How Strong is Your Silver Lining “Muscle”?

by Victor Cheng

I received the following comment from reader David Oliver the other day. He made a really important point that I totally agree with.

“You know what I was thinking one day is how so many people need to develop their capacity to find the good/opportunity in situations. It’s really like developing a muscle. It takes practice, work and time.

People who don’t do well, always see the bad and the lack of opportunity (regardless of the economy).

People who do well, see the good and the opportunity.”

In the nearly 30 speeches I’ve given this year on profiting from this recession, there’s always a key moment where people in the audience get their “ah ha” moment.

This moment occurs when I help them notice the opportunities in their business that were “hiding” in plain sight.

Here is one example I use to make this point:

In an economy that is shrinking, where there are fewer customers who are spending less money, there is only ONE mathematically possible way to GROW your business. What is this approach?

Simple. Take business away from your competitors.

When you’re hungry, but the size of the pie is shrinking. You eat more by getting a bigger slice of the pie. It is the only way to grow in a shrinking economy.

Think about it. Most of your competitors have pulled back and are expecting to lose business. I say you don’t disappoint them!

They are doing less advertising, less marketing, and less selling.

They are cutting back on customer service to save money.

It costs less and less money to market your business as advertising rates have dropped like a rock. Your competitor’s best customers that used to be impossible to lure away, are getting more dissatisfied with each passing month (e.g,, who has been really happy with their stock broker the past 12 months?)

This make is a lot easier to “steal” your competitor’s best customers.

Sometimes it takes a business coach to point out the obvious that everyone seems to be overlooking.

Yet if you talk to most entrepreneurs and their salespeople, they spend all their time focusing on the severity of the recession — and virtually no time on finding and exploiting their competitor’s weaknesses.

They are ignoring this opportunity that is sitting in front of them “hiding” in plain sight.

My question to you is are you doing the same?

In a given week, how much time do spend thinking about how bad the economy is?

How much time do you spend on researching what customers want right now and what your competitors aren’t doing right?

The money in this economy is not being made by watching CNN.

It is being made by getting closer to the customer in your marketplace and figuring out how to crush your competitors.

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