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Where Are The FIREWORKS?? They don’t just happen, someone has to light a match.

As I watched the 4th of July fireworks with friends, it occurred to me that the vibrant colors and patterns exploding in front of us, causing grown men and women to “ooh and ahh,” were the dramatic result of many months of diligent planning, investing, and follow through. In fact, from my experience in the entertainment industry, I happen to know that fireworks are incredibly expensive and labor intensive to purchase, store in an approved venue, permit, orchestrate, and finally ignite (without unwanted incident). In other words, they don’t just “happen.” And that got me thinking about business and life in general, and how often we may find ourselves in circumstances that are less than desirable, and yet we simply hope that something will just “happen” to turn things around.

Take the economy for instance: I bet we can all name at least 10 companies that we know have been somehow impacted; whether it’s fewer customers, reduced income, smaller profit margin (if any), or even a less optimistic vision for the future. Often the response is to sort of withdraw or “hold tight” hoping that the undesirable market will pass and business will go back to “normal” again. The problem is, while you’re withdrawing and hoping, the situation isn’t improving, and in fact may be getting worse. Not taking action to create a change is a lot like looking for fireworks on July 7th, it’s probably not going to happen.

With that in mind, might I suggest a few tips that you can implement right away to start you on the path to creating the change you want to see.

Tip 1: Marketing, Marketing, Marketing. I am by no means a marketing guru, however I do know that if you’ve halted your marketing efforts (advertising, PR, community involvement, etc.) there’s a good chance you’ve fallen off the radar. How are your clients (past and potential future) to know that you’re still alive and kicking if you don’t continuously remind them? Out of sight, out of business.

Tip 2: Spend money to make money. We’ve all heard it before, but now really is the time to look at ways you may be able to save or even make money in the near future if you invest a little now. For example, if you know that you will spend less money on training and increase quality if you paid a little higher wage and attracted better qualified employees up front, then this might be a wise investment. Additionally, if you know that you will save money in your labor budget by retaining more of your employees, invest in ways to improve retention (did you know that replacing just one $8/hr. employee can add up to $8,000.00 in “turnover” costs? Even if you only retained 10 employees that you may have otherwise lost, that’s $80,000.00 you could be saving!) Also, purchasing equipment rather than renting can save big $$. Take a look around and be creative.

Tip 3: Increase Your Offerings. In personal and professional relationships, you’ll create better chances for more opportunities by diversifying what you have to offer. It doesn’t mean you can’t specialize or be an expert in certain areas, but you can certainly continue to learn and grow your expertise in additional areas as well. After all, who wants to see only one color of fireworks?

The bottom line is this, despite what you may have heard, you do have some control over what happens to you in your personal and professional life. However, it does take consistent planning, investing and follow-through on your part to ignite the fireworks and light up the sky with images you want to see. It’s time, Activate Potential. Realize Results™.

©2014 Lisa Broesch. All rights reserved internationally. Permission granted to excerpt or redistribute with attribution and notification.