In the essence of talking just business and the foundation of a business, sometimes you just have to pivot. Why? Because in business and life, not everything goes as planned and when it doesn’t, we need to pivot.
Right now it’s pretty safe to say, things are not going as planned. In the last week alone, schools have closed. Cruise lines have ceased doing business for 30 – 60 days. Airlines have taken a hit. The tourism industry has taken a hit. Sports right now is pretty much nonexistent for the next 30 days. Since February 19th of this year, the US economy through the stock market has lost $11.5 trillion of wealth.
Now, it’s ironic that this virus came out of China. In Chinese, the word “crisis” has two meanings. One is danger, the other is opportunity. It’s all how you look at it.
Starting in the year 2000, as a financial advisor, I dealt with dot-com bubble burst. Stocks that were trading at hundreds of dollars, months later were trading at dollars, some at pennies, some completely out of business. Later in that two-year cycle, we had the unfortunate 9/11 experience that was hard for everyone here in America. That two-year cycle was very, very difficult, and unfortunately, I didn’t handle it very well. In 2008 we had another market meltdown, the financial crisis, institutions that have been in business for over 100 years, overnight were dust, off the face of the planet. Wealth disintegrated at a rapid rate.
However, this time around, as a consultant to advisors I had the privilege of traveling with a hedge fund manager. He was showing what was going on in the economy and market from the bottom up, both technically and logically. I was receiving a full education in the history of these types of markets and economic cycles. He was sharing with me all that had to be done was for money to get back into the system and you would see an economic and stock market rebound, an actual V shape. He was dead, right. He had me looking at the opportunity opposed to the danger.
Here we are again in 2020, another crisis. Are you looking at the opportunity or the danger? Now I’ll admit short term there is danger. There are shifts that need to be made. There are decisions that need to be made. Brad Sugars the founder of Action Coach said it very well this past week, “Don’t panic. Plan.” Simply plan ahead. Look at how this economic crisis is potentially going to affect your industry, your business. What decisions may you have to make going forward? Be proactive in your stance.
I learned something very valuable through the 2000 adversity. I learned as when I was getting beat up by the market, all the adversity, all the noise, that there are certain things I could not control. The only thing I can control is everything in the four walls of my business, and that’s when I took ownership and got my act together. All I did back in 2000, was pick up the phone and talk to my clients and somebody else’s clients. Because of that epiphany and those action steps, my practice became more successful from that point forward, than the 13 years prior.
We all have the opportunity to do the same right here, right now. The way I look at it, everything is based on a balance sheet. In a balance sheet, there are assets, and there are liabilities. Now as people, as organizations, we can be either an asset or a liability. In 2000, 2008 and potentially in 2020, the businesses and people that had/have clean, healthy balance sheets were/will be fine. We’ll take a hit, we’re going to get pinched, but we’ll be fine. The businesses and people that have ugly balance sheets, too many liabilities and not enough assets, unfortunately, might be dust. They might be out of business.
Now as individuals, choose whether you’re going to be an asset or liability. This is our chance to step up and work on ourselves to be mentally strong and positive. To be the beacon of light for others to follow. It’s time to choose. Are you going to look at this as a danger or an opportunity? Are you going to be looking at this to be an asset, where when you come out the other side shining? This is our opportunity to take advantage of this situation.
When adversity hits, character counts. You will learn more about yourself and others in times like these. People need leaders. Commit to being a leader. Commit to being the asset. Look at the opportunity, and I guarantee you as you go forward, this could be the shining moment for you, your business, and everybody else around you.