Things to be Thankful for in Business Right Now
Michele Lando, November 2009
Gratitude is a state
of mind. And gratitude
begins with a choice.
remember reading a line in a Jack London
short story that said of the main character, “He
was without imagination." I stopped
dead when I read that and began to ponder.
I was overwhelmed by the notion that someone
couldn’t even imagine that he had no
imagination. I have cherished my imagination
ever since, and I never see it as anything
less than a precious gift.
concept of gratitude is similar to imagination
in that you can choose to be grateful that
you simply have the ability to choose. Deciding
to be thankful sets the stage—then you can
look for whatís working, whatís good, and
where the blessings are to be found.
in this economy. there is much to be grateful
Step 1: Turbulent times bring out creativity. When times get tough, thereís less money to spend. This means we start to look for more creative ways to get things done. Local outsourcing. Job sharing. Part-time workers. Focusing on one of your particular vertical markets thatís going strong. Creating new strategic alliances. Itís a good time to reach out and connect with or survey your clients. Expand your solutions to meet their specific needs. A prime example is the always evolving Starbuckís
brand, which just came out with an instant coffee
with a twist:
you can enjoy our bold and roasty-sweet Italian
Roast in an instant. Just tear open a pack
of Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew and add water.
Let the coffee brew 10 seconds, stir, savor
and enjoy. Itís not instant coffee the way
you know it. This is genuine, dark-roasted
100% arabica and ethically sourced."
Step 2: Having
a Job This may be a first! Entrepreneurs that are in nice-to-have vs. need-to-have businesses are now envious of the person who has a steady paycheck. At this time, W-2 trumps 1099 for many.
Step 3: Opportunity
to Become an Entrepreneur On the flip side: For those who have
always wanted to venture out on their own, but
didnít have the courage or perhaps the capital,
this may prove to be a timely opportunity to
consider entrepreneurship. The prospect of starting
your own business is especially viable ifyou
were laid off with a package that can sustain
your new venture growth period. Go for it! One
cautionary note: donít
jump without the right market research! (I recently
saw a scuba gear store going out of business
in Pasadena—the demographic was ???). This could
be a good example of a personal passion that
may not be aligned with the right market need.
4: Taking Advantage of Current Events
the economy is down, companies are searching
for new ways of thinking about how they operate
and the choices they are making. This means,
for example, that there is potential receptivity
where you may not have found the door open
in the past. GO BACK! Run, donít walk!
5: A Chance to Reposition Yourself When
the market is down, people are looking for specific
things, and they are willing to hear new stories.
Ask yourself these questions:
is my target market?
it need to shift, expand or narrow, based
on today’s climate?
do they care about TODAY?
are they changing?
do we meet that need?
Michele Lando, president of Skilset Communications,
Inc., and author of the internationally acclaimed IndiBrand™ Individual
Branding workshop series. To reproduce
any portion of this article, you may write
or phone 626-792-0032.
we currently make it clear—right
up front and from our customerís point
of viewówhy we are the partner of choice?
additional critical key questions to assist
you in the repositioning process, you can
go to Skilset
there an opportunity to focus in on specific
targets, services, products?
example, at Skilset we observe that services
are being shopped. In looking at our positioning,
we recognize we have a strong set of experiences
with private banks like Wells Fargo, US
Trust/BofA and Mechanics Bank.
also have strengths in marketing, messaging
and sales training at insurance firms like
Nationwide, Pacific Life and Symetra.
we have depth of experience in executive
benefits with MullinTBG (a Prudential firm),
Bolton and First Heartland, as well as
with investment banking firms such as Houlihan
Lokey. When we stepped back and looked
at what this all means, we recognize we
have an overarching niche with enormous
strength in the Ďprofessional servicesí category.
These businesses all have relationships at their
core and as their primary goal.
this allows us to expand to other professional
services areas we hadnít previously targeted, such as
CPA firms, legal firms, etc., and share best-of-breed
practices from one vertical business sector to
result? Our clients have a partner with
expertise that allows them to leverage branding,
marketing and training practices that have all
been tried, tested and proven AND may prove to
be distinctive from their direct competition.
The approach among private banks, for example,
may be wholly new when tailored and applied for
me add a very important sixth area for
gratitude. Family and our support systems.
Over the past eight years that I have conducted
the IndiBrandô Individual
for senior executives and sales professionals
looking to evolve their own brand, Iíve observed
a consistent puzzlement. Often when they
are answering the branding questions posed
for them, they will ask for clarification... ďWell,
do you mean at work or in my personal life?" My
answer is always the same: Right hand, left hand,
same body. Meaning, we donít just take half of
ourselves into the world. If we have a loved
one who is sick or dying, we are not free of
that when we are at work. The same is true
if we have a particularly stressful day
at work—we are impacted by this as we walk
in the door to our families.
that whatever area of your life you are
examining and working toward improving
ultimately affects all areas. So, while
this message is about the top five business
reasons to be grateful, let us not forget
where we start out each day and end each
evening—in the company of our loved ones.
Thanksgiving to you and yours—in
any economy, every year! Just imagine if
you didnít have the opportunity to enjoy
time with your clients, friends and family—and
then while youíre with them, remember to
express to them the gratitude you feel!