With certainty every year, the celebrations of all things Irish in honor of St. Patrick’s Day go into full swing on March 17. But when you’re starting or running a small business, nothing is ever completely certain. Sometimes all things go according to plan and it’s smooth sailing. And then there are times of challenge when you’re wondering what else could possibly go wrong.
Yeah, it’s no fun to face circumstances of adversity and feel like the luck of the Irish isn’t with you. For example:
- Slow sales periods when the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow seems farther away than ever.
- Internet trolls. While leprechauns enjoy the occasional practical joke, trolls are bound and determined to wreak havoc on your business.
- You’ve discovered that a vendor has been talking complete blarney and isn’t of the caliber you were led to believe.
- Periods of complete overwhelm when you can barely find time to sleep let alone carve out a few minutes to share a pitcher of green beer you’re your friends.
In all of these instances and others, to persevere you need to keep a cool head and not let your frustration get the best of you.
Slow sales? Take time to determine the root cause. Perhaps it’s a seasonal trend. Or maybe it’s time to adjust pricing, marketing channels, or improve your product or service.
Internet trolls? Don’t engage in a war online—that’s precisely what those troublemakers want. Tactfully ask them if you can discuss their grievances via email or by phone rather than in front of an audience. Be respectful and calm, and most likely they’ll go away because you’re not feeding their need for attention and drama.
Your vendor misled you? Respectfully approach them about how you would like them to make things right. Don’t forget to review your contract and documentation from them before you have that conversation.
You’re completely overwhelmed? It’s time to take an honest and objective look at how you’re managing your time and what you’re spending your time on. Setting priorities and scheduling projects, tasks, and activities can help you regain control.
Create Your Own Four-Leaf Clover Effect
The truth is, luck—Irish or any other kind—has little to do with the ups and downs of owning a business. Every company deals with wins and losses…successes and failures. You can’t count on luck to make sales, deal with difficult customers, find the right project partners or suppliers, or bring you work/life balance. But you can create your own four-leaf clover effect for your business through determination, hard work, and attention to priorities. And on a personal note, I find that staying aware of what I have to be grateful for and paying it forward helps me maintain an attitude of good fortune, as well. Sure, there are no guarantees. But doing what you can to create your own destiny will increase your chances of ending up on the right side of the rainbow.