Monday, September 7, 2015

Through the Ups and Downs, Keep Moving Forward

Recently the U.S. stock market experienced another wild week. This time, the DOW Jones industrial average plunged more than 500 points in one day after news broke that the Chinese stock market had faltered and their economy had slowed.

Within days, however, U.S. stocks rebounded, and the market stabilized. Before it did, some began to wonder if we were in for the kind of crash that would return America to the days of the Great Depression.

A friend of mine asked me what I thought, and I was surprised by my answer—but not really. “I try not to think about it,” I said. And I meant it. Let me explain.

If there’s any one thing I’ve learned about business—any one thing that has become my mantra—it’s this: Keep your head down, and keep moving forward.

When times are good, don’t take them for granted. Keep moving forward. Likewise, when times get tough, don’t spend time worrying. Keep moving forward.

In my experience, that’s how things get done. Always be selling. Always be serving. Always be providing customers with a superior product at a fair price.

I’ve written before about the recession of 2008 and 2009, and how it nearly devastated our company. At one point, we lost 70 percent of our largest client’s business—not through anything we did, but simply because they thought they could save money by doing the work in-house.

We could have given up, and gone under. Instead, we adjusted the way we operated, and kept moving forward. Within three years we had more than replaced the business we’d lost.

There was no magic formula. We just kept selling. We kept moving forward. We kept believing that we could deliver what nobody else could. And it worked. Our business not only rebounded, it grew.

So, when the stock market dropped over fears of what was happening in China, and then rebounded and adjusted itself, we did what we always do; we kept moving forward.

Maybe it’s a little bold to say we ignored it completely. We’re only human, after all. But you can’t fault us for trying.

I like what one investment strategist said in the aftermath: Business fundamentals are more powerful than fear.

So control the things you can. Keep moving forward, always be selling, and always provide a superior product or service at a fair price.

It’ll get you through the tough times, and help you appreciate the good times, as well.

MIKE BOYD is president of Creative Source. Clients looking for sign companies in Canton, Ohio
and the surrounding region look to Mike and his staff for creative marketing solutions.

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