Tag Archive for: Challenges

Recently, I was listening to a short speech by Kara Lawson, Head Coach for the Duke University women’s basketball team where she explained to her players that life can be challenging.

Yet, the best lesson that she shared was that it is always better to accept that life can be challenging and then move forward with a plan to make it better. Lawson describes this process as learning to “Handle Hard Better!” However, she points out that this requires a mental shift on our part. Instead of complaining, as a Client of mine did recently, about how the bank was being unreasonable, the feed company was becoming aggressive, and the IRS was being difficult, we need to make this mental shift to handling hard better.

Let’s face it. Life is full of challenges for all of us. If you could hear the noise just outside my office right now, you would realize how I know this first-hand. Our contractors were preparing to put the roofing material over our patio cover yesterday, but we received 4” of rain suddenly, and that did not work out too well for the tongue & groove boards underneath. So, they are currently replacing the warped boards. As a result, I am learning how to handle hard better.

Matthew McConaughey says, “Life is not easy.” He adds that “it never was, it isn’t today, and it never will be.” As a result, he recommends that we get over it & get on with it. This advice certainly aligns with Kara Lawson’s speech.

Finally, Coach Lawson cautions her players (& us) to not be “waiting for the easy bus.” She adds that when we stand around, doing nothing, just waiting for the easy bus to arrive, nothing good happens. In fact, unfortunately, the easy bus never comes. That is why we need to learn to “Handle Hard Better!” Let’s heed her advice this year and remember:

“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”      Anonymous

Let’s take your business to the Next Level!

Of course, you have. We all have witnessed this scenario. The banker is unhappy with the “problems” at the farm site, and one of the partners looks at the others and says, “You got us into this mess. Now, you can get us out of it!”

As I saw in a recent YouTube video, it’s time to quit playing the “Blame Game!” Instead of acting like the U.S. auto industry of the 1960’s and 1970’s, where every problem was considered someone else’s fault, until the Japanese practically overtook the entire industry, let’s try another approach to turnaround situations.

While it’s always better to avoid banking & financial problems because no one enjoys them, we need a system to do so. In every one of my 73 financial turnarounds to date, at least one item needed to be improved. Usually, it centered around a “lack of communication” between the partners, owners, managers, vendors &/or bankers…

My recommendation? Instead of playing the “blame game,” why not do the following? Meet regularly and discuss your challenges. I’ve met with every one of my Clients each month for the past 23 years. Believe me, that’s a lot of meetings, but you know what? They have kept each other better informed, and, as a result, been in a position to make more informed decisions. Did we get every decision correct? Probably not, but just like in Major League Baseball, if your batting average is high enough, you will succeed and probably participate in the All-Star game!

When you meet, always, always, always have an agenda! Not a hidden one, but rather, one that keeps you all on focus throughout your discussions. Tangents are so easy to get caught up within, and they are never productive…

Focus on one item at a time, if possible, and find a solution. So often, we (and sometimes bankers, too…) want to solve five issues at once. However, this process will dilute your focus and delay your progress on any of these challenges.

My experience has been that, once I get the biggest problem solved and stick to the process, the others start to look less intimidating. My advice to you is this: As Author Brendon Burchard so often states: “Honor the Struggle.” I think you’ll be glad you did!

Let’s take your business to the Next Level!