Another lesson from Shadow Divers
 
Here’s the scenario: You’re 230 feet under water looking for treasure, your air is running low and you hear the drumbeat—nitrogen buildup in your bloodstream. It’s time to start decompression. You haven’t found anything of value.

 

Then you see it. In the murkiness of 2 foot visibility, you make out the outline of a large box. You feel the box for a latch. A couple minutes pass. If you can just find the latch, you just might hit it big. Another minute passes. Your movements stir up more sediment and visibility is now zero feet.

 

What’s left of your rational mind poses a question. Do you continue to struggle with the box and risk everything for a shot at the big score or do you leave now and possibly lose this “treasure” to another diver?

 

The answer is obvious. You stick with the values and judgment that got you this far. You let go. Start your ascent and decompression. When you get back to the boat you can formulate a plan to open the box.

 

Greed kills. One common killer of small businesses is tax evasion. Another is taking advantage of a trusting customer. But you need the money. Desperate men do desperate things.

 

Don’t abandon the values that got you this far. Doing so will use up your remaining “air” and further cloud your judgment. Never abandon your values. In the end, when things get tough your values will carry you through.

 

You’ll make a plan to return to the box with plenty of air. Plans change. Sometimes you make new plans.

 

A very wise friend told me that every time you deal with a difficult business problem remember other businesses are facing the same. Some won’t solve the problem. Many will quit. With each problem you solve there are fewer competitors behind you.

 

It might be a good time to list your values. Spend a little time to think about what they mean. Do your values fit your plans?

 

Tune your plans and stick to your values.

 

Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog

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