Yep…. Gap is closing 85 stores. But 2009′s first quarter economic “bloodbath” certainly doesnt end there. Ann Taylor…. 117 stores. Sprint – Nextel… closing 125 stores. Wilson’s Leather, 158 stores. Foot Locker, 140 stores. Bombay, 384 stores. Home Depot, 15 stores. Lane Bryant and Fashion Bug, 150 stores.
These are just a few of the disappearing stores listed in this month’s “NO BS MARKETING LETTER.” Because my “calling card” is AUTHENTICITY, I just want to ”talk” to you for a moment… No positioning, no posturing, no attempt to sound smarter than I am , just a quick confession-based letter from my heart. If you don’t read anything else I send to you this year, I hope you will read this.
I got Dan’s NO BS Letter in the mail yesterday and the multi-page newsletter opened up with all of these store closings… 1956 in all – NOT including those that closed their doors at the end of 2008. There was a time when the death of these HUGE-NAME stores would have scared me to death. But, I have to say, becuase of another book I am reading (The Innovative Mind) I was actually PLEASED to hear of these large – chain store closings.
Here is why: I am a committed optimist. I have been known to be called rediculously optimistic (and worse, of course.) Anyway, I have long seen this economic “crisis” as a breeding ground for prosperity and growth in my own business. I just felt it in my bones, but what do I tell YOU? WHY would I feel so optmistic when circumstances are causing the masses to cringe in anticipation of the worst? What do I base my optimism on? Just a feeling? What can I base the following statement on: EVEN THOUGH THE BIG NAME, WELL – FUNDED CHAIN STORES ARE GOING OUT OF BUSINESS, YOU CAN STILL BE SUCCESSFUL AND PROFITABLE.
With all due respect to my own intuition, I needed to come to you with MORE. Today, we need MORE than simple “intuition” right now. We are SICK of prosperity “preachers” – both religious and secular – and we want something more “substantial” than optimism. While ALL wildly successful and prosperous people are optimists and this practice certainly warrants our study and attention… right now – We need answers and solutions.
So back to my business as a coach… there is much less competition right now as the business “herd” in general begins to thin dramatically. (This is true for all of us no matter what profession or industry we are in.) Those businesses left are ready to do something completely different to secure their share of the market. A business coach, they know, is a great step in this direction. As customers begin thinking harder (and longer) about their purchases, businesses will want a coach to help them leverage all they have in order to do some good ole’ fashioned relationship marketing. More and more people will be forced to “go out on their own” as unemployment rises, and won’t be able to afford a long learning curve to profitability. Where expensive print ads FAIL, a business coach is the bridge to wild success.
But, what about other businesses? The bookkeepers? The personal trainers? The massage therapists? The real estate agents and mortgage brokers? The technology companies? The health coaches? The speakers? Those in the entertainment industry? The photographers? The wedding planners? Those in retail? What about them?
In short, the SAME is true for all of us. Right now, Dan Kennedy says that a “renaissance of the independently owned, local business is underway.” I believe him. Not only because he is a genuis in these matters, but because I have been “following” him for years and have NEVER known him to predict an economic trend that did NOT come to fruition. NEVER. But, today, another man has confirmed my optimism about THIS economy.
In his book, The Innovative Mind, Dr. Gene Landrum addresses why big corporations and large companies will fail in this economy. Essentially, today’s economy demands INNOVATION, he says, which is defined as being willing to destroy what IS, to create what is NOT. He goes on to say that this “creative destruction will be too ungovernable for modern [companies] to tolerate”.
It is HERE we find HOPE. While the “big names” are worshiping tradition and resisting change, we can embrace change and become agile. While they remain steeped in bureaucracy and commit to protecting the status-quo, we can be BOLD, CREATIVE, and PRO-ACTIVE. While they analyze and seek approval, small companies – LIKE OURS- can take action and seek a profit.
THIS is why Henry Ford, Walt Disney, and Estee Lauder outperformed their “bigger” competitors. THIS is why we have just cause to be optimistic and allow our actions to follow suit. Because in the end, optimism (or pessimism) will – ultimately – guide our actions.
If we are optimistic about our ability to prosper in today’s economy – NO MATTER WHAT – our actions will display our optimism to the world. Likewise, if we feel like there is “nobody buying”, our actions will betray our pessimism. We will make less calls, and make less sales attempts. If we are optimistic, our ACTIONS will go up.
So, I gotta ask you: If OPTIMISM was the “charge”, would there be enough evidence in your actions to convict you? As you go through the rest of this week, here are some quotes to keep you moving:
“When you are short on ACTION,
You will likely be short on CASH” – B. Michelle Pippin
“Get out there and sell something. America needs the business.” – Zig Ziglar