The pandemic, politics, and inflation put many small business owners on edge. The uncertainty was evident in many coaching conversations over the two years.
Regardless of the economy, the small business owner is left to deal with uncertainties of some kind. So we have to make it work for our company to survive.
When uncertainty looms, it’s natural to want to retract – to shrink back from previous, well-thought-out plans – to play it safe “just in case.” It’s part of the flight or fight paradox with which we’ve lived since the days of the caveman (and cavewoman).
The problem with choosing the “flight” path is that it causes us to miss out on opportunities within our grasp – if we would only look up from issues that have yet to occur.
I explained it to a client in this way.
Scaling back and playing it safe is undoubtedly an option when faced with uncertainty. It’s like holding a small bucket close to our chest. Much like a kid with a particular toy s/he grips, we develop a protective posture over what we currently define as “certainty.”
We hold tight. We look down. We guard our territory – all in hopes of retaining this tiny bit of control.
The problem with this position is that with head down and field of vision limited, we fail to see the opportunities within our sphere of influence. As a result, the same occurrences that would fortify certainty are hidden from view.
Rather than respond to uncertainty by going small – Go Big – and remove any option of going back.
You Can’t Come Home
That’s what my mother-in-law told her son (my husband) when he signed on with the Marines. Knowing the rigors of the Marine Corp during the Vietnam War, she was not in favor of his enlistment.
Despite her objection, he signed up.
When boot camp proved to be too arduous, he made one call. He called his mom. He begged and pleaded to come home.
There was no convincing his mom to let him return home when times got tough. Raised in south Chicago, she knew that commitment and discipline were qualities that served a young black man well during the 60s.
Much to his surprise, she refused his request to come home. He had decided to join the Marines against her council, and he would have to stay and make it work. So he was not allowed to come home.
Decades later, he says it’s the best thing that ever happened (besides marrying me).
He learned about the strength within, the discipline needed to succeed, and the honor of commitment. He uncovered a man much stronger.
Don’t Go Back in Your Small Business
Don’t go home in the same spirit of uncertainty, struggle, and doubt. Don’t play small – not now! Not ever!
Discover the strength, wisdom, and fortitude within yourself – and capitalize on the opportunities around you as you hold your head high and keep your eyes on the prize.