Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Blonde Days of Summer

Some days I'm wise to just let it all go and embrace my 'Inner Blondeness'. Now before anybody flies off the handle and calls me a hair-racist, let me explain.

For me, embracing my Blondeness has nothing whatsoever to do with hair color or even (gasp) intelligence. It's all about adopting a level of calm focus vs. my normal, frantic, control-freak overload. When I decide to have a Blonde day, I stop spending time worrying about things I cannot control (politics, the crazy ride on the stock market, teenage daughters on road trips) and focus all my energy on activities that can move my business plan forward and make my home life (read: husband) happier.

On Blonde days, I'm a lot more productive because I do just let it all go, take the pressure off of myself to fix every-single-little-thing that isn't perfect and just do what needs doing. I encourage everyone to try it sometime. Clearly this frame of mind has nothing at all to do with hair color, it's just that...a frame of mind. I could just as easily call it a Focus day, a Production day or a Flat-Heeled Shoe day. Whatever works.

What always puts me in the proper mood for one of these days is recalling a bit of history from Great Britain during the early days of WWII. The British Ministry of Information created a series of public messages intended to build morale and quiet the fears of British citizens facing the real possibility of enemy invasion. It was a terrifying, unprecedented time and the future was uncertain.

You could actually draw some parallels between what those folks were feeling and how many American business leaders feel in today's turbulent times. Certainly we don't have to worry about actual bombs dropping on our heads, but the metaphorical bombs from an unstable economy, high unemployment and low consumer confidence can be truly scary, too.

So what was the message that kept the British going in those dark days? It was simple, it was straightforward and it remains as strong and positive today as it was then.

"Keep Calm and Carry On". That's it..."Keep Calm and Carry On".

I'd be willing to bet that the businesses that have survived and thrived over the last 50 years or more have adopted this strategy in one way or the other. Somehow through the ups-and-downs of past economies, natural and man-made disasters, world conflicts and personal tragedies, these business leaders decided to keep calm and carry on.

If it worked for them, it can work for me, and for you.

In the coming weeks I plan to reach out to several of the successful companies that have survived and thrived locally for 50 years or more. I want to discover those strategic gems that carried them through tough times, the unforeseen landmines that forced them to step back, and ultimately the inner passion that keeps them moving forward in the face of adversity. In other words, how do they keep calm and carry on?

I plan to start with Fanno Saw Works, a family owned business spanning four generations that will be celebrating 90 years of success in Chico this year. 90 YEARS! I'm excited to hear their story and to share it with you. So keep checking back...

and in the meantime...embrace your own inner Blondeness while you Keep Calm and Carry On.

No comments:

Post a Comment