Sunday, November 8, 2009

Getting Control of Your Business

In the weeks surrounding the market crash, I received more than few calls from clients who basically said, “I don’t feel like I’m in control. I don’t know what to do. I’ve lost a lot of money. Things are not good.”

Things were not good for a lot of people. And though I’m a tax planner and not a financial advisor, I wanted to help. I wanted to give advice to my clients as to how to make that money back. I wanted to give sage advice that extended beyond: “Hang on…don’t do anything. The market went down, it will come back up.”

And then I realized that giving advice was not what I should be doing.

Collectively, we have all lost a lot of money. Collectively, things might not look so god. But instead of focusing on all that money lost, all those opportunities down the drain, let’s take a minute to redefine who we are and what our goals are.

We know that we will live to fight another day. Eventually, the market will come back up. So instead of focusing on all that money lost, let’s talk about who we want to be in the meantime. Instead of looking at the gap between what we had two, three years ago and what we have today, let’s simply look at what we have today.

By focusing on our current capacities, we can stop reacting like thimbles in the ocean to the waves crashing around us. Instead, we begin applying our strengths to address problems with confidence.

In Say Hello to the Elephants I talk about the importance of wielding strengths. Let me take the steal the following from my own book:
Strengths constitute your confidence. Your strengths will give you the confidence to discover hidden problems instead of evading them. Your strengths represent the confidence that gives you the ability to take advantage of opportunities and protect yourself from dangers. Your strengths stop you from standing in front of danger like a deer in headlights. By giving you confidence, your strengths develop, implement, and sustain your solutions. Your strengths will help you plan for various futures, be flexible about the paths you choose, and recognize opportunities others cannot.

Today’s Challenge: Answer the following questions...
  • What are my strengths? 
  • What attributes, resources, and skills do I have? 
  • In what activities do I feel most confident?

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