Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Succeeding In Tough Times

Succeeding in Tough Times 
by Kyle Wilson

I've been noticing (and I'm sure you have to), while many companies and individuals might be struggling right now, that there is also a group of companies and individuals flourishing. I've also noticed there are some common characteristics found in these companies and individuals who seem to be doing well during some of these uncertain times. 

Here are five characteristics that stand out:

1) These companies and individuals operate from a win/win philosophy and inherently value their business relationships (customers, employees and vendors). When you understand and appreciate this principle it allows you to create and receive value both on a short- and long-term basis, as well as recognize and be in line for new opportunities that begin to present themselves.

2) These companies and individuals have an entrepreneurial mindset. Although it's true that when a boom is going on the entrepreneur is often leading the way, I've also noticed that when the water is high (things are going good), everything tends to even out (everyone seems to be doing well). But when it all starts to go south, it is then that entrepreneurs can rise more quickly and distinguish themselves. Their ability to take risks, be decisive, recognize and seize opportunity and to basically "create" allows them to find a way to make things happen.

3) These companies and individuals have an excellent work ethic and focus. In sports, if you were to ask, who in their respective sport has been a dominant figure, three immediately come to my mind: Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky. Beyond their remarkable ability and talent, there is also something about these three that help propel them to greatness—their fierce competitiveness and their incredible work ethic. How do you beat the most talented person in the world when they will also outwork you and have a "will to win" that is not to be exceeded? Well, the same is true in business. The top performers do not get complacent. They do not rest on their laurels. And they don't decide that because they are doing well or are on top that that is good enough. Their work ethic and drive to be their personal best has allowed previous victories and momentum to carry over into more success (even in difficult times).

4) These companies and individuals have made a commitment to succeed. Making a decision is the prerequisite to all successes. As Jim says, all good things are upstream, but the natural tendency is downstream. Commitment creates the mindset that allows us to face challenges, shut out negative circumstances and discomfort and then move upstream toward our goals.

5) These companies and individuals operate out of faith. Without faith it is impossible to take risk. Without faith it is impossible to make investments of time and effort in the present hoping for a future reward. And without faith it is impossible to make short-term sacrifices on a consistent basis. Faith allows you to be free to give and be your best, knowing that the reward will manifest itself sometime in the future. Faith also allows you to find the opportunity that often comes disguised in the form of a problem or challenge. While others are "missing it" or spending their time and energy complaining, the person/company of faith is identifying and seizing new opportunities.

Question: How do you rate yourself in these five areas above? I would estimate much of where you find yourself today could be directly related to how well you have fared the past few years with the five points above. The good news is today is a new day, a new opportunity. 

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