"It's been a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will." (Written and performed in 1964 by Sam Cooke.)
Change is not "in the air," it has hit the ground running, or should I say running rampant. If it hasn't affected you or your business in some way, you are in the vast minority.
Change is here. The sh*t has hit the fan. (Wanna buy a vowel, or is your credit card maxed?) It ain't like it was. And it hasn't been this way, this bad, or this low for 50 years. Companies are crumbling, and rules are being abandoned. The government is in scramble mode as never before.
But that's THEM.
What about YOU and YOURS?
What's happening, or what has happened to you? Change in business volume? Cash flow? Credit restrictions? Job status? Employment status? Work environment? Work requirements? Customers hurting? YIKES!
In many business sectors, it's gonna get real and it's gonna get raw. It's not "change;" it's "drastic change."
Okay, enough of that. Below is part of why you're having trouble adapting to the changing economic climate, followed by what you can do about it.
Things are changing, and not for the better. How are you reacting to the events? Most people are a combination of reluctant and resistant, and a combination of scared and worried. You are not alone, but it doesn't mean you have to join the afflicted or the paralyzed.
Here are the reasons you resist change:
1. Your inability to face the reality of what is actually happening to YOU. The news is always about someone else's drama. That's why you watch it. This drama is yours.
2. Your natural defensive posture. "It's not my fault! Someone else did it."
3. Your natural resistance to what's new. "It always worked before and I liked it that way."
4. Your procrastination and inability to face reality. "I see it coming, but it may just go away, I'll change later." It's natural to ignore or put off negative things.
5. Your previous comfort and present comfort. "Hey, I have a lifestyle, and I don't want it interrupted!"
6. Your unwillingness to abide by the new rules and the new standards. Resistance to self-improvement. Resistance to be measured by results. Resistance to be measured against others. This is especially true if you're a long-term employee.
6.5 You think, "It can't happen here." Uh, Sparky, it already has. And it's not going away any time soon. Do something!
Is there a resolve? Is there a solution? Are there answers? YES - you provide them. YES - you create them. YES - you make them happen.
First start with YOUR resolve:
nCreate more self-time and less TV time. The news is not great - especially people giving their opinion about what is happening - watch less of it. Most of those people have no idea about what's going on and watching them espouse their opinion, casting blame on someone, or second-guessing someone is robbing you of the precious moments you need to guard your own money and future. Now is the time for action, not opinion.
Study attitude for 15 minutes EVERY morning. Give yourself some alone time to read, think, and plan.
Relax mentally. Breathe.
Get up earlier, stay up later. Now is not the time for "balance." Now is the time for "money."
Do your BEST every day at work. You never have to prove your worth if you're doing your best.
Avoid attending the pity party. There are plenty of them.
Don't participate in the rumor mill, wait for the facts to emerge. Talk about what is, not what might be.
Don't participate in the grumble. Just get to work and sell something.
Make a projected cash flow. Cut now so you don't run out of money in the near future.
Sell more. No company ever cut their way to success. Cutting is fine, but you have to sell to have cash.
Guard your customers. Your competition is gunning for them.
Serve your customers better than ever. Earn their loyalty with value.
Help your customers with their issues. Their situation is what's causing your falling sales numbers.
Give something of value to your customers. They will thank you and respect you.
Select your top customers and invest in them. They will thank you and reward you with their loyalty.
For years I have defined change as opportunity. That definition is still accurate.
This is not a time to "get over it." This is a time to get on with it, and take advantage of it.
It's not a corporate thing. It's a personal thing.
It's not the new-new thing. It's the reality thing.
It's not their thing. It's your thing.
It's raining lemons. Set up a lemonade stand.
If you want my list of "10.5 things you can do to conquer the fear or actuality of change," go to www.gitomer.com, register if you're a first-time visitor, and enter the word CHANGE in the GitBit box.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer service at www.trainone.com. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org