All industries can interact and communicate to help out each other -- ours are no different. The Business Solutions column in our new Expert Network section is designed to be your personal business advisory sounding board with experts from different business areas available to answer your questions. The format for this as with other Expert Network sections will not be unlike a "Dear Abby" for business; however, SNEWS® will expand beyond the typical single columnist to tap into a broader panel of experts, many from among SNEWS readers. Together with experts, SNEWS will offer a forum for readers to discuss a topic, chime in with their own ideas, and suggest different recommendations to a variety of business concerns or issues.
Our Business Solutions expert panel is hosted by Ascent Advising, using contributions from several sources. Offer your input via the Chat area to add your comments or ideas to expand the forum into a lively, interactive, open discussion that we hope will benefit all.
Have a question you'd like our experts to answer? Email it to BusinessSolutions@snewsnet.com.
Q: I know I am not the only one who is really disturbed with all the bad news about the economy, but it is affecting my business, affecting my attitude, and I am even losing sleep over it! It is depressing! Any suggestions?
A: While some people make a hobby of complaining, people who own or run a business don't have the luxury of just complaining. Complaining doesn't solve problems, action does.
We suggest the following exercise to translate intangible worrying into tangible action:
- Take a piece of paper and at the top write the heading, "Negatives." Below that heading, write all of the things that are troubling you, all of your worries and concerns, all the things that you are losing sleep over, etc. Include the general concerns, as well as the minute details.
- On a second piece of paper, put the heading, "Positives." Below that, write all of the things that make you happy, things you are pleased with, things that you are proud of and bring you joy, things that are going well, all that you are thankful for, etc.
- On a third piece of paper, write the heading, "Action." Review the list of negatives from the first list and look for those items over which you have some control or influence, things you can do something about. Add these items to this third list. Be realistic and be careful not to err in either extreme -- that is, thinking you have influence over things you don't have any influence over or, conversely, by saying you have no influence over things where you do have influence. You may not have much control over world peace, for instance, but you do have influence over your sales revenues.
- For each item on the action list, develop a prioritized list of steps that you will take for each one. Your action plan should target your areas of influence and should be intended to result in more positive outcomes.
- Get to work and do the items on this last list!
- When you find yourself stressing out or losing sleep, pull out the positives list and focus on those for a while.
The difference between worry and concern is that worry is problem oriented and concern is solution oriented. Let yourself spend a little time being worried, but rapidly force yourself to convert that worry into concern, that concern into action, and your actions into solutions!
Ascent Advising provides wide-ranging business advisory services to companies around the globe, coming alongside business owners and executive teams to define and achieve even greater successes. The popular email newsletter, "Adages from Ascent," brings to light vital and innovative concepts for running a business. For a free subscription, and to view past issues of the newsletter, visit AscentAdvising.com and follow the link for "Adages from Ascent."