Our annual LCT Fact Book and Industry Guide once again stands as a tool for operators, suppliers, and industry outsiders to get a complete look at what we do.
So, now you have a lot of information, not all of it positive this year, and the question becomes: What do you do with the numbers and trends? Whether the facts are good or bad, it depends on how you act on them that counts.
I’ve been saying a lot this year about how you need to “sell like hell” and get creative in all that you do in order to succeed. But none of that will do you any good if you let tough times and harsh numbers get you down. Negativity breeds even more negativity. If you are always grousing about your business and the economy and numbers, your staff will pick up on it and act accordingly, projecting a downbeat attitude throughout the day. That will show up in poor customer service and efficiency.
Difficult times require peak performance, and operating at your peak takes a lot of positive grit and energy. In last month’s issue, you met North Carolina operator Carrie Peele, who profits from a growing business through sheer positive attitude, will, and creativity (pp. 30-31). There are plenty of operators out there such as Carrie who are growing in the double-digits because they love what they do and they think in new, positive ways.
Unfortunately, a common motivator for many people is fear, which turns people into “sheeple.” Too many people live a fear-based lifestyle, looking over their shoulders, comparing themselves to their neighbors, finding false security in a herd mentality, and acting as if bad news is always 100% accurate.
What you need to understand is that what you visualize is what will eventually come true. The mind is so powerful that your mind alone determines whether you emerge a winner or a loser. Life is basically a series of simple choices: sleep/awake, eat/starve, be happy/sad. When it rains, instead of bemoaning the lack of sunshine, you go out and splash in the puddles. That’s how you focus and get out of the doldrums.
I recently observed an example of that while being chauffeured by a former executive who had lost his job. He was telling me how he noticed some underserved markets and wanted to start his own small operation to meet that need. He was clean, professional, articulate, and talking about opportunities. He didn’t let the fact that he no longer earned an executive salary or couldn’t find a job get him down and stuck. That chauffeur got behind the wheel, looked around, and re-strategized his career — and now he will pursue a new vision. When this economy finally shakes out, we will all be amazed at the high quality start-ups and revamped companies that have emerged.
We’ll have a higher caliber industry full of creative, strategically savvy businesspeople serious and focused about what they do. And after this difficult time, they will definitely know what to do when it pours again.