When I woke this morning from a night of tossing and turning, my mood was very pessimistic. So much to worry about and to fear! Reading the news, predictions and opinions about the pandemic drove me deeper into despair. Then I opened an article with baseball trivia quizzes. Although I only knew two answers out of many dozens, those little victories made me smile again.
This is today’s version of the roller coaster. Are you experiencing something similar? Mood swings, moving from worry to hope and back again? Visions of red bottom lines, lost employees, vanished customers and clients? All your hard work down the drain? All of these punctuated by glimpses of hope and optimism? It’s hard to hang on, yet we must.
Seven Ways to Ride the Roller Coaster
Since 1999, when we founded Trivers Consulting Group, the world, the company and our clientele have ridden several exceptionally scary roller coasters.
Here are our proven ways to hang on. Please try them.
1) Accept that the roller coaster is real. You will have wide swings in moods. Acknowledging this is the first step to finding responses and solutions. To hang on to a roller coaster you must move with the motion of the car up and down the tracks. The same is true with the business roller coaster you’re on now.
2)Think deeply about your clients and customers. What are they going through? Make a list of their top 3-5 fears and concerns. This focus on others will improve your own mood and will get the gears in your mind turning towards answers and responses.
3) Capture all the ideas that come to mind on paper (or screen.) Don’t rely on your memory because roller coasters have a way of shaking ideas right out of heads. Write everything down without editing, evaluating or crossing off. Then take a break.
4) Return to your list with an analytical mindset. Consider each idea one at a time. The very best question to ask is “What would success look like if we did this?” Notice I am not telling you to ask “IF” you can do it. Starting with “What does success look like?” helps your imagination kick in. We believe that imagination is the most powerful and yet underused skill possessed by business owners. Engaging that force helps you weather the roller coaster.
5) Once you’ve described what success looks like, you can start to get practical.
What would we have to have in order to achieve that success?
- Who do we need?
- What steps should be in our action plan?
- What are revenue projections and costs?
- What is the timeline?
- What kind of service do we need in place?
6) Now you can ask “Can we do this?” or “Should we do this?” By making the effort to imagine the outcome and draft a plan, you get clarity on the value to your clients and customers as well as to your company. You’ve also been thinking ahead, which is the very best way to ride the roller coaster. It gets you out of the depths of this moment and you begin to see the current challenges as obstacles on the road to success, rather than as permanent barriers that stop you cold.
7) Share your ideas with your leadership team. Organize a video conference call with your team and take them through these steps.
- Their own fears.
- Their understanding of your clients’ and customers’ fears and needs.
- Their ideas of how to serve your clientele (no editing or critiquing).
- Ask the question “What would success look like?” for each idea.
- Detail the practical steps needed.
- Then ask them “Can we?” or “Should we?”
- Make a list of the top 1-3 options. What can be done starting today? What should we communicate to the rest of the company and to our clients and customers?
When Will the Uphill Climb Begin?
No one knows when things might go back to a semblance of normal. And what the post-pandemic landscape is going to look like. But staying stuck in uncertainty and fear is absolutely going to compromise your company’s ability to rejoin the business mainstream at the time the recovery starts.
We are continuing to provide support to services companies including specialty consulting firms, professional services such as lawyers, accountants, designers, architects and IT companies, as well as to consumer services companies such as salons, automotive services, housecleaning services, remodeling companies and the like.
There are ALWAYS options.
If you feel stuck, can’t envision any options or simply need some expert help working your way along the roller coaster, let us know. For more than 20 years our work has been customized to the needs of each client. That holds true today and forever.
We recently updated our Company Values. They are Speed, Clarity and Respect. We will respond quickly; we’ll be clear about your needs and how we could help, and we respect your untiring efforts to keep your company going. Email to schedule a call or leave a message at 703-801-0345.