The title of this piece is a quote by Colin Powell:
Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.
It is one of my favorites that is posted in a few places in my home and office. It reminds me to defer and shift back into what I consider the most productive mindset we can have – hope and optimism.
There are so many positive signs and silver linings that have emerged over the past few years. Yes, we have been through some of the toughest, most challenging times and for some – life changes. But in most of those cases we have had no control over what happens, only how we choose to deal with it and what we come away with.
We have had to adjust the sails of our attitude, shift our focus to what we can do, become more specialized and niche focused, harness new technology, trends and human capital all around us.
Entrepreneurs, small business owners and professionals have been force-fed a big dose of radical reality the past few years that has moved people where they need to be now. And there is good news.
The NFIB (National Foundation of Independent Businesses) reports:
Job creation plans leapt to a level not seen since before the recession and sales expectations improved.
The Hubspot Inbound Marketing Report yielded some encouraging marketing information with regard to future objectives for business:
- 60% of companies have adopted inbound marketing methodologies.
- 45% of B2B companies increased marketing budgets due to past inbound success.
- 79% of companies report a positive ROI (return on investment) from their blog for inbound marketing.
- Content creation stands apart from other tactics for its difficulty and its effectiveness.
- Good content creates buzz and attracts links.
- Marketers who commit to creating quality content improve their SEO (search engine optimization) positions.
Businesses that consistently take an honest inventory of all of their products, processes and productivity have the highest chance of sustainable success.
Honestly, ask yourself if you and your business have these imperatives in place. The more of these that are in place and working, the more optimism you will experience no matter what the circumstances are.
Create Optimism in Business
Bankable and Marketable Products and Services
Is there a niche, need and want for what you do that people will want to buy from YOU? Observe, test, survey and ask your network what’s trending and being talked about.
A Serve-Savvy Plan and Approach
Serve people to build trust and value. Stop being afraid to ask for business if you’ve earned it. You may not get the “yes”, but unless you ask, you’ll get nothing. Improve and practice your service skills and sales will follow.
Brand Magnetism and Clarity
Be very clear on what you do, whom you serve and how to market to your niche. Less is more. Invest in professionally branded logos, visuals and messaging that say “I’m serious.”
Technology and Relevance
Use, harness and leverage technology to serve your customers the way they most want to be engaged. Always innovate to save them time and energy to enhance their experience with you.
Blended Networking To Connect and Engage
Build relationships with the right people, both in person and online. Always connect with others. Engage people in thoughtful dialogue and share and create content that educates, helps and inspires.
Building and Spreading Good will, Good Cheer and Great Faith
This is the core of brand magnetism. Showing your heart and soul in business is encouraged and preferred. You will stand out for it.
Worship and Adore Your Customers, Followers, Fans and Friends
Be as authentic, consistent and as value driven as possible and you will be rewarded with love, loyalty and legacy.
We are coming out of a stunning period of change and loss, but out of this cycle has emerged amazing ingenuity, innovation and creativity. People have shown resilience by going back to school, closing their skill gaps, starting small businesses out of their homes and getting second and third jobs to make ends meet.
Here’s a sobering look at some companies who were once market leaders who are gone, who apparently were not competitive enough, relevant or had enough ingenuity:
- Circuit City
- Linens ‘n Things
- Ritz Camera
- KB Toys
Hampton, Supercuts, Subway and Jiffy Lube are thriving franchise brands and industries that are growing and keeping their focus on current demographic trends. Here are the top brands of 2013 that are always refining and innovating. They are amazing examples of what it takes to earn brand loyalty and sustainability.
Go through the above checklist and make sure as much of this is in place as possible and working for you.
Focus your energy on what you can control – and do it.
Optimism Concept Photo via Shutterstock