Opportunity Can Come From Crisis

iStock_000003481925_Large-300x199Turning crisis into opportunity is one of the most critical personal and professional skills that is rarely discussed, but essential for lifelong success. The bottom line is that life throws us curveballs, and when it rains it pours, right?

When your foundation is shaken you may find yourself questioning everything and everyone around you including yourself, your loved ones, your business and even what you are doing with your life.

Many times it’s after a major life event that people make a change; some changes are for the better and others are for the worse. But what if you found a way to translate challenges and hardships into opportunity?

It’s all about perspective and mindset when it comes to opportunity.

The most profound learning opportunity for me in my business career was during the crash of 2008/2009. Businesses were shutting down, thousands of employees were being laid off everywhere, and I was coaching sales and recruiting teams in the staffing world at the front lines of the crash. I was presented with two options. We could choose to simply lie down, give up, and succumb to the trend of the companies around us which would inevitably lead to massive layoffs and huge financial losses or innovate and create our own path forward in a positive, profitable way.

We chose the latter and created one of the most profitable business breakthroughs on record, adding millions to the bottom line while retaining all our staff.

This remains one of the proudest accomplishments of my career. You may be wondering how we did it. We surveyed the market, and asked our clients for honest feedback about how their needs, challenges and concerns had changed and what we could do to serve them now.

We separated ourselves from the herd, transformed our offerings to match the current demand, retrained and retooled our team and enjoyed unmatched success. I like to call this concept “innovate to outperform,” and I consider it one of the most valuable skill sets anyone in business can learn. Today I am challenging you to look at hardships as they arise in a new and different way.

There remains a great deal of turmoil in the world economy and all signs appear to indicate that it will not be ending any time soon. Innovation is a core responsibility of anyone in business especially if you have employees that rely on you for their livelihood. Becoming a better, stronger, faster innovator will do nothing but help you grow and prosper in business and in life!

Here are some tips and strategies to sharpen your skill set as an innovator and create opportunity:

  • When you feel a shift in your business and you are no longer getting the same results as you previously observed among activities in the company dig deeper to uncover the root cause and tweak to re-establish value
  • When something in your business is not working, brainstorm ways to adjust and refine your approach to make it profitable and productive vs. remaining comfortable with the status quo or eliminating that objective all together
  • Regularly survey your customers to understand their current challenges, opportunities and concerns and let them guide your offerings vs. independently making decisions and trying to sell them something they no longer want or need
  • Be flexible and learn to adapt. This will give you a significant competitive advantage in the market. Pay attention to trends and don’t hesitate to go with the flow and capitalize on new and different opportunities as they arise as long as they align with your big picture goals.

I hope this sparks some fantastic ideas for your business that will contribute to your success and freedom!