3 Things to Focus on Through Any Unexpected Business Trial

In my last contributor blog, I wrote about my battle with Trigeminal Neuralgia and the 3 Lessons I Learned from Brain Surgery that Could Benefit Your Print Business.

Now, you’d think I’d only get to share a story like that once in my lifetime. But, at the time of this writing, I’ve been home for three days after a 13-day stint in the hospital battling COVID pneumonia. Nine of those thirteen days were spent in the COVID isolation unit. I couldn’t see anyone except for the medical staff that looked like they walked off the set of Contagion or The Martian in their clean suits.

A picture of my family coming to see me while in the COVID isolation unit in the middle of a Polar Vortex (It’s -25 degrees Fahrenheit in this picture). Left to right: JJ (19), Autumn (14), Ben (17), Jeremy (my hubby of 22 years).

While in the hospital, four more of the MI4P staff were also battling COVID, and although they didn’t get hit as hard, they’re still facing the lingering effects head-on.

As I walked into the emergency room that Sunday afternoon, I had no idea my world would be turned upside down over the next two weeks. And, therein, lies my point.

Have you ever considered how you’ll handle the unexpected at your business? Are you ready for it? While it’s impossible to lay out a contingency plan for every possible scenario, there is one thing I’m 100% certain you’ll need to do: narrow your focus.

Here are three things to focus on through any unexpected business trial:

1. Put People First

One of my favorite sayings is:

Major on the majors; minor on the minors.

It’s easy to quickly fall into the trap of thinking everything is major when you want to do everything perfectly. But, that’s not sustainable or even necessarily wise.

Unexpected challenges make it easier to separate the majors and minors in your business. And, one thing you’ll quickly see is that the people who make up your business will always rise to the top.

So, set your sights on the things that last: your team, your customers, your people, and let the rest fall where it may for a bit. Let your humanness win out, even when it requires some vulnerability. It’s in this vulnerability that people see you and connect with you the most because they can relate. After all, they’re all human too and just trying to do the best they can.

2. Inspire and Rally the Troops

Ready or not, as the leader of your business, it will fall to you to inspire and rally your troops when tough times come.

As that famous line in Remember the Titans says, “Attitude reflects leadership.” It’s your attitude and your leadership that will either help your business sail through the struggle or sink in the mire of defeat.

I have to do a shout-out here to Dave Hultin, the President here at Marketing Ideas For Printers. Dave clearly has the working genius of galvanizing. Or, in other words, “The natural gift of rallying, inspiring and organizing others to take action.” Here’s a perfect example of a recent Slack message he used to inspire and rally the troops, all while fighting COVID himself:

It sure has been interesting watching the conversations in Slack this morning. The good news is that there are conversations!!! [Joanna] offered this observation earlier:

This is a short window of the MI4P timeline, we will be OK.

That thought brings me back to this quote from the latest blog post:

You’re going to face distractions and interruptions, but as long as you have a clearly defined vision, a True North, you have a path to get back on track. The journey may look different than you expected, but the destination won’t change.

We have that True North! We’ve never been off track, we’ve just been on a different path. Hang in there team, the momentum is starting to shift back in our favor again, and we will get there!!!
If you’ve not had to fight any bugs this month, I’m thankful for your stability. If you’ve fought bugs at any point this month (including new bugs like [Aaron]), I’m anxious for your full return to health. It’s been quite an adventure, hasn’t it?

3. Challenge-Proof Your Business

Fortifying your business to withstand anything that’s thrown at it will require a little advanced planning. But, everyone will be better for it.

At Marketing Ideas For Printers, one key tool that helps us challenge-proof our business is the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). This system focuses on three main things:

  • Vision—”getting everyone in your organization 100% on the same page with where you’re going, and how you plan to get there.”
  • Traction®—”instilling focus, discipline, and accountability throughout the company so that everyone executes on that vision—every day.”
  • Healthy—”helping your leaders become a more cohesive, functional, healthy leadership team.”

Stripping that all aside, EOS helps create processes that are followed by all and gets your team not only in the same boat but all rowing in the same direction.

That means if five of your team members get knocked down by COVID, no one is waiting around trying to figure out who is supposed to do what. It’s already been established by processes known and followed by all.

A system like this allows your business to take some pretty hard hits and still rise above it. But here’s the thing… it needs to be in place before the trial hits, so today is the best day to start getting such a system implemented.

You Can Do This

Trials may come, but when you focus on people, rally and inspire them to take action even in the midst of a challenge, and set them up for success beforehand, you’ll be able to withstand any knocks with hardly a dent in your business armor.

Written by

Rachel Nies

Director of Marketing, Marketing Ideas For Printers

Rachel has a passion for helping others succeed. She doesn’t like the limelight but will do everything she can to help you get there. A born implementer with a love for content creation, editing, project management and administration, Rachel uses her unique abilities as the Director of Marketing at Marketing Ideas For Printers, helping printers across the country sell more printing through marketing content and online ordering solutions.