They need us now more than ever

As the economic downturn continues, we find ourselves with two distinct choices:

We can cry or we can create. We can take action or we can make excuses. We can be owners or we can be victims. We can tap into the “gloom and doom” mindset all around us and talk “Victimspeak,” or we can be beacons of light for those around us who are being lured to the Dark Side. Which choice are you making?

I’m still surprised when I hear professionals who have chosen to fall into victim mindset.

“No one is buying real estate right now,” a realtor client tells me.

“My patients are being laid off,” a chiropractor relates, “and they are not coming because even the deductible on their insurance is an issue.”

“People don’t want to pay money for coaching,” a career coach tells me.

“My clients have become so fearful of the market,” a financial advisor client moans, “that I can’t get them to even talk to me on the phone.”

All of these professionals have chosen Victimspeak over action. Yes, the economy is bad. Yes, people are being laid off. Yes, people are reluctant to spend large sums of money on nonessential services. Those are the facts. But the facts themselves have no power. We assign a value and a meaning to them and then attach the emotion of our choice.

Here are some more facts: In most states, more than 90% of the people are still employed. In most cities, expensive restaurants are still packed on the weekends. While many professionals aren’t making money, some are making almost as much as they did last year and some are making significantly more. Who are those people working for, and what are they doing?

My coach, Steve Chandler, calls them “Owners.” I call them “Action Heroes.” Either way they’ve chosen to view these times as I have, as a challenge they can try to rise above.

The fact is, in these times of panic, people need our voices of reason more than ever. Maybe they don’t have money for help they don’t need, but most will find the money for help they do need. If you choose to take action, instead of being victimized, here are three things you can do:

1. Be there for all of your clients, present and past. Write them. Call them. Reach out in some way to see if they’re okay. Offer to help with something—even if it doesn’t lead to income right away.

2. Get creative. A successful law firm is offering a free legal checkup to its vendors. A massage therapist is offering discounts on massages booked on Tuesdays, their slowest day. A career coach client has launched a low-cost telephone mastermind group.

3. Earn and ask for referrals. One financial advisor has been sending quarterly thank you notes with a Starbucks card enclosed, offering her clients their “next cup of coffee” on her. She has received over thirty referrals—in this market.

They need us, so we need to be strong for them. Do something—anything—and keep REACHING…


Deborah says:

I love the concept of Action Hero!
Wonder Woman maybe? Keep up the encouragement, Sandy, right on.
Deborah Gallant

Thanks for the pep talk, Sandy. Good comparisons of victimspeak vs. actions. Reminds me of a book I’m reading on storytelling … it talks about how telling positive stories is much more powerful in helping you move forward than repeating the stories of your victimization, which keeps you in that mindset. The negative stories need to be shared, but then move on already, basically.

Easier said than done — I need to think of what would resonate honestly from me, to potential clients!

Sybil says:

You are so right, Sandy. While I, like everyone else, am cutting back on non-essentials, I know there are still goods and services that I will need, now and in the near future. I am sure that this is also true for everyone. I am looking for people who do their work especially well.
When a client needs a photographer, they want value and quality. I try to exceed their expectations and this leads to later referrals, even in this economic environment.
As always, I appreciate your coaching!
Sybil Holland, photographer