I’m not a betting man, but if I were… Viva Las Vegas
With that title you are probably thinking I am headed to Vegas and betting big in a game of BlackJack? Sorry Elvis, no dice.
Or you may be thinking with the stock market in turmoil, I am doubling down in the stock market? Not exactly.
So what exactly, am I doubling down on, you ask? If you looking for a sure winner, bet on numero uno. Bet on yourself. For me I am doubling down on investing in my business, staff, clients, close business colleagues and family.
Knock-Knock, Who’s There? It’s the China Virus. Say What?
As you are aware, the CoronaVirus pandemic is severely hampering economic activity nationwide. Companies are being forced to cut expenses and headcount, to keep afloat. Banner years that were expected are now being recast. I have talked with several clients, especially those in the hospitality/restaurant industry that are getting hit the hardest.
I don’t watch a lot of news so it took me completely by surprise. This pandemic was not on my radar. It hit me when I walked into a clients’ office on Friday, March 6th and I saw a line of laptops in the IT managers office. As I walked by his office, I asked “Laptop refresh?” His answer surprised me when he said “Contingency plan for CoronaVirus.”
CoronaVirus, more like cabro~….(LinkedIn won’t let me curse in Spanish)
Remember SARS, Avian Flu and H1N1? I remember being part of the contingency planning at the bank for situations like natural disasters and the possible pandemic. Never did I expect this. The reaction and impact we have experienced over the past two weeks still makes it feel surreal.
Even talking with my neighbor today, whom I had dinner with on March 6th, we both felt like it was a lifetime ago, as so much that has occurred and changed in the past two weeks. For him, this meant cancelling his wife’s 50th b-day party in May with family that were scheduled to fly in from overseas. And it also meant the cancelling of his oldest son’s graduation ceremony from UT Austin.
Stay in Control
First, take a deep breath, review your situation, if you have employees get them involved and decide on the best course of action. This is not the time for panic, self-pity or doubt. (And don’t get me started on people hoarding pop-tarts and TP.) This is a time for leadership and action. What defines a persons’ character is how they respond to adversity. How will you respond?
Me? Two songs come to mind, Relentless by Jason Aldean and Dig In by Lenny Kravitz. With Kravitz, one of the main lyrics is “Once you dig in, you’ll find your coming out the other side”. With Aldean, the interlude is “Relentless….I’m staring at a hurricane, 100 miles of driving rain, I just smile and lean into the wind”. So what does this have to do with doubling down? A lot. Mindset & Leadership.
Dig In and Be Relentless
Starting immediately, my company’s theme is changing to Dig In & Be Relentless. Even with the bleak economic climate, I have made the decision to keep moving forward with a few new expenditures. These expenses will initially have a negative ROI. So, if you are thinking I have a ton of cash, pop-tarts and TP stock piled, you are quite mistaken. (And if I did, I would definitely share the TP if you needed some.)
I can hear it now…you must be saying, “Alex what are you thinking?”, “He is one crazy (fill in the blank)”, “Cash is king, don’t spend anything, cut all expenses!” or “Smart move”. Hopefully, it is the latter.
Just this week, we just signed a new 1-year agreement with WorkSuites. Why? We needed a new business location that is closer to our client base and offers meeting space at a reasonable price. Another example is we are in process of signing an agreement with a CRM company. Why? We will be better equipped to manage our calls, tasks & KPI’s so nothing slips through the cracks. I am also buying new Bluetooth headsets for the team. And if you are thinking I took advantage of the pandemic situation & beat-up each vendor for heavy discount pricing, that would be a negative ghost-rider.
We will get through this crisis…hopefully much sooner than later. By continuing to buy good & services in the local economy we are also doing our part to foster much needed economic stimulus. I am also making a conscience decision to invest in our people, processes and technology so we can better serve our clients now. We will emerge stronger as a company with grass-roots experience, that will directly benefit our clients, colleagues and community even more.
I fully believe it comes down to having the right mindset and being the leader your company, family and community needs.
Are you ready to double down, dig-in and be relentless?
Look for my next article as I discuss getting punched in the face, key items to focus on for building a strategic plan and more as we all move-forward in the COVID-19 crisis.
Please do what you can to support small businesses in your area.