The Test of Time

Here we are in 2021, and we are looking forward to when we can get back to normal or is this the new normal? Will our businesses make it through 2022? How should we plan for the next three, five or ten years? Our nation is 247 years old from July 4, 1776, to present day. Our nation has gone through a huge amount of change. What if I told you before I became a college business instructor in 2009, I had worked for a corporation that was older than our nation? What if I told you that the parent company of the corporation I worked for was started in 1759?

Longevity is all about perception. Many of us think of our businesses as being taken over by our kids or grandkids. I don’t know a single person who thinks of their business as going on for another 263 years from now. Yet, there I was one of more than 40,000 employees in 139 countries. 

This was a British company that had grown and survived multiple economic disasters and multiple changes of political winds. They had stayed focused on who they were and what their purpose was. They had changed products and even industries over time, acquiring and selling businesses as they went. Their focus, however, never left out who they were. Their values as a business did not change very often.

The pandemic has shown a lot of us the importance of what we think, say, and do. Speaking positive words to ourselves today as a habit lays a foundation for how we are going to respond to circumstances in the future. This is true of all aspects of life, especially in business. Start today to speak to yourself in ways that build you up. Start surrounding yourself with people who build you up. Your future will take care of itself if you take care of it today.

How you respond to circumstances is what defines who you are, not the circumstances. The words you have been telling yourself about your business determine what that response will be. Do you see yourself as a victim or a victor over circumstances? This past year and a half have proven the truth of that as many owners have thrown in the towel and said it just isn’t worth it. Many others have said I didn’t build this to throw it away just because times are tough.  

There isn’t a right or wrong answer; there is only how you think, talk to yourself, and respond to any circumstances in a way that supports who you are and who you want to be.Some businesses have a  short life-span, some last a lifetime, and some last a couple of generations. Then there are those rare few that last for more than 12 generations. The difference is how you as the owner envision your business. It is your business and your dream.

Remember that we here at the SBDC are here to help you. We want to be some of the people you surround yourself with, we only exist to help you succeed. Don’t hesitate to contact us and make us part of your team.

By Todd Rausch

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