Tough Times

Tough Times
May 5, 2018 Gary Shotton

At sometime, tough times will come to every business. Responding with the leadership to get through this is critical.  By Gary Shotton #000189

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Tough Times

By Gary Shotton

Hello, my name is Gary Shotton and I’m here on the subject of Inspiring Better Business we’re so happy you were with us and I just asked you to be a part of that in any way you can. But for sure, listen to these to learn something. We’re here to help you. Today We’re going to talk about tough times. You know, when you own a business, you think, man. I just wish I was the owner because all you got to do is go out there and count the money and figure out how you’re going to spend all this extra cash.

Look how much money is coming into this place. I’m telling you. It’s not like that. It’s not like that at all. And if you’re in business for any length of time, you’ll start to recognize that there will be a significant Challenge on you and your ability to lead because there will become what we call tough times. And it can be a ball wide range of things and you know, I don’t want to know how somebody does when all things are going well and it’s like a piece of cake to operate something. I want to see when somebody does and they have some Difficulties. There’s some downturn in the economy. I want to know their season. It’s kind of like an airplane pilot, you know, this never had the land in an emergency. Well, if they land a few times in an emergency and they did well, then I feel a little more comfortable with them. That’s the way it’s like here because it’s not a question of whether it’s going to happen. It’s just a matter of when it’s going to happen. Well, and in this session, I’m going to talk about some stories that I think will help you a real summary of your oh there’s a time. I lost a contract.

The mileage is 750 thousand dollars per year in this shop. Another time back of many years ago in a different business. I had my main guy but the guy that was my partner, not a financial partner, but as close as you can get and his wife work for me and all of a sudden do some financial hardship outside of the company, they embezzled fifteen thousand dollars and left the state with my money. And I had to take over after that oh man. That was tough times and then Another time we had this here, in this shop. We had just bought a brand-new machine. And, and wasn’t what within the first 10 days, somebody made the wrong calculation, the wrong move the wrong program and crash that twenty-five thousand dollar to fix that machine. And it was down for like three weeks. Oh, those are tough times and I want to help you get through that.

So, number one. It’s not a question and gets you’re going to have tough times. It’s just a matter of. When are you going to have them? I’m telling you? That’s the truth. You’re not to be in the business for a long time without crossing that issues. It’s not just going to happen, forget that. get used to understanding that the tough to is the worst thing just going to happen. It’s the season and cycle in life, is season and cycles like winter, spring, summer fall. their seasons and cycle and you’ve got to recognize that business has a season in a cycle. You’ve got hit in the synchronization with those and you can ask yourself, you know, have you ever gone through a tough time? How did you deal with that? Are you proud of that? Would you do it again? Do you recognize that? That’s, that’s a part of every business.

Number two, you know, when we have tough times, it’s one of those things that you just well face it head up. You can’t duck behind it. You can’t hide near the normal Reaction is to try to fill a void It may be but you can’t the word numb yourself. You can’t, you can’t become immune to it. you’ve got a face up to it. And you can’t deny It is happening. and you’re better off the sooner you are to do that. And so basically, you’ve got to take some corrective actions and trim back in my opinion, almost every time that I’ve had a tough time. I’ve had to be willing to trim back and cut back. Maybe Personnel, maybe a project I had on to the future. Maybe it was something else that I had that I wanted to do, but now is not the time to do it. I’ve got to get through the season this cycle. I got to get past this we will get past that we have to maintain confidence and so we can’t deny it. We can’t wait too long to cut back or it’s going to cut catch us. I Believe that the faster you deal with something when you see it at long range, the better off You are. Ask yourself. Are you willing to cut back? Are you willing to set aside part of the vision to save the rest? Are you willing to kind of throw overboard something on a ship to save the rest of the chip? We’re not talking about throwing people overboard, but a lot of times you’re talking about our ego and our plans. We’ve got to admit that.

