"Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul."
--- Douglas MacArthur
"The forces are against us!" That is what a friend said to me recently after our local Chamber meeting one night. "Yeah," says he, "We keep trying new angles for our business and nothing seems to be working. The forces are definitely against us!"
I sometimes feel like that. As business leaders, we all have that feeling from time to time. We experience the pressures of outside forces like government regulations, stiff competition, weakening economy, increasing prices from suppliers, and on and on. It is sometimes enough to squeeze the passion for a business right out of you.
"Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark."
--- Henri Frederic Amiel
When it gets to be too much to endure, that is when the end is near unless quick action is taken. Loosing passion for your business (or anything, for that matter) causes one's performance to noticeably drop. When the passion dies, no amount of faking it until you make it will work. The obvious is recognized by all shareholders involved: employees, customers, vendors, and family.
Hanging on to the passion requires that a business leader not only set up buffers of protection from the "forces against us," but also entails facing and addressing each and every force head-on. This allows the leader to know whether to tackle the force, go over or around it, or simply ignore it.
"It's the soul's duty to be loyal to its own desires. It must abandon itself to its master passion."
--- Rebecca West
Many of the outside pressures we endure are like little monsters that used to be under the bed. We see them as enormous in size, and creatures that can devour us at any moment. Of course, once we turn on the light we see that it is just an old pillow or Spot, the dog. This holds true with outside forces. We need to expose them for what they really are and address them individually.
Only after facing these giants can we regain the control of our enthusiasm and passion.
"Enthusiasm releases the drive to carry you over obstacles and adds significance to all you do."
--- Norman Vincent Peale
Begin by turning the forces against you to work in your favor. Take today's economy for example. You cannot change the direction of the economy, but you can make adaptations in your business to use the circumstances to work for you. Read the articles featured in this newsletter. Train wrapping? (Faster than a Wrapped Locomotive, Jennifer LeClaire). Think about it. People are trying to drive less and use more mass-transit. Wouldn't it be wise to find out if other trains want to get wrapped and use this opportunity to reach thousands through a rolling billboard? A great way to battle an outside force.
Or, check out Public Communications in Transit Circles, by Louis Brill. Here is another opportunity to provide signage in a market that is getting more and more use today.
These are just a couple of ideas for facing the force of a weakening economy. You can think of many more to battle the outside forces sucking away your passion today. The point is that we must constantly strive to reduce those things that kill our enthusiasm daily, in order to stay the course toward success.
"One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested."
--- E.M. Forster
Public Communications in Transit Circles: High-Tech Signage Meets Public Transportation
By Louis M Brill
In modernizing passenger vehicle arrival and destination alert systems, public transit's bag of tools include LCD & LED displays, the Internet, GPS triangulation and predictive arrival software, all designed to put your commuting mind at ease.
Read the article...
Faster than a Wrapped Locomotive
By Jennifer LeClaire
You can't rely on templates when you work with locomotives. Discover how Wrapped Graphics approached wrapping a train.
Read the article...
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As seen in an Irish pub:
"A bartender is just a pharmacist with a limited inventory."
Window of a butcher in Texas:
"Red meat is not bad for you. Fuzzy green meat is bad for you."
In a second-hand store:
"Corduroy pillows are making headlines!"
We know those funny signs are out there. Take a moment and send them in to us and we'll share them with the world. Send all hysterical observations to: firstname.lastname@example.org.