I’m done. I’m saying ‘Sayonara’ to a bad habit that I picked up in November 2008. I’m going to quit saying, ‘When things return to normal.’ That sentence ends a million ways, ‘When things return to normal, we can start advertising in your magazine again. When things return to normal, I can finally buy you a functioning computer. When things return to normal, we can finally raise the price on our Otion Soap Bar Experiences. When things return to normal, I can finally start to look for a new warehouse.’ When, when, when … how about never, never, never.
I’m not one of those people that believes that as soon as I (complete this sentence: move to a new state, finish my degree, break up with my boyfriend, marry my dream guy, move out of my parent’s house, pay off my credit card debt, get my weight under control), my life will be better. I’ve always plowed ahead, telling myself ‘This is your life. This is your reality. Live it now. Don’t live in the future.’
So, why am I doing it with business? I think it’s because the drop in the stock market and consumer confidence in late 2008 was so mind blowing that I couldn’t comprehend that maybe, just maybe, everything really was changing that quickly. My puny comprehension couldn’t take in the scope of a new playing field. Instead, I just waited, along with the rest of the nation, until ‘the recession ended.’ Every panel I’ve listened to or spoke on this year had at least one speaker saying, “Well, when the recession ends, I’m going to…” or “I’m hearing that the market is improving so I’m just holding on until …”
We keep being told the recession is ending, that the housing market is stabilizing and that we’ll soon return to the halcyon days of 2005. That’s fine. You go ahead and wait for that but I’m done waiting. I’m going to act as though our fractured marketplace and our difficult economic climate is the new normal. I’m re-adjusting what I think ‘healthy’ profits look like and I’m going to get realistic and engaged in what the current economy has to offer. To hope, wish, and pray for anything else is just bad forecasting on my part and it does a disservice to my company, my staff and my customers.
What does that mean? It means that I’m going to get up earlier, stay up later and be hungrier than ever before for new market opportunities, for new customers and keep my eyes focused on the prize: building a company that lasts the ages, that is around for my grandchildren to inherit and love the entire process. And, it means that I’m not waiting around for the market to turn around to lay plans for my better future: I engaged the services of a commercial broker last week to look for new warehouse property for Bramble Berry and I’m forging ahead with our expansion plans into soap mold manufacturing. I’ve readjusted the tint on my rose-colored-glasses considerably but I’m still holding on to them because I know, eventually, someday, I might need them again.