National Economy Worries? Fahgettaboudit!
Worry is defined as “to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts.” This is exactly where I found myself the other day. I had just heard the headline news. It talked about unemployment, automakers in bankruptcy, and international leadership in conflict.
I could feel my throat tighten. My palms began to sweat. Like a deer in the headlights, I was being paralyzed by fear.
Suddenly, there was a voice in the back of my head. “Hey! Waddayadoin?” it said. (The voices in my head often sound like they come from New Jersey and hang out in diners.) “You’re wasting your time worrying about stuff you can’t control. Just fahgettaboudit and get back to work!“
Don’t Worry, Be Productive
Part of what made the news so disturbing was that there was nothing that I could do about it. It was overwhelming. I felt helpless. Ask the experts; these are not the emotions upon which a foundation for success is built.
Listening to my inner Tony Soprano was strangely liberating. “Just fahgettaboudit and get back to work!” gave me a straightforward workable plan. While I couldn’t fix the National Debt, save General Motors, or find a cure for cancer this week, there actually were things that I could do to improve my own situation.
I could help my clients increase their advertising response rates to make more sales.
I could help my favorite non-profit group get more people to their next production.
I could step up my own company’s promotion and add new clients to our own lineup.
This focus felt much better. I could feel my usual confidence return. The difference was in where I placed my attention. You can do the same.
Stop Worrying Globally, Start Acting Locally
You see, most of the bad news you hear is on a macro (nationwide/global) level. If you’re like most people, you live and operate on a micro (local) level. It is very difficult to solve macro problems at a micro level. That’s why they seem so overwhelming.
Once you put your attention on areas that are within your control, the game changes. You shift from being helpless to being in charge of your own destiny.
Here is a simple thing to do that will help keep you on track. Remember that the news media is committed to providing a steady stream of alarming news. Often there is not enough relevant bad news for your community, so they need to borrow bad news from other places to fill a broadcast.
When you hear a bad news story ask yourself, “does this affect me directly?” If it doesn’t, “Just fahgettaboudit and get back to work!”
“British van manufacturer considers bankruptcy?“ Fahgettaboudit.
“Five found guilty in Wall Street fraud case?“ Fahgettaboudit
“House panel divided on new financial rules?“ Does this affect you directly? No?… Fahgettaboudit…and get back to work!
You live and act in a local community. There are specific things you can do with your business and your customers that will make an impact. Take action and do those things. Don’t get distracted by what’s happening on the big stage. Focus at a grassroots level where you really make a difference.
What Successful Companies Are Doing
No matter what is happening in the current economy, there are companies that figure out how to grow. It is not a matter of “luck” or having the business gods smile down upon them. These companies do a better-than-average job of applying a few business basics. These are the basics that lead to their success.
1. Pay attention to your customer. Constantly get their feedback on how to make your product or service better. They’ll tell you what you need to improve. Be sure you’re listening and put those suggestions into action.
2. Develop customers for life. The most profitable transactions come from your existing customers since you don’t have to reinvest the time and expense of acquiring them. Developing long-term relationships is just smart business.
3. Stay focused on improving your business. Don’t let the distractions you hear in the news make you a deer in the headlights.
4. If things begin to slide, increase your promotion and marketing activities. This is your leverage to countering a tough economy. It’s how to keep your company growing.
In virtually every business I evaluate there are simple, easily achieved actions that can be done to improve response rates and bottom-line profits. Most companies are only realizing a fraction of their potential. We can do the same analysis for you to help you increase your profits. Call us at 1(800) 595-1288 to arrange a free initial appointment.
In the meantime, if you start finding yourself feeling overwhelmed by the national news, ask yourself “Does this affect me directly?” If not, Fahgettaboudit.
To your business success,
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Richard Wilson is the Founder/Chief Marketing Strategist for Sentium Strategic Communications which helps companies craft the right message for extraordinary results. Over the past 31 years, his clients have ranged from start-ups to major technology companies.
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