I think this word best describes the feeling many business owners have right now.
As a word, it is closely related to “despair”. Despair implies a state of virtual numbness, not knowing what to do – and lacking the energy to change it.
How do we get there? Speaking from my own experience, I would have to say neglect and denial play major roles. In business, if one neglects one’s passion, to focus on what sells, there is an inevitable disconnect – the heart is not linked to the hands. Too many businesses find themselves chasing money in seven different directions – supposedly “brand extensions” – that diffuse their impact. Instead, it would benefit them to consider what they do well as well as enjoy, and find hungrier markets for their products or services.
It is crucial that we work from our core – our sustainable competitive advantage, tied to our unique voice. Businesses need to do the same. What is our purpose beyond profit? What do we do almost unfairly better than others? Where can we become Thought-leaders, influencing the lives of many for good? Often, it is in overlooked sub-markets that we find those who need what we can offer.
Of course, the second word I mentioned – denial – is despised. It implies that I don’t see all there is to see (I don’t) and am often blind to my own impact (I am). I need reality-checkers who will challenge me to stay true to the core, and keep asking what the business case is for my proposed actions.
No-one wants to be with a young woman desperate for a husband – she sends out signals 10 metres away that repel serious suitors! We need to remain calm, too, in these tough times, and believe in our vision, unique contribution and talent. Our calmness will be attractive.
The world is waiting for us.