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Success Happens During the Transition

Updated on March 19, 2020
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Interested in interesting things. Writing to remove ambiguity from daily life.

Somewhere in the process of learning something new, there comes a point where you realize that discipline doesn’t just mean showing up regularly. It also means appreciating and accepting the benefits of structure. Even if a part of that structure is developed by walking through the dark. Navigating the unknown.

This is written for the business owners who are watching they’re world crash in front of them. This is for every major owner of a large organization that is seeing the panic in front of them with the current downfall of the economy and is struck by a sense of doom.

Yes, you yourself will be fine. You already know you will be. But what will happen to your business? This is your baby. The company your family built from the ground up. The work that you’ve poured your blood, sweat, and tears into. Your mind keeps going to the promises you made to clients and customers. The foundation you’ve worked so hard to maintain. The 10s if not 100s or 1000s of employees that count on you for their livelihood and are currently losing and will continue to lose their jobs.

As a student in the elementary stages of Brazilian jujitsu (bjj), I’ve recently been spending time meditating on a concept that I’ve heard a few times now: submissions take place during the transition. I respected it for its wisdom. And at the same time, I kind of understood it…but sort of didn’t.

Like so many boxing highlights you and I have seen. The fighter that ends up winning is on their back foot taking punch after punch. Their opponent is charging forward at them. But as this opponent throws a straight punch, they leave themselves open and vulnerable. The eventual champion, although on the backfoot, identifies this opportunity and capitalizes on it in an instant. She uses that tiny window to connect her fist to her opponent’s jaw. Those watching will wonder how what looked like a jab ended up knocking down the aggressor. Here I submit to you a fighter that took advantage of a transition.

This is about positive vs. negative thinking.

“Everything is falling apart!”

“What am I going to do?”

Ok. You’re right. Everything is falling apart. So…what are you going to do?

You’ve stood alongside your competition for years. All of you delivering one major order to your senior officers: “Go out there and make us money.” Well, now that’s failing. Will fail the same as your competitors? Perhaps you should try something different.

How did the opponent get beat? By leaving themselves vulnerable. How did our winner win? By looking for those vulnerabilities and capitalizing on them. I’m here to let you know that you’re still leaving yourself vulnerable. More importantly, I want to tell you that you’re not taking advantage of the vulnerabilities your competition is leaving wide open for you.

Certainly, by now you’ve received those semi-random emails from services that have claimed to care how you’re doing. The automated email drips sent to grab your attention and reassure you that your service provider cares about your well-being. They are so generic, they miss the mark, and they leave you wondering, “why am I receiving this?”

They had the chance to deliver real value and basically blew it. If you are a sender of such emails please understand the following: At a very dire time, you sent me an email with the intention of exposing your brand to me in hopes that you could remain in good standing with me over the long term. You applied a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Also, it was simply a poor choice for a solution.

I’d rather you just did what you truly intended to do instead of trying to cover it up with some feel good, “wishing you well” email copy. If you want your brand to remain in good standings with me, then do more. Put your money where your mouth is and mean it.

Are you in tourism and hoping your customers don’t leave? Then say so. And let me know how much you really value my business.

Are you in hospitality and concerned about the layoffs that will be taking place? Surely you have space and resources available to share with those who you claim to care about.

Are you in transportation and don’t know what to say to those who trusted you for extra income throughout the year and, particularly, during the holidays? Start talking about the future. What are you doing now to make sure we will all be alright later?

Are you laying of 100s of employees? Perhaps your HR team can provide guidance and advice on how to enter the market as stronger candidates in the not-too-distant future.

Do you have individual clients sitting at home? Maybe reach out and check on them WITHOUT selling yourself.

Share a story. Share humanity. Remember that there are actual humans behind these corporations.

&Pizza, a local shop, recently began to offer free pizza to health workers, admin, and cleaning crews. The company had already won the hearts and minds of so many of us in the DC metro area and surrounding suburbs by providing an awesome product in a convenient fashion. And they continue to set themselves apart, despite the continued doom and gloom.

The point is this: As an organization during this time of panic and turmoil you are on your backfoot. You are taking punches and it’s not looking very good. This is your time to hit your opponent in the spots they’re leaving open to attack. Look for those opportunities that are screaming to be taken advantage of.

Those generic emails are all annoying for the same reason. They are companies acting like they care while we really know that they don’t.

So, your assignment is quite simple. Start caring.

Start to actually give a damn. Key word here is GIVE.

Stop attempting to TAKE from all of us in the most subtle and shady of manners. When the dust is clear we will buy from and work with whom we choose. This is your chance to command your senior officers to: “Go out there and keep watch over our people and our customers.”

This is your chance to change my buying behavior in the future. One day, 5 years from now, I’ll be selecting accommodations and services online and the decision will be between your company and your competition. I might remember what you did 5 years ago. Perhaps I’ll decide that I’m inclined to pay more to your company because you found a way to get closer to my heart and my soul.

Finding that opening while you’re being punched takes talent and practice. It’s not easy. It takes awareness. It takes speed. And it wins fights.

And if you wish to ignore the opportunity of success during these transitions, so be it. Who knows? Perhaps you’ll win by decision. Or maybe you’ll be able to compete on price. If we’re honest, you know, and I know, that no one wants to leave the win up to the decision. And you shouldn’t be ok with having to compete on price.

© 2020 bosaidshow


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