September 7, 2014


Albert Einstein was famous in many different ways. One way was his wisdom as expressed in words, not numbers. One of his sayings was, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Many people say that difficult times are just opportunities in disguise. Whatever you believe, difficulty is just a point in time that all of us will experience, but will handle differently.

As business people all of us will experience difficult times. This is inevitable in business. It does not matter what the situation is or who is to blame, difficulty will rise up and slap us in the face if we are in business, no matter what our position or level of business. It does not matter what type of past experience we have, difficulty will find us.

It should not come as a surprise when difficulty knocks on our door. We should expect that it will occur, sooner or later. It is how we handle difficulty that defines us as business people. Do we cringe in fear, becoming frozen in our office, or do we smile, maybe even laugh, and take action to turn the difficult times into successes? Just a hint, cringing in fear never works; we must stand on our feet, glare at the difficulty, and slap it down into submission.

When the difficult times arrive, we must draw on the information, planning, and other resources that we have established to deal with the problem that has presented itself, whatever it is. Is it of our own doing, or the fault of one of our staff? Is it something for which we have plans, or is it something that we never anticipated? What is the best process that we need to take to correct the situation and to prevent a reoccurrence?

It is imperative to learn from difficult experiences. Information is power, and we must use the information that we gain to our best advantage. What does the difficulty do to the spirit and thought process of our staff and to our own thought process? We must take steps to deal with this aspect of the difficulty and make sure that we do not operate in the future out of fear of failure.

As Thomas Fuller said, “All things are difficult before they are easy.” Based on the facts of a difficult period, we must look at the experience as just that, an experience. We must learn from these events and build processes to prevent their reoccurrence or to mitigate the impact in the future. Repeating panic from one difficulty to the next is failure and doom for a business. Your operation will get easier after difficulties are overcome and you have moved on in your business.

We all will experience difficulty in our businesses. It is what we do to deal with those times that define us as a business and as business people. Your networking partners should be a source of information, as well and comfort, in those periods of stress and despair. By building relationships with others, you will allow yourself to draw on their information and experience when you need their support. That’s Appreciation Marketing and relationships at the best.

So what is your process for dealing with difficult times? Do you panic, blaming everyone else but yourself? Or do you keep your calm, implement plans to deal with the problem, and learn from the event? Maybe you could rely on help from your partners, but you may be able to help one of those partners when they need you, relationships being two-way streets. Please leave me your comments, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.

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