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Barri Carian, past president, NAWBO-OC  

Click Here for Barri Carian's Bio

Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Reinvent, reinvigorate: Stay in the game!
Hit the deck or counter attack?
A friend of mine, Larry Cassidy, recently wrote: "... as a brand new Marine Corps infantry officer in 1959, one of the first things I was taught was to never, ever (EVER!) hit the deck and hunker down in an ambush. Those who obey that first instinct die! Period. We were taught to fight our core instincts, and fight our way out, from the very first shot. We would lose a few by launching an immediate counter-attack, but we would all die if we simply went to ground. I never had to use that training for the reasons it was taught (thank God!); now, 50 years later, it seems very useful."

When I read this I reflected on the many recent discussions with friends, colleagues and clients, and on my own observations of all of the different ways people are responding to the constant bad economic news. I keep asking myself,
“Where exactly is the balance between the two extremes I’m torn between?” One extreme is hunkering down to wait it out, possibly even shrinking, downsizing and downgrading – sort of like curling up in a fetal position in the trenches. The other extreme is the belief that by just keeping positive thoughts I will create the right energy to survive and thrive in this environment, like all of those examples of abundance in “The Secret.”  

Neither one of these approaches resonates with me. The first, in its extreme, is fear based, myopic and reactionary. The second is head-in-the-sand and wishful thinking at its worst. So I, like many of you, am finding my path crossing back and forth between these two very different approaches. I refuse to ignore what is really happening. I will cut my expenses and will probably not lease another Lexus this year. On the other hand, I know that there are new and exciting opportunities out there and that I have to be above ground to see them. I may increase expenses in certain areas like marketing, and I’m finally motivated to learn about Social Media, so I can reach more people less expensively.

This is new for all of us. Some of us will hit home runs, and all of us will make some mistakes. I’d love to hear what you are doing and invite you to share so we can learn from each other.