Yes, It’s A Mountain – But What A View!

November 7, 2022

Filed in: Marketing

If you ask people to make a list of words to describe significant moments in their lives, chances are most of those words will be negatives. Of course, we all have happy times but in the long run it’s the struggles that define us, that teach us who we are, what we can and can’t handle and what we are truly capable of. As Elvis once sang, “this time, Lord, you gave me a mountain”. In our case, that mountain is a pandemic which is testing us all as individuals and as organizations.

Reflecting on the times that have shaped you can help you gain clarity around how to move your business forward in 2022. The value of what you offer has not changed but you are going to have to work harder to get the message out in new and creative ways.

Today, ask yourself:
1. What has my business taught me this past year, or even this last quarter (Q1)?
2. What is something that I need to give up in my business that I no longer enjoy doing? What is something that I excel at in my business that I want to do more of?
3. What did my business overcome last year OR Q1, AND/OR What is my business capable of accomplishing this year/next quarter?

…and if I still have your attention, I also invite you to think back to WHY you started your business in the first place.

One of my favourite quotes is: “In listening, lies great power” by Ufuoma Apoki , and these are times to listen loudly. Listen to your staff, your customers, your inner voice and your gut; they all have things to contribute to the future state.

Regardless of your sector or industry, one thing we have all learned this past year is that our businesses will continuously be forced to adapt to changes in our industry, our world and our customer needs. There is nothing to say we will not be faced with another major pandemic style crisis down the road. We may need to change the type of product or service we are offering, to respond to our personal lives in general (marriage, kids, death), and to a complete rethink of who we are and what we do.

I am also a firm believer that no two similar businesses are the same, and that each and every one of us offers a completely different experience from the next.

The difference is the story you tell. That story is yours alone, it is one that not only defines you but one that you are able to tell, share and offer as a value add to others. In times of trouble, it’s the stories that uplift us, inspire us and encourage us to push on farther, climb a little higher.

We also learn from others’ stories so go ahead, share your concerns and anxieties; talk about the time you almost closed up shop, the vision that keeps you going, the people who inspired you along the way and, just maybe, you’ll be one that inspires others.

Our community needs you and it also needs to be reminded why you do what you do and how it adds to their lives, solves their problems, lightens their load. And don’t just tell your stories to your customers. Tell them to your fellow business owners and entrepreneurs and hold space to listen to their stories! There will be time enough to compete when we get to the top of the mountain. For now, we have to help lift each other up and collaborate to ensure we all survive the journey.

That’s what a community is: not just streets and buildings but people, businesses, and dreams.

N. Grant

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