We go number three, learn from our experiences. I’m telling you this because this will happen again. So, if you’re in business, for 30 years, I Know how often is going to happen, but maybe four or five times in that 30 years. You’re going to have we could consider something that happened, not necessarily huge tragedy with something that would be considered a tough time and you’re going to have to work at getting stronger financially. You’re going to have to work. It’s getting stronger in your business. You’re going to have to work at being better at things that you were not good at before. I’m telling you that we had tough times when I have a lot of loans and I had A lot of payments and now I can say I’m more prepared for a tough time because I’m working towards paying off and it someday soon in a couple of years, being 100% debt free in this fairly large company with all the equipment, paid for everything here, that pay for, that’s my goal didn’t happen overnight, but I’m getting stronger month by month year by year, by the actions am taking.

The fourth one. Is, can you learn to rejoice in it? Now You know we’re not preaching when we do these lessons, but I’m going to talk about the Bible. Here’s just as a point of reference, you know, I’ll read it. And I read regularly than my word and, and I learned from it, and I’ve learned some good Bible lessons and some good business lessons and in James 1:2. It says that my brethren, count it all joy When we fall into various trials, tests, tough times because it’s in those tests that we have our faith developed. what happens it says that we produce patients and patients produce endurance and that’s how you build Faith. You don’t build Faith by having Easy Street. You don’t build Faith by having somebody pay all your bills. We don’t build Faith by somebody taking care of us. You build Faith by stepping out and taking on the challenges and being willing to have the tough times. Another place, says in Romans 8:31. God is with you who can be against us. loss of the big job loss of problems. You know, those are tough times but who’s with me? I can always rest in the fact that I have a higher power helping me. You don’t agree with that. That’s okay. I’m just putting my little piece in here and not trying to offend anybody.

Well, here’s the details in general, we had turned down in 2009 and I had a tough time. I have a lot of big payrolls, I have a lot of big payments. I look back and at one point I had 89,000 USD per month in the monthly payment, that didn’t include the payroll, that didn’t materials, that didn’t include operation, and am still shocked that I had that much. And we got that back down and we are good now, we get that paying off and yet, those were tough times. When 2009 and the year 2019 came and we lost a lot of our business. It was a tough time. What do I have to do? I need to trim back. I had to let go of 41 employees. I didn’t want to do that. They had unemployment insurance, but I had to trim. I had to make sure that the ship stayed afloat so that we’d have a business when we got through this cycle and season of tough times.

Another point was when I had this case. Where a husband-and-wife team, they’re the same age as my wife and I. We had worked together. They had aspirations of buying part of the company from me and they invested in something They shouldn’t have invested in. Was it to do with me? And they took what I call the easy way out, they fled, they ran, but they ran with fifteen thousand dollars of my money and they hired several of my employees since we’re in the moving business to move them to another city. That was pretty low. This is honest with you that hurt, it’s hurt bad. Because it was all a surprise. When I came to work on Monday morning and I find out, they were not there. They left a note. They left the package. They didn’t even hardly apologize. He said, here it is. It’s yours. And there’s my money is gone, man. That was tough and I had to dig back in and learn some things. I had given the responsibility to them, and I had to become stronger in this, and I was before. And then this case of when we had the piece of equipment man, that hurt, we have 25,000 dollars in a loss of that equipment for two or three weeks. Have to just make sure that we got back into the same. I hate to lose money. I hate to lose time. I hate to have this process hurt me. But in reality, you’re going to have it happen again. The key is to learn how to deal with tough times. Well, I hope this helps, hopefully, I’m not discouraging anybody. I hope this is a benefit to You, I hope that your challenge. I hope you ask yourself. Hey, how will I go through? How have I gone through tough times? I’m and you’ll come stronger through it stronger on the other side. Thank you very much.


  1. Andrew Mnjama Mwikamba 4 years ago

    Octavian, it was great to meet and catch up last night after quite a while. I’m truly looking forward to learning a lot from IBB talks and seeing how to finally and courageously use my training skills and “teaching passion” into a business. With encouragement from the IBB team, it’s exciting that I can add business to informal microfinance as my training content – I think that will be a powerful “twin”.
    Also looking forward to meeting Gary!

    • Author
      Gary Shotton 4 years ago

      Thanks for the time you spent with us in Kampala. Your friendship is important to me. Gary

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