Fighting Fear With Innovation

In the depth of the depression, Franklin D Roosevelt admonished Americans in his inaugural address “that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” We are facing similar challenges today.

FDR didn’t have the media resources we have today to reach his constituents. If he had, he might have been able to show them signs of hope. He had to work hard to get the message out that there would be a better tomorrow.

He also didn’t have the media influence that we have today. Every sign of something good happening is immediately slanted into more gloom and doom. If Wall Street sees a lift, it must be due to a reaction to massive sell offs. If the price of gas goes down, don’t worry, it will rise again soon. Every story on the news searches for the negative angle.

Yes, that was a generalization. Not EVERY story has a negative angle, but so many do, your mind just skips over the positive ones. Enough already! Let’s have a two-minute pity party for everyone who has been affected by the downturn. (Even the ones who bought houses they knew they couldn’t afford with someone else’s money.) When the time is up, return to this posting. Start the timer now…

(Two minutes later.) Okay, do you feel better now? No? That is because you can’t lift yourself or others up, by feeling down. It renders you powerless to change your situation.

The only way to move out of this self-inflicted mess is to move forward. We all contributed to the problem. Some capitalized on the situation. Others did nothing. That makes one group guilty of the crime, the other, guilty of aiding and abetting. So, let’s all put on our thinking hats and find new ways to grow our businesses and improve our country.

Innovation is the forerunner to unparalleled success. Yes, it is scary to start something new. It is especially frightening when all indicators say this is the time to batten down the hatches and hold back.

In seven days, we will have a new president. A lot of the negativity will go away so it will be easier to think INNOVATION. (In fact, I will go a step further and say that the economy will start showing significant signs of improvement on November 5. It doesn’t matter who wins the election. A great unknown will become known, so there is less to fear. Watch the news to see if I am right.)

Please don’t wait for the tide to turn. It will be too late. Others will have passed you. Start now. Instead of being spoon fed the thoughts of others, think for yourself. Take time everyday to think. Ask yourself questions like:

- How can we improve our business without doing more of the same?
- What can we do to grow our business outside of our current industry?
- Do our current practices make sense today?
- What new markets will exist ten years from today?
- How can we prepare for the next new thing?

It won’t be long before you are energized and ready to move ahead. Happy thinking!



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