpose? Will they resonate with the people in your markets? If you do what everyone else does, you get average results. You’re one of the crowd. Many of my best clients have made a good living by being contrarians. When their market leaders go one way, they go the other. If low price is the key strategy for their industry they charge more, significantly more. They have discovered that in a price war ultimately nobody wins. So for their small businesses, they choose to spend more time creating an incredible experience for their clients than trying to uncover the ways to produce a cheaper service. Most of my best clients have decided to create many of the more expensive products and services for their markets. They believe it’s a more sustainable business model. Judging by their results today and the recessions they grown through in the past they are on the right path.
Over the next several blogs we will discuss each of these strategies in more detail. I will share with you different ways of succeeding in challenging times.