For years now, my motto in life as well as in business has been, “If there is no wind, row.”
For me, the wind symbolizes a good team, good clients and good sales. I’ve discovered there will be times in business where the wind is always at your back and it’s nothing but smooth sailing. There will also be times when the wind dies down and business slows.
Maybe an employee quits and you lose experience and momentum. Maybe your sales slow because there is a new competitor in town going after your client list. Maybe the economy has slowed to a crawl. Or maybe your best client doesn’t renew, leaving you trying to back-fill a very large gap in your revenue.
All of these things can leave your company dead in the water (or close to it). When this happens, and it will from time to time, you have to get out the oars and row. I know this sounds too simple but when bad things happen and you are the one who has to do most of the rowing, it can be daunting.
I see it all the time with new clients. When a company decides to talk with us about their marketing or brand development, it isn’t because the wind is blowing. Something has slowed the company down and it’s time to rethink the marketing, rebrand or unveil a new website. It is time to row! It’s time to hire Design the Planet. Sometimes we’re the boat out front guiding the way and sometimes we’re right there in the boat beside you, pulling, pulling, pulling you ahead.
One of my idols, Walt Disney, had a lot to say about the need to keep rowing in business. Walt believed we have to “quit talking and begin doing.” He came up with Mickey Mouse on a train ride from Manhattan to Hollywood at a time when he and his brother Roy were struggling and, as he put it, “disaster seemed right around the corner.”
For Walt, it was important to keep “moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things.” He said, “We’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” He kept rowing and his reward was Steamboat Willie.