Coming to another year-end always reminds me of the roller coaster. You know the one: it’s the one you ride every day.
Running a business is like riding a roller coaster. You work, work, huff and puff climbing that big hill to get your business going (or get it out of the ditch). Finally, one day, you reach the top, and with a great sigh of satisfaction, you start to relax to enjoy the view for a bit. But, while the car has slowed to a crawl, it has not stopped moving, and then…
Flying down the other side you go fighting the next crisis, competitor, or just the next quarter’s numbers. And they call this fun? And here’s the best part – as long as you stay on the ride, it never ends. Round and round you go…
What are some of the lessons here?
- Life, nature and business run in cycles / seasons – get used to it unless you have a craving to be road kill.
- Different strategies work best at different points in the cycle. Think about approaching a sharp curve in the road. You slow down, or even brake, a bit as you enter the curve, and then you re-accelerate coming out the other side. This maneuver lessens the chance of a crash while maintaining your overall momentum.
- Anticipating change works better than reacting to it. Recognizing your approach to the top of the ride allows you time to grab the rails anew and take a few deep breaths before going over the top, thereby reducing the chance of losing your hat, your wallet or your lunch.
Facing a sudden challenge or crisis with a calm demeanor works a lot better than wide-eyed panic. Trust me on this.