Tuesday, January 16, 2007

 

Excuse or opportunity?

In the greater Seattle area, we saw another couple inches of snow last night. We typically get a little snow each year during the winter, but this year we've experienced a prolonged period of snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Last Wednesday night's snow froze to the ground, and six days later it's still icy in many places.

The smart move when this happens (especially in a city that isn't used to such weather, and therefore isn't as able to sand roads, etc.) is to put your safety first. If the conditions are bad enough, don't put your life (or your car) in danger.

But for many, bad weather forces a decision between excuse and opportunity.

Do you use snow to make excuses for not getting things done? Or do you use the disruption in your usual routine to get stuff done?

If your school or business is closed due to weather, do you take it as a day off? Or do you use it as an opportunity to get caught up, evaluate your work so far, and set new priorities?

If the weather is causing a disruption for your customers, how can you use that as a means of reaching out to them, offering a service, and creating more passionate and loyal customers?

Last month Seattle saw its worst windstorm in years, knocking down trees everywhere, knocking out power to nearly a million homes, and causing billions of dollars in damage.

The day after the storm, as residents throughout the area sat at home in the dark without power or heat, a contractor friend of mine started calling through all of his past customers. He was simply checking to make sure they were OK, and to see if they needed anything.

You can imagine their response. At a minimum, every customer he reached was very appreciative for his call and concern. And he also received several primary and secondary leads for new business, all from just an afternoon of phone calls.

When the weather changes, when you face an obstacle in life or business, do you see it as an excuse....or an opportunity?

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