I used to believe I had limited control over the future. It was a place forward in time affected by lots of things out of my hands. But I also thought if the economy was good and my clients wanted my solutions, then I would like my place in this future.
But then something happened that changed my belief about the future forever.
In 2009, seemingly out of nowhere, a major economic crisis threatened everything I’d built. Without warning, the bank froze my line of credit, clients stopped paying their invoices or terminated contracts, and prospects canceled meetings. My business ground to a halt with no end in sight – and I felt panicked. Every business owner I knew was in the same situation.
I had always reinvested almost all my money back into my business which seemed to be the wisest investment I could make. After all, I had a lot more control over my business than the stock market! But what I hadn’t done is create a reserve. I didn’t have six months of runway; in fact, I didn’t even have enough cash to cover three months. I had to move the business into my home temporarily and lay off most of my staff. I felt like a failure.
This is when I realized that we create our future in our mind first. The economic situation was a circumstance I couldn’t control. But I did have control over my thoughts about what it meant to me. I could wallow in feelings of inadequacy, doubt, and anxiety, which would only result in remaining stuck or worse, going out of business. OR I could meet the situation head-on with the same energy, focus, and determination that I used to create my first 10 years of success. The difference started with my thoughts.
I decided to believe I could turn the company around.
My past thoughts and actions had created the negative future I was experiencing in the present. I simply wasn’t prepared. It wasn’t easy but I completely changed our business model from a technical consulting practice to a solutions business that generated recurring revenue. This was not only more scalable and profitable – it added more value to our customers and helped them succeed too.
Right now, you may not have money, but you have the two most important things you need to create a new future: your mind and time. You CAN use both of them to make your business and your future stronger.