Re-Define Success

December 2, 2010

In a tough business climate, it's naïve to think everything will be as it was. Sales will be under pressure as will profitability. It's time to redefine success. Staying the course and looking to hold business, build share and suffer less than your competitors is a valid strategy. The economy has moved and so will your business.

You need to be realistic about what you can achieve and how you will achieve it. Set a new bar. Support the plans that will enable you to get over the hurdle. Meet the new goals and build from there.

It's about small wins now and bigger wins later. Tighten your belt. Focus. Sharpen. Gee, this is all starting to sound suspiciously like a diet and exercise book. And in a funny way, that's exactly what it is. A diet and exercise book—for your business. Chances are, you've gotten professionally fat and lazy. If so, think of the GD2 as a sudden chest pain for your business. A wake-up call to start trimming down, slimming down and shaping up.

And like any good exercise program, take the small victories as you get them. Can't bench press the same weight you could in college? Well, you never try to go for the whole thing at once. You start with 5 or 10 pounds and add a few pounds each time you work out. Same thing for your business. Start building small victories. Where are they coming from? What are they signaling? And how can you leverage them for bigger wins down the road?

It's out there. There are always people who prosper in a downturn. This morass isn't going to last forever. And as we said at the start, there will be plenty of survivors-and a few people that thrive-do everything you can to be one of them.

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