These are tough times, no doubt about it. If you aren’t stressed about your business, well, God bless you. Most everyone I am working with is exhibiting some level of stress.
Let’s face it, we are in a crisis. And most business owners have been so busy working IN their business, they haven’t been able to position it for the future. As we face the realistic future of many business failures (1 in 4 small businesses, by some estimates), many business owners may feel that there is nothing they can do.
But is there? We have a unique opportunity. The world has pressed the “pause” button. Like it or not, our businesses have been slowed down, if not outright stopped. The opportunity here is that we now are forced to take time. We have the time. (By my estimate, I’ve gained about 8-10 hours a week not driving and going to networking events). So we have the opportunity to work ON our business. And, in the end, come out on top. With new energy, new directions, new strategies… We just need to figure out where to FOCUS!
A Grand SLAM Approach
Brian Tracy, the founder of FocalPoint, outlined an approach to growing your business while reducing your effort, many years ago. It’s remembered with the acronym SLAM:
S – Simplify
L – Leverage
A – Accelerate
M – Multiply
Simplification is somewhat easy right now. We’ve been forced to slow down. I have a client that could never slow down. He was always in hyper-drive. Even during the first couple of weeks of the shutdown, he kept on the move. Going into the office. Visiting other locations. While he was telling his employees to stay safe, he was putting himself in harms way.
Eventually, his senses got to him (or his wife’s did)… He’s now working from home. He’s more focused. He is not in the middle of everything. For now, he is working ON his business.
Acceleration will be coming soon. As soon as this economy is opened back up, we’ll be running at breakneck speed. So be ready.
7 Things to Leverage
I am not going to go into great detail on the 7 items. To get the full detail, download the video. It’s free. But I’ll give you a brief overview.
Leverage other people’s experience
Now is a great time to find ways of learning from others. Figure out the best time and place for you to learn. For me, one of these was listening to podcasts while driving. Instead of listening to music (which I love) or talk radio, I listen to podcasts. Of course, I’m not behind the wheel as much right now, so my podcast listening has taken a backseat.
Leverage other people’s energy
Learning how to delegate, outsource or simply NOT DO certain things is a key to being a highly energized, positive person. In the video you will get to participate in an exercise that will help you figure out the things you should be doing more of, and the things you need to get off of your plate.
Leverage other people’s money
Bank loans, friends & family and investors are traditional methods of leveraging other people’s money. But right now we have a unique opportunity to leverage our government’s money (which is sort of ours as well)…. With the CARES Act and other government assistance, we can help bridge these troubled waters and see success on the other side.
Leverage other people’s successes
The most successful people learn how to take other people’s successes and parlay them into their own strategy. In these challenging times, we should be learning from those pioneers who successfully overcame previous challenges. Historical figures like Lincoln, Grant, and Churchill come to mind. Those forefathers who established our country are tremendously inspirational. Read biographies of Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and Hamilton. You’ll be amazed. Or look at more recent events. Consider how Giuliani helped NYC recover from 9/11, or how Robert Herjavik’s father successfully built a business as a poor immigrant. Get inspired, and leverage these successes for your own business.
Leverage other people’s failures
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Man can either buy his wisdom or borrow it. By buying it, he pays full price in personal time and treasure. But by borrowing it, he capitalizes on the lessons learned from the failures of others.” Just as we can learn from people’s successes, we can also learn from failures. Look at any number of business failures and consider what could have been. Sears, Blockbuster, PanAm and Kodak are just a few that we can learn from.
Leverage other people’s contacts
How many people do you know? How many people do you know that truly trust you and like you? If you are like most people, that number is anywhere from 100 or so, up to maybe 500. Now, how many people do they know and have similar relationships? Conservatively speaking, your “champions” and their networks number several thousand, easily ten-thousand people. So how can you leverage that right now. Be careful with how you “market” yourself in these times. But now is a great time to do simple outreach. Your communication strategy should be along the lines of “how can I help”, not “what can I sell you”.
Leverage other people’s ideas
It’s been said that we are all just one good idea away from a fortune. There are lots of great ideas out there. Some have been poorly implemented. Some were bad timing. Others just need a tweak. Combine a good idea with your creativity and resources, and who knows what may happen.
Now is the time to prepare for after these tough times
We don’t know how much longer these tough times will last. Some believe we will start seeing a return by the end of April. Others predict a longer quarantine. Whatever it is, you will need to be prepared to accelerate out of this and get ahead of your competition. There hasn’t been a better time to pause, reflect, reprioritize and possibly pivot your business strategy.
If this interests you, be sure and download the video using the link on this page. If you’d like to contact me directly, I’m offering free coaching to companies trying to plan for their future. Contact me, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let’s talk.