Dr. Daneen Skube, Tribune Content Agency
Q: All economic indicators predict that this next year will be a year of contraction. I was getting excited about launching new ventures, but think my timing will be off. How do you advise your clients about integrating timing into their business planning?
A: I recommend clients consider their timing on business planning in the same way we look at the tide. When the tide is outgoing, the powerful pull of the ocean will fight against the launching of new boats. But when the tide is coming in, boats will be supported by the ocean.
If we get stubborn and believe we can succeed despite what is happening around us, we will lose time, money, and opportunity, but not because our idea is bad. A good idea launched during an outgoing tide will struggle more than a bad idea launched amid an incoming tide.
No one can perfectly predict the future. We can and should read what experts predict when it comes to interest rates, the economy, and how global events will affect our industry. At the end of the day, data and intuition have to mesh to help us make decisions.
If you are launching a new boat on an outgoing tide, you also want to ask yourself what the fall out could look like. If the consequences could be mild, then even if you fail, you will learn invaluable lessons to use on the incoming tide. If the costs are high, then you definitely want to use this time to better prepare once the tide starts to shift in your favor.
Even if you decide not to launch your venture now, you can use this time to learn, prepare, save money, and improve your network. Outgoing tides allow us to rest, strategize, and get ready for the rush of opportunities that will follow the in-coming tide. Waiting does not mean you are giving up on your new ideas!
Another idea you can work with is consider that every event in your life is the universe conspiring to help you in some way. Perhaps there is some critical development, new skill, or new business contact that you needed time to create. If we look for the opportunity even when what happens isn’t what we wanted, we usually find opportunities.
You’ll adapt more quickly to a contracting business climate if you allow yourself to have both feelings and thoughts of disappointment. We all have moments of feeling sorry for ourselves, and thinking the world is against us. What we do next is critical. Do we pick our heads up and look to use this time or get stuck in feeling unlucky?
They say that luck is when opportunity meets preparation. Luck is also how we respond to feeling unlucky or disappointment. If we use our unlucky moments to go back to the drawing board and prepare, we end up “lucky.” If we use our unlucky moments as a reason to give up, we make our temporary setback permanent.
The other optimistic news about an outgoing tide is you can count on the cycles of nature to eventually bring the tide back in. If you prepared well, you’ll be in the optimum position to ride that tide in the direction you’ve been waiting for.
Business may seem divorced from the natural world, but the same cycles that rule nature affect corporations. No farmer worthy of his or her profession fights nature. He or she pays attention, makes decisions according to nature, and knows there are times when a seemingly good crop won’t thrive.
Timing is often the secret to launching a new venture. Let the tides of business work for you and not against your future success!
The last word(s)
Q: I’m so tired of getting disrespected at work. Is there a way I can influence my co-workers to respect me more?
A: Yes, I agree with Confucius — a fifth-century BCE Chinese philosopher — who wisely observed, “Respect yourself, and others will respect you.”
(Daneen Skube, Ph.D., executive coach, trainer, therapist and speaker, also appears as the FOX Channel’s “Workplace Guru” each Monday morning. She’s the author of “Interpersonal Edge: Breakthrough Tools for Talking to Anyone, Anywhere, About Anything” (Hay House, 2006). You can contact Dr. Skube at www.interpersonaledge.com or 1420 NW Gilman Blvd., #2845, Issaquah, WA 98027. Sorry, no personal replies.)
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