Learning to survive in business may be the hardest lesson you may have. Only the strongest make it through the tough times. #000178
By Gary Shotton
Hello my name is Gary Shotton and today we’re going to talk about the subject of “Survival Mode”. You know I have friends all around the world and if I was to describe many of their situations, they are in “Survival Mode”. What do I mean? Well, they are just one Incident away from bankruptcy. They fight most of their time Just make it to Friday to payday, if they’re receiving a paycheck. Or if they are the owner, on Friday they are just verily able to make payroll. And they’re putting off some of the suppliers some of the vendors. They owe people and those people know that this company is in survival mode. And this situation creates even more expenses. And it’s a difficult situation because how do you get out of survival mode? How do you get ahead? How do you get on top of this that’s what I hope to talk about a bit together.
You see in survival mode even the smallest of little extra or unexpected expenses hurts. Thing like the car breaks down, the wash machine quits, something happens or in a business you have a big machine goes down, and you have to put a lot of money in unexpectedly. There’s all kinds of things that can and probably will happen while you’re in this battle for your business. Now, here’s my story on this subject I will tell you that I had a long series of survival modes. Many of you may know I started my business career by owning a Moving & Storage Company. That’s we move furniture from point A to point B. And we would get paid just almost a minimal amount of income. And we had quite a bit of expenses. And so all the time, I felt this pressure that was unbearable. This is too much pressure. I didn’t buy in for this. I don’t want to live my business life, day in and day out, with pressures like I’m facing. Yeah, there were a few times when I got a little plateau of help, or got ahead just a little bit, and then I would buy something or expand in some direction, or I would try to do something different or something unexpected to happen.
Wow, I had some 50 to 75 employees. This is several years ago 20 years ago or so, and We paid every other Friday. And I was committed to make payroll to make sure everybody got paid, so the pressure was on me and I can’t tell you how many times in that 17 years and especially in the last 10 were in this situation where I had sometimes $1,000 in my checking account and on Friday. I knew I had have a $50,000 payroll including my drivers and everybody related to the company and I only had $1,000 on Monday. I had to come up with collecting money, make sure people would pay me, make sure people were on board, make sure we did everything right just to make payroll week-after-week-after-week. Or month-after-month. And I compared it to playing a guitar. If you ever played guitar, even just a little bit, you’ll know that just the ends of your fingers when you start pushing down on those wires those are the guitar strings is what they’re called, it causes your fingers to get calloused. And until they’re calloused and hard and you’ve played a lot, they really hurt. You can only play for a little while, you must stop and let your fingers kind of heal a little bit, because it really hurts.
That’s what was happening to me. It wasn’t callous to me in a bad way It was giving me month after month and year after year Experience on how to run and operate a business with a very tight budget So you can’t tell me I don’t understand the subject of survival mode. In foreign countries again many people are just almost perpetually in survival mode. And not only a few businesses but almost every business is on perpetual Survival Mode. I hate to live in some countries of Africa where there’s individuals that are literally starting each morning waking up to the reality that there’s not enough food for their family and on that day in hours they must do something to come out legally and professionally or with the sweat of their hands or labor, they’ve got to do something to come up with the food to eat that day and the next day is the same thing. I honestly, can’t imagine that. Well, I don’t want to describe the problem too bleak, but that is pretty well the problem with a lot of situations What would you do about that well at one point when I was in these situations I felt if I could just get bigger, because I have a certain overhead and if I got more drivers and more trucks And you know it sounds right and in theory that is right if you can hold your overhead down But I wasn’t a good enough business person and for me to get bigger was not better I had to come to the reality that I had to trim. I had to cut back. I had to reduce my Business enterprise if you want to say that to a smaller size and get it on control get it in budget get it on in check if you want to say it that way I had the latitude instead of getting bigger to cutting back. I had to show that I had discipline, you see I wasn’t in a position as owner to go and take extra money do things with the money that I shouldn’t. I’ve known people that felt that they’re above that and they would even give money away that wasn’t even theirs because they couldn’t pay their bills, and they would give away money or do free services when they’re rarely make it along themselves now. There’s a certain element that you should always maintain I believe but you’ve got to be on guard with that, you can’t be ruled by your feelings boy when I had this pressure. Oh, man I mean you talk about the old saying kick the cat I could come unglued at time so I had to try to reel that in I wasn’t perfect I had to be sure that I was not mad at somebody because of some Very small situation that fed, they faced or maybe presented, maybe they wasted ten dollars, and I need $30,000 so I would jump on that person because they wasted extra roll of paper or something they’re wasting and I had to try to and it wasn’t always perfect. I had to roll in my feelings and resist letting my feelings rule. Maybe the most important thing is when our things are rolling along There are a few things that you cannot in your core values your core business But you can plant just a little seed a little something a very small investment or something that you can kind of water and fertilizer and nurture as a Multiple revenue stream you see if there’s times that my cash flow is horrible and something was Unbelievably tough for me, and I realized that several years ago that I had bought a piece of land. Hope this helps we want to inspire better business as may not be the happiest message But it’s one this could save your life could save your future could save your business. Thank you!
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