Monday, November 03, 2008

Motivational Monday

5 Ways To Thrive During Tough Times

by Jon Gordon

Budgets are tightening. Layoffs are coming. Competition is building. Fear is spreading. And uncertainty is growing.

Staying positive doesn't mean you ignore this reality. Rather it means you stay positive and take positive action in spite of this reality - regardless of how bleak the situation may seem. Now is not a time to close your eyes and go to sleep hoping that when you wake up it was all just a nightmare.

Now is a time to get back to basics, zoom focus on the fundamentals, grow your business, gain market share and seize the opportunity. Yes, opportunity. Despite what you have been hearing now is a great opportunity for you and your organization to create lasting success.

Study history and you'll find that a lot of people and organizations made a name for themselves and grew their businesses during recessions and downturns. These successful people and organizations all shared similar characteristics and took similar actions to thrive while others merely tried to survive. These success stories offer a blue print we can follow to thrive during tough times. They show us what is possible if we are willing to stay positive, repel fear, and take initiative.

In this spirit, here are five characteristics and actions you can take to thrive right now.

1. Refuse to Participate in the Recession - Businesses and people that thrived during past recessions continued to go about their business as usual regardless of the market conditions. They stayed positive, worked hard and focused on taking actions to grow their business. Focus on business as usual and while others allow fear to paralyze them you will charge forward and move ahead of your competition.

2. Increase Marketing and Advertising - It may seem counterintuitive to spend more money on advertising and marketing but with so many people and organizations cutting back on these expenses this is a great opportunity to build your brand, expand your presence and gain market share. People will still be buying goods and services and they will buy from those who they trust and see in the marketplace. This is a great time to win new customers and stand out.

3. Innovate - Just as the phoenix rises from the ashes, great ideas and new business ventures are born during economic hardships. GE, Disney, and Microsoft were all born during recessions. I believe when times are tough we are more open to new ideas, new products and new ways of doing things. For example, smart political and business leaders should be working on alternative energy and green technologies that would lead to great progress and profits.

4. Become a Talent Magnet - If you are a leader or manager there is no better time to find, attract and hire the best talent. Focus on strengthening your business now and you’ll be in a great position to capitalize when the market rebounds.

5. Think Big, Take Action - Consider that both the Empire State Building and the Golden Gate Bridge were built during the Great Depression. Now is a time to think big, create your vision and take action. With more people living in fear and fewer people taking initiative the rewards and recognition will be greater for those willing to work hard and dedicate themselves to building a great business, product, service, and vision. As we know, there is no substitute for hard work and now is a time where those with a positive attitude and great work ethic will shine.

How will you and your organization thrive during tough times? Join the conversation on our blog by posting your comments here.

Download these "5 Ways to Thrive During Tough Times" as a poster that you can print, display and share. (PDF document)

Stay Positive!


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