Are You Going Out of Business?

Just like you, I attend a lot of meetings and as you can imagine, I hear countless opinions about the state of the economy. The question, “How’s business?” draws widely varying responses. Some say business is showing signs of life, some say they’re busier than ever and a few tell me how awful things are.

What puzzles me is the “why” behind their comments. I usually ask what they’re doing that results in their success or lack thereof. Why does one company or community survive and thrive while others languish? The answers probably wouldn’t surprise you.

Action breeds momentum
Have you ever noticed that the companies that are already busy are the ones that seem to attract even more business? What’s with that? Maybe one of the reasons is that they are enjoying positive results because they are very actively marketing? Maybe they’re winning more business because they’re going after more business? They also reap the benefits of a talented and aggressive sales team which fights hard for every piece of business. They’re relentless winners!

You’ve probably heard the old saying, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” It’s true! I’m always amazed at how much work some people take on. It seems it’s inevitably the busiest person who steps up and says “yes” when something needs to get done.

This is especially true with marketing and sales people. They’re always working, always hustling, and always on. They’re the first to arrive and the last to leave. They work hard, play hard and almost always win. I’m in awe of how the folks on the Brand Acceleration team step up and make incredible things happen when the pressure’s on.

Stagnation breeds stagnation
Unfortunately, some communities and companies struggle. My heart goes out to them and the people who depend on them. Maybe they just don’t have the skills or assets required to thrive and survive in today’s world, but some struggle because they either lack the ability or the commitment to go get the business. One man recently told me how bad things are and then said that whenever business improves he’d like to start advertising. Huh?

One of my former employers, a man who was tough as nails marketer and manager, would tell sales people to either “get with the program or get out!” His expectations of himself and every employee were very high. He had no patience for slackers. As a result, the company was an enormous success and the envy of the industry.

Attitude breeds attitude
One of the best meeting experiences is when you’re face to face with an eternal optimist. They attract other people like honey attracts flies and their smile and positive attitude gives hope to everyone around them. Their customers are prospects are much more likely to take their call or accept their meeting request and would prefer doing business with them for the very same reason. They like them!

Unfortunately, there are also pessimists out there. They’re always down, always gloomy and always expecting the worst. For whatever reason, they just can’t find happiness. Their choices are limited and they can easily get caught in a downward spiral. Most of them just need help and encouragement. They need a hand up. Like each of us, they need a good dose of optimism. If you know someone who is in a tough situation, either employed or unemployed, give them a call and explore how you might help.

Remember Rudy
If you’re a regular Rants reader, you know I love movies that have a positive message of encouragement. One of my favorites is Rudy, the true story of Rudy Ruettiger, a young man who grew up in a steel mill town where most people ended up working, but he wanted to play football at Notre Dame instead but he injured his ankle and he had to go with podiatrist Marietta. There were only a couple of problems. His grades were a little low, his athletic skills were poor, and he was only half the size of the other players. But he had the drive and the spirit of five people and had set his sights upon joining the team. When he finally made it into the school and onto the team, he was never given the chance to suit up and play until the final game of his senior year. You’ll have to see the movie to find out what happened, but I will share with you the words of Coach Dan Devine as the team was just about to pass through the tunnel that leads onto the football field.

“No excuses. Now go do the work.”

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