A person in panic mode is normally not able to make good decisions and may make decisions that are much more detrimental than their current crisis. By Gary Shotton #000357
By Gary Shotton
Hello I’m Gary Shotton. I’m here as a part of Inspiring Better Business. I happen to be recording this very much in the midst of what’s called the corona virus pandemic crisis period. This is something that’s come upon us all with no expectation. We all got blindsided, So, I’m not going to talk about that in particular, but I’m going to talk about how we might view these unexpected catastrophic situations.
So, I’m going to tell my story of 2009. I had purchased company who I’m sitting in part of the warehouse right now with finished goods behind me. In the year 2006 in fact April of 2006 the first two years were going quite well we’re making good money, I’m buying equipment I’ve actually borrowing money to buy equipment and here comes the year 2009 ,My goodness we’re at 65 employees my biggest customers all tell me it doesn’t look good. We were stopping ordering, only one gave me a few orders.
I had to look at this situation at one point the last customer gave me the ultimatum of their sales projection and it did not look good. I called my good friend that’s older than I am in manufacturing his first name’s Ron and I was just going to get a little advice .Cause he was my mentor and my adviser and when he was hearing my situation he gave me two key words that have helped me for years and years since then and are helping me right now.
I think they will help you, what are those two words don’t panic, Gary don’t panic, so those are my words to you don’t panic and I have a trust in God. But what do I do how do I handle this situation well for sure if I start to panic and make erratic decisions, emotional, become sympathetic, start crying over the situation and start bad-mouthing everyone else? Those are signs of my insecurity, signs of things that I don’t want to demonstrate in this very tough time. I did have to look at the situation and I had to look at the numbers and I had to come conclusion that I had way too many employees. Because I had no work for them to work, I had no tasks for them to do, no orders coming in and I had to make the decision and I didn’t want too. But I dismissed 41 of my 65 employees leaving me with 24. So, I went from 65 to 24 employees in less than three weeks with tears in my eyes, I told these people that you have worked for me, “you’ve got to go file for unemployment” We had a provision. So, they had some income and no longer work for our company. It was tough, very tough, but then I could not panic. I brought in my core five and six core members and we discussed this situation. I had to demonstrate even though my guts were rolling my mind was swirling. I had to demonstrate some form of confidence because I could not afford for us to just fall apart. If you want to say it that way I couldn’t afford for this and I happen to have some reserves set aside which is a good system and a good process that would help us get through this but I didn’t know how far this problem is going to be. How far the economy was going to be low. So, I had to hold on to those reserves not because a rainy day it was raining right now. But if I used all of these reserves immediately, I wouldn’t have something down the future.
So, I called in the five key people and we sat and discussed it and I made it very clear to them in very solid words. We will get through this, we will not fail as a company, we are going to succeed through this and frankly I don’t have any other options, but to succeed. At this point, I’m almost 60 years old and this is too late for me to start over. My mind’s whirling. I know if this does fail that I would give up all that I own. Not only the company but I had pledged my house and my vehicles. I would be literally finding a place to stay in an apartment or a small mobile home. Probably, renting a car just to get back and forth to whatever I was going to do and I’m not sixty but I’m getting close in age, so this is something my mind is whirling on me. But I said things like this we will come through this and I guarantee you on the other side of this will look back and we’ll see that this was not as bad as it looked .God does make a way for us to get through it and we’ll come through it being a better company. Will be more efficient, leaner. We’ll fix things that needed to be fixed, that we’ve left off when things are going well. Monies are flowing well you’re not quite as tuned up to the details. For example, we were paying a lot of money for hand white papers, we still don’t buy papers where you wash hands. We now dry hands on your own cloth-towel and we’re still washing these cloth-towels because it’s way cheaper than buying paper hand wipes and then the trash is full.
So, we’re still have some things in system that came. That were quite good because of this turn down, you see you’ve got to think of business, that is a process of systems and processes that’s how we become efficient in doing our product or producing. Our parts or doing whatever you’re doing but the part of the systems is cycles and seasons and you fall follow. The financial world in the business world you’ll see that their seasons and cycles. So, when there’s a cycle of abundance you should be putting aside something. Don’t stretch yourself so far make sure you have some reserve. I had some reserve it wasn’t going to be enough without God’s help there’s no way, I could have enough that’s what we’re facing right now with the corona-virus this is so desperately deep nobody expected and hardly anybody has that much money to get through this. So, we’re forced to trust in God we’re forced to trust and bring things home and make evaluations tough decisions, so in this process we did come through this as a better company. These cycles that see since when I was a young man in observing my first early businesses when we had a downturn 20-25 years ago. It took three or four years for that cycle or season like there’s highs and lows in any kind of a cycling season. So, we’d hit the saw high and we’ll ride that for a while. Then it would drop down kind of like a chart, like a wavelength, well 20 years ago this cycle took four years to come back three or four years for it to come back. Well, in 2009 it came back in only one year the cycle got shorter maybe it got peaked higher and peaked lower. But as fortunately is shorter so now it looks like to me not being a prophet. Not promising anything, that we have a huge peak high, I have had in the past a huge peak in the stock market and now we’re hitting a huge bottom, real fast. But the fortunate thing in my opinion it’s going to be a short cycle, six months now I’m putting this to you. The end of March in 2020 and you’re going to be able to judge whether I’m right. Here in about six months but I believe it’s going to be a short cycle. Well don’t panic as my word to you. You don’t need to get another leadership book at this point, you don’t need another long course on how to manage. You need a few key words like don’t panic and you’re going to get through this together with God’s help.
Thanks for being a part of Inspiring Better Business.
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