When’s the last time you turned on the radio or TV and didn’t hear another Global Financial Crisis report, or got together with friends or colleagues, and the GFC didn’t enter into the conversation at some point?
The worst thing about the GFC is that it’s making us all fearful, and overwhelmed by a sense of impending doom and loss. Will you lose your job, your house, your shirt…? How long will it last and how bad will it get?
We react by tightening our belts and hunkering down to wait it out – all the while, feeling a deep sense of scarcity. But is that really the way to go?
Perhaps it’s time we started to live a life of abundance – in the Zen ‘I have enough, I am blessed’ sense of the word, not the ‘live to excess, pay later’ perspective.
Because the more we feed that sense of scarcity, the tighter those belts get (and not in a good way). Pretty soon the anxiety is cutting through us, and our productivity is dropping as fast as our optimism.
US company TNL Marketing puts it to their clients this way: “Tighten your belts too much and you may lose your shirt”.
Think about it… if you are cutting back and back and back in your business, you may end up with very little left or with such dramatically dimished capacity – and vitality – that you might as well shut your doors.
Find a better way…
The GFC presents an opportunity for all of us. It is a time to reflect, to innovate, and to clean up our act a bit. Here are some ideas (feel free to add to them via comments!)…
- Repackage your services. What can you offer your clients or customers that is fresh and fills a need?
- Instead of cutting out your internal or external newsletters altogether, offer them as e-newsletters. You’ll save on printing while still keeping in touch – and they’re easier to manage than you think. But remember that print and online newsletters appeal to different audiences and convey information differently, so weigh up the real ‘cost’ before you decide…
- Revisit your communication and marketing plans (You do have them, don’t you?), and make sure you add social media to the mix
- Take this opportunity to get your business systems up to scratch. Not only will it make your business more saleable, it also captures the knowledge you and your people carry around in their heads. Tacit knowledge is the most valuable asset your business has to offer, and yet it’s usually the last thing many businesses think about.
- Review your business plan. Do you have SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-conscious?
- Get your team together and have some fun. Get out of the office, organise a lunch or Friday Unwinds. Now, more than ever, you and your people need to have open dialogue in a relaxed atmosphere.
And for you…
Don’t forget to live a little in your personal life too. You can have a lot of fun and still be cost efficient, you just have to be a bit more imaginative.
Most importantly, take the lead. Don’t let conversations turn into wallowing and negativity. Now is the time to put positive thinking into practice – or as one of my dragonflyologists says “seek out ‘salute to the sun’ positions” (it’s okay…she’s kidding).
There are many ways to live simply and do business more efficiently. So live a life of abundance, get creative… and keep your shirt on.
Okay, that’s enough Zen for today…