Conquering the insurmountable
This is the picture of a conqueror. Two years ago, I was still sitting in the infusion center at Ironwood Cancer Center. I would take my laptop with me to every treatment working on my business while I was still lucid, which was typically the first hour or so. I would check and respond to emails, work on bids, and follow up on potential leads while chemo was running through my veins. Every infusion started like this.
What I loved the most is that on infusion day, my friends and family surrounded me. We joked a little, laughed a lot, and as the chemo fog took over, they sat quietly and made sure that I was okay. My treatments were on Friday, so I would take the weekend to rest and gave myself two or three days into the week to recover. On that third day, I would get up, open my computer, respond to emails, follow up with potential leads, and check in on my clients. The following week, I would almost always feel “normal.” I scheduled all of my client appointments and meetings for the week leading into my treatment day. I served them with excellence, and then I would do it all again.
That is how I doubled my business income during a battle. I persevered. I made a plan, and I worked it to ensure that I stayed focused and moving forward when the world thought I would quit.
In business, survival is a lot like life’s difficult moments. Tough seasons of change, like COVID, cancer, or any other challenge, can seem like they are too great to overcome. As an executive, whether you are the owner or not, your number one responsibility is to ensure your company (and team) persevere during challenging times. When change comes at us, we have to be able to respond well to our current environment. Here are some ways to survive when change gets unbearable.
Find ways to adjust to your situation. When change happens, make sure that you adjust and adapt to your current environment. Do not avoid it. You have to take a step back and analyze what your organization can handle over this season. When I was going through treatments, I knew that there were certain risks associated with doing too much. It would compromise my health. An organization's health can be compromised if the team continues as it always has. Slow down, evaluate the organization, and make a plan that will work for your business to survive and thrive. It might be slow and steady but keep moving.
Make a plan and work it daily. As executives, we have to ensure that there is a solid plan to follow because, during seasons of change, it is natural to want to give up. By having a clear plan to follow, you can keep the business on track. I had committed to a schedule that allowed me to serve my clients while I was going through treatment. Also, I scheduled time to reach out to prospects and to do business development. Don’t forget to look for ways to expand and grow during seasons of change. Make a plan that has goals attached to produce long-term results.
Surround yourself by a great team. I could not imagine going through my cancer journey alone. I was surrounded by a great medical team, friends, and my family, always feeling supported. In business, it is important to know who is in your camp. Make sure that you surround yourself with a team that is not afraid to be in the trenches with you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and when you feel overwhelmed, make sure that you have someone that will be your peace in the chaos so you can rest and regroup.
We all can conquer what seems to be insurmountable odds. Adapt, plan, and surround yourself with a great team. You can conquer it too.
“Our journeys should not be measured by the number of years that we spend on earth alone, but also by our abilities to persevere through the battles and conquer what seems to be insurmountable.” Angela R. Garmon
Angela R. Garmon is the founder and business strategist at ARG Coaching & Consulting Group. She uses her 20 years of change management experience to help her clients build organizational performance and increase profits by focusing on three key areas: enhancing leadership effectiveness, building team cohesion, and improving processes.