“This economy is terrible,” Linda, an executive coach, told me recently, “My prospective clients are being laid off, they have no money, their companies have stopped paying for coaching, and I can’t fill my practice.”
“Linda, what’s a full practice for you look like?” I asked.
“Around twenty clients,” she answered.
“How many clients did you have before the economy turned bad?” I continued.
“Seven or eight,” was the reply.
“How many do you have now?” I volleyed.
“Five or six,” she returned.
“What’s different than before?” was my final question, and Linda was left fumbling for inadequate answers.
“Well, it’s just harder now,” was the best she could come up with.
There’s no doubt that the playing field has been altered by the altered economic situation, but how is it that some people in your profession, are making money–in some cases more now than when the economy was good.
The primary difference between the professional who are surviving–and even thriving– and the ones who are struggling, is that too many of the latter have chosen to be Victims instead of Action Heroes. They ask, “Why is this happening to me?” and decry “There is nothing anyone can do about it.” The Action Heroes are asking, “How can I make the best of this?” and promising, “I’ll find a way to make this work.”
Despite the terrible real estate market throughout the United States, some real estate brokers are doing well. These Action Heroes are making creative deals, changing the focus of their business to properties and locations that are selling, and finding other ways to keep things going.
Despite the deep distrust that has developed around Wall Street investing, some financial advisors are doing better than ever. These Action Heroes know that most investors are angry and taking out their anger on their current brokers. They also know that these investors are not going to stop working with an advisor, so they’re finding those unhappy investors through their existing clients and focusing on developing the skills to bring in new business.
Linda was right to observe that the things she did to acquire her seven or eight clients before aren’t working as they did, but when I asked her to talk about something new or different she had tried, there was nothing.
“What can I do?” she whined–a helpless Victim of the times.
In these terrible times, choose to be an Action Hero. Last month, I gave my readers some tips. Here are a few more:
1. Stop commiserating with people who want to talk about how bad things are. Yes, they are bad, but joining together to moan and complain isn’t the best use of your time or energy.
2. Instead, share ideas to help things improve. Help them get more business or a new job and let them help you. Form an informal–or formal–Mastermind Group to help one another. Or join a Mastermind group offered by a business coach or someone in your industry.
3. Get help from a business development coach or marketing consultant or, if employment is the issue, from placement professionals and other experts. Spending money that may be hard to come by right now on professionals whose advice may serve you for years to come is rarely a mistake if you choose wisely.
Be an Action Hero. Take steps to find ways to grow your business despite–or because of– the difficult times we’re facing. Although my Mastermind group is full, I still have one opening for a professional who is ready to start taking action and stop making excuses. I can also connect you with other professionals who can help you, so stop waiting!