When times are difficult, or if you have a difficult experience, you need some perspective
As a business owner, you have the full responsibility for your business. This can be a difficult and stressful enough position when the times are good. it is even more difficult when there are bad times or events. During bad times, the responsibility weighs heavily on business owners. I understand why, some people will say it’s just money! Business owners know that it is much more than that, it is almost akin to the health of a child. I understand, but you also need to be aware that one event does not define, let me explain.
We are quickly approaching the New Year, it is a time when we look back and look forward. My year has been a mixture of sorrow and joy, one of loss and fulfilment. After the year started with a terrible personal tragedy, the after effects which we still feel. It has ended with some personal and professional success. It has taught me very clearly that one event is not the definition of a year.
On the 1st of January 2012 my family and I were awoken to an event that shattered our world. The ramifications of which still pervade our life. It would not be dramatic to say that I felt that I could barely go on. However, I had little choice, my family needed support and I decided to fall apart later.
I was away from work for nearly the entire month of January. I am very thankful for the support and breathing space given to me by the company during that period. It must have been very difficult for them because at the time we were in free fall because of logistical changes forced upon us. At a time where I needed to be out dealing with customers, re-assuring them and consolidating relationships I was nowhere to be seen.
I don’t think that I will ever forget January 2012. There was more difficult times to come, for several months we lived in interesting times. During this time I continued to work, to write because they were cathartic activities. They allowed me to think about and focus on anything but our ongoing situation.
I was able to do this because I was convinced that our difficulties would eventually disappear. Our problems would right themselves eventually. Basically I was too busy to have a nervous breakdown, but I have booked one for two weeks in August 2014. Late this year, the situation was different, I had some personal and professional successes.
I was asked to write for a respected trade magazine, a very real honour for me. I also was awarded best manufacturer’s representative in Ireland. Another great honour, as was the awards to my company of best manufacturer and best premium and entry product. I also got to meet Bran Taylor, a hero of mine since my Amplifon days. Shep Hyken, another hero of mine commented on my work. This year has been an interesting and emotionally diverse one.
That is the crux of this post, one event does not define a day, a week, a month, a year, a lifetime. Whilst in the midst of the event we may lose site of that fact. In business we need to remember this clearly. Bad day? Move on, cancellation? Move on, atrocious monthly sales? Move on.
The secret though is to analyse why before you move on. In business as in life you need to know what went wrong in order to fix it and move on. Having the clear facts and being able to honestly analyse them is key. With difficulties in life, that can be difficult. Because psychology and personal ego can cloud the facts. However, in business it is as simple as analysing the data. The key is to have the data and analyse it honestly.
So remember, one event does not need to define your day, week or month. Analyse the event, identify what you need to do and move on. If you need support to do it, ask for it. I am sure that there are many people you know that can assist. Either in analysis, work load sharing or simply an interested and understanding ear. Utilise those allies. Business owners can tend to become insular, reliant on themselves, that independence is both a blessing and a curse.