Monday, November 1, 2010

Adversity or Opportunity?

At Eco-Protective Products, we try to promote a corporate culture that encourages outdoor activity and time away from work to focus on the needs of the individuals that comprise our company. Not only do I feel great inspiration when out in nature, but I really believe wholeheartedly that our lives become exponentially more interconnected/wired-in each passing day, and it is nourishing for the mind, body, and soul to untether ourselves regularly from whatever network (Twitter, Facebook, work, kids, etc) that drain our energies. In today’s tough economic environment, it is especially important that we recharge our batteries in order to better handle and ultimately overcome the adverse conditions that are ever-present in our personal, professional, and social lives.

While on a run this weekend, I couldn’t help but contemplate times in my own life that I’ve had to endure adversity –sometimes so great that finding the will to go on was an arduous task in and of itself– but, as evidenced by my writing of this column, I was able to endure, survive, and prosper.

Adversity can come in many forms, many of which are relevant to at least someone you know and it can really effect your business, but here are some ways to turn adversity into opportunity to take your business, career, or personal life from good to great.

Ways to Overcome Adversity & Obstacles

1. Sell Your Vision –

According to Lyve Alexis Pleshette, a writer about small and women owned businesses it is imperative to go on the offensive in periods of downward economic times. In other words, those who are persistent, prevail.

“'A leader must be a dealer in hope,' Confucius wrote. Those who can illuminate the darkness are experts at restoring people’s faith in the future, especially the faith of talented people who have run into brick walls. Even if you’re the only person running your business, you have customers and clients, vendors and sub-contractors who need to see your vision. The golden core of leadership is the ability to raise aspirations. Transition is an ideal time to do so. Our intrepid adventurers are unflagging optimists. In many respects, this special species of leaders is 'delusional,' according to veteran executive coach Marshall Goldsmith. 'They are not as good as they think they are, but they have the confidence to pursue big things.' So tune out the cynics and second-guessers who say you can’t beat the odds. Don’t let pouting pessimists rob you from pursuing—and capturing—your dreams."

Read more: Strategies to Overcome Adversity

You don't have to be a modern day Shakespeare to blog.
Provide your readers/customers easy to follow information
relevant to their lives. It's a great informal way to make
a meaningful, personal connection. 
2. Blogging -

According to Lorna Li (an online marketer who specializes in green marketing and writes about green marketing, social enterprise, social media and personal branding in her own blog), green and sustainable business owners shouldn't "count on Obama's stimulus plan to help your green business survive the economic downturn. With a tough economy and increased online competition, your green business needs a blog to be competitive. Blogging is the least expensive way to market, as it is just a fraction of the cost of television or print advertising, and most importantly, in can drive lasting traffic, if done correctly.

3. Look inward

Although Eco-Protective Products’ business model may differ from other businesses, what makes us successful or unsuccessful is no different from the business of a lemonade stand to a multinational conglomerate. In this economy, there are many places to point a finger: the economy, the housing bubble, too much regulation or too little, green washing, poor financing, and so on and so forth.

Adversity allows us to peel back 
the fluff and get to the core 
of our business.
However bad the situation may be, some businesses will gain strength, market share, and brand power through these times, and others will shutter their doors. And I think we all should take this opportunity to look within ourselves and our organizations to make improvements, whether it be discovering new talents from our employees, returning to our core competencies, reaching out & listening to our clients, or encouraging an open dialogue with the stakeholders of our companies. Blaming situational conditions does  little more than afford us an excuse when we allow adversity to  precipitate failure instead recognizing it as the opportunity to lay the foundation for future success.

Share with us what inspires you to overcome adversity. Not a subscriber to our Newsletter, do so here.

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