“A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” —John Burroughs
So here we are, somewhere California, trying to recover from another something. You can really fill in the blank because there are a lot words one can put there. Down cycle, recession, crash, late orders, uncollectible debt, law suit, patent infringement. We have experienced them all and have had to recover from them all. That is the short list as there are many more situations, events, and factors That have a negative impact on a business.
The reality is, at the end of the day, they are just excuses. Yes, they are real and, yes they have an impact but there are things you just can’t control. There will always be down cycles and recessions requiring leaning out your operations. You will have suppliers that can’t deliver on time, suppliers that make costly mistakes, customers and vendors that don’t pay, and there will always be competitors. Some of which will ride the line of ethics, and legality. It’s just part of business for which we have no control. It’s not fun but we have no control over what or how others operate. What we do have control over is how we prepare and respond.
Back to the topic of excuses. Again, all these “excuses” are real. But they are excuses because regardless of what and how it happened. Regardless of what caused it. As the owner, you are the one left holding the bag, and are ultimately responsible. You can either let these things bring you down or you can focus on responding to it. The reality is they will continue to happen so if you want to stay in the game you have to be ready. That does not include sitting in a conference room complaining.
You know the cheesy sayings, “expect the unexpected”, “hope for the best, plan for the worst”, “cash is king”? Add any other you like – they are all real and true. They were created by someone who experienced it and made it through. You can’t plan and prepare for all things but keeping these in mind, helps and gives you a fighting chance.
So, what does this have to do with Go-Go Babyz? If you have read the entire series so far, I have touched on our falls and the hard times that put us just days from closing up shop for good. I haven’t gone too deep, maybe someday, but I hope the message has been clear… We have had multiple near death experiences as a business. We learned many things the hard way, with the key word being “learned”. One of the greatest lessons lies in the realization that the owners are accountable. NO MATTER WHAT! It was often easier to point the finger, find a scapegoat and avoid responsibility. Blame it on this, blame on that, blame it on them, the economy, the president. And we did at times, but they were just excuses.
Maybe a recession beyond our control resulted in a bad year or two. Maybe a competitor did come out with a competing product or two. Maybe we did have a huge account file bankruptcy and default on nearly $20,000. The what, the how, and the why doesn’t matter when you have no control over it. The only whats, hows, and whys that matter are…
Why did this happen?
Why did it impact us this way?
How did we let this happen?
How will we do things differently?
What did we do or not do to protect ourselves from this?
What is the plan moving forward?
And so on…
Evaluate and move on, no dwelling, no blaming, and NO excuses. Live and learn and grow stronger.
We continue to live. Have we learned? Have we grown? Are we stronger?
Stay Tuned for part 11…