You know what happens when things get tough. You’ve probably heard the saying, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. But what happens to the ones who aren’t so strong? When the going gets tough, the weak get stomped. This is a scary economy. Times are tough. So what’s going to happen to women in business? Unless they’re tough, they’re going to get stomped. Here’s how to toughen up.
Focus on the present. I remember when I worked for a company that was merging with another company. There was all kinds of worried talk going on about the ‘what ifs’ of the new company. Hours were spent wondering and worrying. The break room was a frenzy of endless, concerned conversations. All of the talk did nothing to change what the outcome was going to be. The merger took place. The new organization required people to do work. Those that had good performance ratings were asked to stay on. Others were offered other jobs and some people had no job. That’s what happens. If you have work now, focus on doing it. There’s not too much else you can do about the economic impact on your company–unless you can bring in more customers, add revenue or reduce costs. So figure out what you can do and then just do it.
Forget the woe is me attitude. I still am amazed at the lack of discussion about personal responsibility in this whole economic meltdown. Who in their right mind thinks they can take out a mortgage without a job? Who takes out a mortgage and doesn’t read the terms of the contact? Who buys investments not knowing what in the dickens they are buying? It isn’t too much of a stretch to figure out that an off-balance-sheet credit default swap is more than a simple stock transaction. If you made a stupid decision, get over it. You’ve probably lost money. You just learned an expensive, valuable lesson. When you make bad choices, there are consequences. Now get over it and get back to work.
Being tough means abandoning the victim mentality. Stop blaming everyone else for things that happen to you. I’ve got news for you. Life isn’t fair. If it were, the hardest working people would produce the most results. The smartest people would be the most successful. The nicest people would be happy. Life doesn’t happen that way. Jerks move up in business. Hard work doesn’t always pay. Don’t take it from me. “Life is a pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something” was said in The Princess Bride. Accept it. Now just do your job.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not happy about this economy. I’m not happy about what’s happening to many people who are losing their jobs. It’s just that if you want to survive this whole mess you have to be tough. There’s a wonderful Chinese proverb that says the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The next best time is now. It’s time to get tough–now.