What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

3–4 minutes to read

A lot of business leaders are talking about difficult decisions that they’ve had to make lately on account of the downturn. These difficult decisions are a result of all the different challenges they’ve been dealing with in their business, team, and market.

It’s interesting to hear somebody talking about the cuts they’ve decided to make, such as furloughing their team, reducing salaries, cutting back on expenses and marketing, or closing down office locations.

I empathize that these are difficult decisions no business owner wants to make.

No one wants to be in a situation where they’re having a tough time and their business isn’t able to operate the way that it used to. Laying off team members and cutting back in many areas is a situation that no business leader enjoys.

However, I argue that perhaps the actual difficult decision would be to figure out a way to pivot and gain a new capability that would allow your business to not have to make that decision.

You can change the action steps. Many businesses that I’ve been speaking with have had to reflect on ways in which they used to operate successfully over years and years. This situation has introduced several new challenges and several barriers that challenge these familiar methods.

For example, if there’s a quarantine, people aren’t able to come into your office, which then creates the competitive demand that you have to now leverage technology.

A new capability has to be learned and implemented into the business in order for growth to continue.

It’s not only that what got you here won’t get you there, but when the things that got you here have been working for a really long time, we have to pivot and restructure certain things in order for us to continue to grow.

We have to change our accountabilities, implement new technology, put in new processes, and market in different ways. We have to do things differently.

Restaurants during COVID-19 have found a way to grow — not just through curbside pickup, but also through innovative and creative delivery methods that have introduced new capabilities to their business that they did not have before.

There are firms that have thriving attorneys — in all practice areas and in every market — that are having their best month ever right now.

There is so much opportunity out there right now.

We need to be making hard decisions to buckle down and figure out creative solutions.

I am committed to my long term vision, and that has not changed. We’re going to make the hard decisions that we did not anticipate having to make. But we are going to pivot and make the necessary shifts. We’re going to have business readiness.

As we make these changes, it allows us not only to survive but to ultimately continue to succeed.

As I’ve been speaking to hundreds of entrepreneurs, we’re able to see the ones that are succeeding and the ones that are struggling. One has one perspective, and the other has another perspective.

This isn’t a business challenge — this is a mindset challenge.

Who could blame you right now for cutting your team’s pay, for firing people, for cutting back on expenses, and for cutting back on your goals? You got all the excuses in the world to do it right now.

I would argue that the hard thing is to sit down, think creatively, and say, “You know what? What got us here won’t get us there. We’re in a different landscape now. We’ve got to innovate. We’ve got to get creative. We’ve got to do things differently. We’re going to be able to not only continue to sustain — but we’ll be able to continue to grow.


If you agree or disagree with anything Michael said here, he wants to know about it. Text him at 404-531-7691 to share your thoughts.


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