When to Make a Personal Course Correction
Joyce Lain Kennedy
DEAR JOYCE: My small business is teetering, mostly down but with an occasional burst of recovery. I feel the stress of the economy closing in on me. After 15 years, I'm thinking maybe I should rethink what I'm doing with my future. You've seen recessions come and go. So, what words of wisdom do you have for me?
The wisdom you're getting today comes from a famous shaper of successful behavior, preeminent executive coach and best-selling author Marshall Goldsmith. Written with Mark Reiter, Goldsmith's new book, "Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back if You Lose It" (Hyperion), defines mojo as that positive spirit toward what we are doing now that starts on the inside and radiates to the outside.
However mojo is defined -- inner drive, personal magnetism, enthusiasm for success -- Goldsmith's book recognizes that mojo killers are loose in our hard-times land. In addition to the insecurity of shaky businesses, people are being let go, losing homes and going bankrupt. Too often, individuals on the receiving end of hard knocks make serious mistakes if they are paralyzed by adversity and don't act to get their mojo back.
One of the big errors, Goldsmith explains, is sitting tight without planning a reasonably intelligent course of action, merely hoping that a negative situation eventually will turn positive:
"Waiting for the facts to change -- instead of dealing with the facts as they are -- is a common response to a setback. It's the response of the owner of a dying business who refuses to cut costs or lay off workers during a continued downturn because a turnaround is just around the corner.
"It's the response of a shopkeeper in a decaying part of town who gamely sticks to his product line and his way of doing business even as customers disappear, revenue shrinks, and neighboring stores shut down. The area will come back, he thinks; it can't simply vanish.
"When people wait for discomforting facts to change into something more to their liking, they're basically engaging in wishful thinking," says the man whom the
So what should you do now? Here's Goldsmith's advice:
"When the facts are not to your liking, ask yourself, 'What path would I take if I knew that the situation would not get better?' Then get ready to do that. If the world changes in your favor, you haven't lost anything. If the facts do not change, you are more ready to face the new world.'"
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© Joyce Lain Kennedy