News Flash – The markets are in turmoil! Stocks are crashing! Credit is frozen! Everyone is cutting back on their spending! We are entering into a long recession! These are just some of the headlines all of us have been reading and let’s face it, they are depressing. While you can’t avoid the headlines, you certainly still do have control over your destiny. Yes, that’s right! You control your destiny, not the headlines. It’s all in how you think, look and act. Remember this, in every downturn, there are still people who are making money and succeeding because they are implementing three actions on a consistent basis. Are you?
1. Refuse to Play the Recession Game – Regardless of how low the market goes, you do have the power to believe that there is opportunity here or that everything is hopeless. This is the fundamental difference between people who succeed in down markets and those who are victims. To see the opportunity, you have to refuse to play the recession game. If you choose to play the recession game, your mindset is all about business being off and how no one is doing anything… there are no deals out there. If this is the mindset you are operating from, how could you possibly be open to the opportunities that are lurking behind every problem? It all starts with your mindset.
2. Remove the Emotion – Emotion is a very powerful feeling. If left unchecked, it will unleash certain actions on your part which are likely to create reactions that are not in your best interest. You can’t solve problems and move forward if you allow emotion to drive your actions. It prevents you from seeing things clearly.
Here is an example. A friend of mine is a Financial Services Advisor who handles high net worth clients. He called me the other day and shared with me a report he read saying that 90% of high net worth clients are looking for new financial advisors. I immediately stopped him and said he was making the wrong assumptions from this report. He was reading it from the point of view that some of his clients may be looking for a new advisor because of the market downturn. I explained to him that every advisor is losing money for their clients. What counts is how you guide clients through their anger, fear and develop strategies that are in the best interest of the client. As for the fear of losing clients, I told him I saw opportunity there. If 90% of high net worth clients are looking to go elsewhere, that means he has lots of new prospects to deal with. And when he gets them on board, he will be a hero to them because the market will turn and he will have a winning streak with his new clients.
Again, it is all in how you look at things. Your vision will be clouded if you do not step back from the emotion and see things for what they really are. When I was trained as an EMT, they told us the first and most important thing we had to do upon arrival was to gain control of the situation and calm everyone down. If people, including the patient, got too excited and everyone went off, we would lose the patient. In crisis management, the same holds true. If you are facing a significant loss in revenues because of what’s happening, first and foremost, calm down. Then see the situation for what it is and look deep inside, without emotion, to see the opportunities lurking in the background. They are there. You just have to be able to see them.
Remember this: Emotion stops you from doing the daily actions required to generate business and grow your accounts. It swallows you up in fear and pushes you into quicksand where you slide down the path of despair. You then become paralyzed and cannot pull yourself up to solid ground and start moving forward again. Emotion is one thing you do control. The markets and the headlines do not control your emotion. You have full control of your emotion. Don’t let your emotions get in the way of your success.
3. Skills Mastery and Acquisition – When times are great, people succeed in spite of themselves. Mistakes are usually hidden in the largess of the results. However, in times of market contraction, where there are fewer deals, business is slow, etc., mistakes are easier to see and can severely impact one’s results. It blows my mind how some companies and individuals immediately cut training and development when it comes time to rein in expenses. How on earth can they do that? If anything, these are the times people need to be at the top of their game. They need to have the right skills, make sure they are as sharp as a carving board knife and be motivated to withstand the rejection and obstacles they are surely going to face as they move forward in building their business.
In our next issue, I will share with you two stories on succeeding against all odds and the strategies that were employed. They are right out of my new book to be released in April.