Thursday, July 21, 2011

What if things DO get better?

My favorite NHL hockey coach, Lindy Ruff of the Buffalo Sabres, had a great quote he would say to reporters after games all the time. When asked about a big victory, or a big loss, Lindy would always say, "When things are good, we don't get too high. When things are bad, we don't get too low". I've tried to use that philosophy in my personal and business life. In this world things change frequently, and you can be riding high one moment and down in the dumps the next. Riding an emotional roller coaster like that can be exhausting!

Many businesses have suffered greatly over the past few years. Unemployment is high and the business world is changing rapidly - generally not for the better. However, there are encouraging signs lately, that seem to signal that things may be turning around. A client of mine was telling me about his company the other day. They took a 10% pay cut a few years back in an effort to control costs and avoid layoffs. They also froze any pay raises, reduced benefits, and went through a familiar litany of money saving changes. Lots of companies have made efforts like this. But do these efforts have any positive effect?

Well, at my client's company, they seem to have. They recently got their 10% back, and performance reviews (and the accompanying raises) are returning as well. So does this mean things are "back to normal"?

I don't think so. Like my favorite hockey coach would say, "When things are good, don't get too high. When things are bad, don't get too low". Sure, it looks like things are getting better, and that's a good thing. Heck, a 10% increase in salary for ME would be a GREAT thing! But things change quickly and you never know what's around the corner. Don't get too high. Bump up your 401K contributions if you're comfortable with that, or just sock away that extra $$$ for a few months. Look for opportunities to increase your value now that there may be some newly available capital to invest in new projects. Be vigilant for new ways to take these positive changes and move ahead.

Things may be getting better. That's great! But don't get too high. Keep working!

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