By Bob Miller
Without question, maintaining a positive attitude in today’s ‘challenging’ world is far from easy, especially when those around us are pessimistic and unhappy. The world we live in; the lifestyles of others; the state-of-the Union; the latest color of their neighbor’s hair – their list of what’s NOT right with the world seems to just go on and on.
What they don’t get is that so many of the ‘things’ that are causing them to have sleepless nights are simply out of their control. And no amount of worry, or pessimism, or complaining can alter that.
Some people feed on malcontent, I suppose. But not me! When I was in my 30’s, a wise man told me, “Control what you can, and leave everything else to the Hand of God.” Ever since then, I’ve tried to live my life by that sage advice - working to control what I can, and letting the rest find its place. How does this apply to our industry and more specifically, to our companies?
Like you, I’m hearing from colleagues and reading about how difficult it is to be profitable in our industry. By no means am I downplaying the critical nature of the current environment. It is indeed difficult out there! And yes, our industry is struggling. But I know for a fact that our advocates in D.C. are working 24/7 on our behalf to change the cause of our pain. The resolve of the Trade and Tariffs issues, however, simply remains to be seen.
So, what can we be doing? Well, rather than continuing to invest precious time bemoaning the current state of affairs, I say we dig deep; look within; and strategize how best to ‘reinvent’ our companies. What can be changed - for the short-term or until our markets improve - to keep our companies in the black, or to get us close to breakeven?
What I’m advocating isn’t an easy endeavor. To benefit the many, we may have to make very painful decisions that will affect the few. But our goal now is to survive, with the end game of prospering in the future. And it is especially important now, that we stick together. There is indeed, strength in numbers!
Ours is an industry comprised of many passionate, solutions-oriented people. Our companies are our livelihoods, and for many of us, the legacies that have been gifted to us by our families. Let’s embrace the fight; control what we can; and put aside the distractions that we cannot control.