And this has been the main subject on several conversations I've had with coworkers and business partners: How fear can become a positive or negative element in your business strategy depending on the way you handle it.
Searching online about what "fear" means, I’m going to stick to the following definition I found:
"Fear is an adaptive scheme, and provides a survival and defense mechanism which emerges to enable the individual to quickly and effectively respond to adverse situations. In that sense, it’s normal and beneficial for the individual and his species".
Of all that, what strikes me the most of such definition is when it states that fear arises to enable us to quickly and effectively respond to adverse situations. Simply love it!
Have you ever noticed who wins in horror movies?
Although I like better horror films the way they were done before, when special effects weren’t used in such a morbid manner as they’re used today, and killings were, being as bad as they are in nature, somehow normal, I found that in all horror movies I've seen so far, there is something that always happens: the person who runs away trying to escape, fleeing in terror from her attacker, is the one who wins.
And it's easy to see why that person wins: while running, she’s experiencing new places where she can get something to help her out to defeat her opponent gaining time before help arrives, or maybe the bad guy is not able to outrun her, or even, not to find her. In short, she’s giving herself an opportunity to get out of a very sticky situation.
We must respond quickly and effectively to adverse situations.
What happens to the person who doesn’t run, the one that freezes up and does nothing but close her eyes and desperately start praying for the bad guy not reach her? Well, that the bad guy not only reaches her but also... you know the ending. In addition, when staying frozen and paralyzed, the only tools at her disposal are the same at all times, they don’t change and, in addition, she’s easily discovered by the bad guy, not giving good guys time enough to arrive to the place and help her out.
In short, you can definitely say it’s still a quick response perhaps, but definitely not effective because the story doesn’t have a happy ending.
How all this applies to your business?
Obviously the situation we are going through must be creating inside you a degree of anxiety, which is going to be higher or not depending on how strongly the effects of the crisis and its related components are taking on your life. In fact, you’re probably aware of how stress is responsible for a huge percentage of all visits to the doctor, not to mention the many problems that stress can help develop and strengthen in your personal and family life.
Therefore, the crisis is an adverse situation that threatens you for real in your day to day life, as well as in your business possibilities and projections over the time, so you must (or should) respond to this situation quickly and effectively.
People all around the world and for the last few years, maybe even since the terrorist attack in New York or earlier, have been talking about hard times that were to come and a worldwide economic downturn. Therefore, we could say that our overall response to the crisis hasn’t been quick enough, especially if you are still paralyzed, with your eyes closed, not knowing what to do or where to run or, even worse, waiting for the crisis to be over and everything resorting back to the way they were before.
To succeed, your answer has to be not only quick but also effective.
Re-invent your business, look for new alternatives, improve your product, create and develop new opportunities for yourself, seek for alliances with other companies that may be mutually beneficial. In short, do something that allows you to move forward and not wait for the bad guy to find you.
Don’t stay paralyzed waiting for the crisis to be over or that the bad guy doesn’t realize you’re hidden beneath that piece of furniture. Make sure your response is effective and that your story has a happy ending.
If you look around you will notice not everything is as bad as most people think and there are companies and businesses that are moving forward. If you can’t see it, look at the case of many "start-ups" that are succeeding.
Remember in horror movies, the winner is the moving one, the seeker, the one who responds positively. If you don’t believe what I say, ask then Freddy Krueger :-D
Related Articles: Vision and planning - Are you adapting to the change?