When times are rough, in business and in life, many of us seek stability. We want to anchor ourselves to something. We want to tie our boat up to try and outlast the storm. But that very choice can often cause far more damage than the less intuitive decision: facing the waves.
Tying Off or Facing The Waves
In business, tying off might mean trying hard to stick to old products and old marketing, and hoping that the tides turn. It might mean keeping the staff exactly as they are, or halting any investments for fear of becoming cash weak. Tying off is any time you try to hold to what was, with the goal that “what was” will hold you back.
Facing the waves means turning your boat into the swell of the storm and putting your skills to use in plotting a course to safety. It means making quick calculations of risk and taking the action you feel will best serve the most people. It means finding a new course that might push you into turbulence, but that ultimately will get you pointed back towards dry land and salvation.
The Fear Comes Either Way
Neither method is without fear. If you tie off, the “strong winds” of change will ravage your lines and you might find yourself sunk by that course of action. The fear of this happening can ruin what little hope you had in stability. If you face the waves, you’re risking more because everything is changing so fast, and it requires a blend of wits and experience. It’s very scary, too.
You face your fears either way, so don’t let that sway your thinking.
The Best Stability is Flexibility
I’m all for facing the waves. It’s difficult, because it requires a lot fewer assumptions, and it requires a lot more active effort. Most people try to build “set it and forget it” business practices, and that’s fine, until your customers forget it, too. To me, facing the waves is the method to choose. I’ve sunk a few ships, but I’ve saved a few, too.