Ever hear this joke?

JokeEver hear this joke? Three advertising people are sitting in a meeting – a fourth walks in and asks, “Is anything all right?”

Ok – not much of a joke – more ironic I guess – but frankly true to the mark – not just about our business – to be fair – more of a state of the environment today.

And, let’s be fair – business is tough. Like everything that surrounds us, it affects our lives in its totality. More to the point, the negative atmosphere infects us. How could it not?

Budgets are down; clients want more for less – tension.

Revenue is down; pressure is on to deliver more profit for less – tension.

Harder to hire – tension.

Harder to reward – tension.

We have all cut back, downsized, and reprioritized in our private/home lives – tension.

We all have friends who are hurting – tension.

No doubt we are all worried a bit – tension.

Tension – Tension…

You get the point – it’s hard not to be negative, not to carp, whine, complain, bellyache, grouse, grumble…

Which of course leads to nitpicking, finger pointing and criticizing – not to mention nagging and fill in the rest…

Look – I’m no Pollyanna – I badger with the best. But to quote W.S. Gilbert, “Oh, wouldn’t the world seem dull and flat with nothing whatever to grumble at?”

Now that might seem a bit naïve to you – and a bit rose-colored glasses like – but my sense is that complainers complain – good times or bad. Yes, the subjects change – but not necessarily the rhythm of the message.

Now let’s be clear – it sucks out there – no question – yet there is still huge opportunity out there for all of us. Business and personal opportunity.

Opportunity to grow, to change, to develop – opportunity to transform and, yes, to revolutionize.

Let me be even clearer – this is not the silver-lining-in-the-cloud message – frankly the silver lining needs a hell of a lot of polish and that is where I am going with this.

You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.
– Shirley Chisholm

And there you have it.

I won’t pander by citing all of the examples of companies and people that flourished in adversity—but I will repeat that they advanced through innovation and hard work. They polished that tarnished and dull lining until it gleamed.

Again – business or personal – it’s all about looking around us and working hard to make it all work – it’s about changing the rules, dealing with what we have and believing that all of us – any of us – can and do make a difference.

Grouse…I do – it helps to clear the pipes on occasion – but then deal…nothing is perfect – but then again it beats the alternative….

What’s your view?

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