I’m not sure if you’ve noticed that the world’s financial markets are in, shall we say, some turmoil. And while we watch the markets rise and fall, along with it the cost of gas and the value of our currency, it is easy to let a sense of panic and pessimism seep into our own psyche and business – whether it is one directly tied to the financial marketplace or not.
After working in finance for the better part of my career, I’ve watched how successful business people navigate tumultuous waters and thrive, rather than only survive. These observations I’ve made for weathering the storms of an economy are applicable to any business – and are something to keep in mind when the trouble shooting seems to be all-consuming.
Have an airtight client communication plan – and stick to it.
When things aren’t going right, when timelines are not going to be met or the worst has happened DO NOT disappear. While they may be the most difficult meetings or phone calls imaginable, your commitment to keeping your clients informed and cared for trumps whatever circumstances arise.
I worked with Investment Advisors just after 9/11 when the stock markets were plunging and the tech stocks that everyone seemed to be getting rich on were tanking. Everything seemed hopeless. The select who survived – and remarkably thrived – were the ones who were brave enough to continue communicating with their clients and address what was happening head on.
Always, always be transparent and communicate with your clients.
Seek the advice of learned people.
Remember that you are not the first person to face whatever particular trial you are in. History is always the best teacher – and finding a mentor or advisor who understands your business and circumstances is priceless. Their success truly can be your success.
Keep your perspective.
Don’t panic. The most successful entrepreneurs, executives, politicians, athletes…all of them keep their perspective in the face of adversity. They remain calm under pressure and stick to the game plan while remaining willing to make corrections based on the unforeseen circumstances.
I’m a sports enthusiast, so you’ll have to forgive me – but a great example of the power of perspective was the 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks. This team – while relatively old and (some would say) less talented – provided not 1 but 2 of the greatest 4th quarter comebacks in playoff history. Their maturity and perspective allowed them to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds and, ultimately, win the world championship. So there, Lebron.
Stay the course.
Recognize that nothing can ever stay terrible forever. Honouring your commitments, keeping to timelines and budgets (as best as you can) and delivering what was promised is the right thing to do, and will ultimately serve you and your reputation well.