What are you doing to grow your business?

February 18, 2009 § 5 Comments

I can’t sleep because I’m worried about people falling off boats.

If you are clinging to the side of a ship while wearing a life preserver, you may take some small comfort in knowing that the vest will help get you back to the surface, but it doesn’t change the fact that you know in your bones that you’re going to get wet. I think that’s how a lot of folks are feeling about the current state of the economy. We’re afraid of the plunge. We can get paralyzed simply grasping for something sensible to hold onto – Ok, so now we have a stimulus package, maybe that’s the life preserver, but if you’re already hanging over the wrong side of the rail it can’t keep you dry.

So what are you going to do? Just hang on tight and hope that a safety net comes in time? Not if you’re smart. The smart play is to scramble and climb back over onto the right side of the rail before your strength gives out.

Scramble. Climb. Grow. Get strong. Save the economy.

That’s right, save the economy. Why not you? It’s not like the government can do it alone. Besides, this is America. we are a community of scramblers and self-starters – and it is the small businesses like yours and mine that make the difference. When we grow the economy grows. While so many are asking “What can I do to hang onto my business?” the question I urge you to ask of yourself and your colleagues is “What are you doing (even now) to grow your business?” Even now. Especially now.

It is easy to fall into the recession mindset. Easy to look only at cutting costs, saving the bottom line, but if you make the effort to keep this question in mind, “What are you doing (especially now) to grow your business?” you can change that mindset – and change your results. Ask the question every day. Especially now.

This isn’t about being reckless. The fact is that some prudent pruning might be just what the doctor (or accountant) ordered, but don’t just cut for the sake of cutting. Trim a weak branch if it will help a tree to grow, but trim too much and everything withers. The point that I think is essential is to keep this idea of growth top of mind. Sure, it is unapologetically optimistic, but it also implies keeping an eye out for opportunity. It is a reminder to keep planting seeds. The concept of asking for growth despite the tide is a deliberate challenge. To meet that challenge takes creativity, cooperation and bold execution – all good muscles to flex for any business – especially now.

So what are you doing to grow your business? Ask yourself. Ask your neighbor. And let me know when the conversation goes to “What can we do together?”

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§ 5 Responses to What are you doing to grow your business?

  • dlaw says:

    Awesome post.

    If only people would stop clinging and get scrambling – fast.

  • Diane Bogino says:

    Finally, something sensible. Thanks for the K.I.T.B.

  • Johann says:

    David:

    Thank you so much for writing this. As I see it we have the option of rolling over and playing dead or we can use this opportunity to improve ourselves and our businesses. You’re right. It’s up to us to do this.

    Merci,

    Johann Lohrmann

  • Debbie says:

    My smart friend, David,
    I refused to jump ship. For two years I have been experimenting, trying on new marketing and networking concepts-basically reinventing myself. I have listened and I have implemented the ideas and smart concepts that my trusted mentors have taught. It may have taken longer than I wanted, but I am stronger, more determined that change will come as I continue to embrace it.
    I have those conversations with my small business friends because, I believe that we are not islands unto ourselves; we are community. We are the community of SBO’s who together will make the change in our country.

    Keep the conversation going. We need your input!
    MsBeanCounter

  • Keith Duncan says:

    David, Thank you sincerely for being out on the front line challenging individuals to challenge the old ways of thinking. Gone are the days of the ingrained internal battle cry of ‘Get a Job with good benefits”, ‘Income (the numbers) are the only thing that matter’, and ‘Get what you can while the getting is good before others get what you want’. Contrary to almost universal belief, the best we can do in our society is to serve others first. By recognizing and practicing the long lost skill of caring for others at the SAME time we care for ourselves, we can eventually transform our workplace, community, and home life into a more fulfilling and satisfying environment. In contrast, as long as we continue to listen and act on the Doom and Gloom of the news media and propagate the negativism around us, we lower ourselves to the common level of ‘not ever quite good enough’. Instead, we must collectively focus on the positive aspects of our lives by starting every conversation with a warm smile, express genuine interest each person, and always look out for the best interests of our trustworthy acquaintances. The bottom line is we must re-learn how to Simplify our lives by Organizing our thoughts and actions, and allowing ourselves to be Satisified when our basic needs are met. So stay tuned into David Cohen’s network of business associates as we all pursue common fulfilment in our business and personal lives. Keith Duncan. Norcross. Author, Inventor, Speaker.

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