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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Not-so-painful pain

Yesterday's painful changes turned out not to be so hard, after all.

The affected employees accepted their situation and even reflected relief. They should be eligible for Canadian Employment Insurance benefits and I hope they can be recalled; one by the end of the summer and the other when the personal stress issues affecting work performance have been resolved.

The budgets, cash flow and general health of the business are much healthier, so a personal salary reduction won't be required (though I must carefully monitor and restrict non-essential expenses).

So I will get back to the keyboard and a lot of writing this summer. It is my best way to handle personal marketing. Every time I engage with potential advertisers in the editorial role, I have a natural advantage and am able to sell our services quite effectively.

Here are some key business sustainability and recession survival principals outlined in previous posts:

Business owners who understand their enterprise have more job security than any employee.

We can keep our jobs because we control our work. This is why people who are suited to self-employment generally have much less personal stress, even in recessions.

You always do best by focusing on your strengths, talents and natural abilities.

I have always been a writer and journalist. It is in my bones (and I'm pretty good at the craft.) So blogging makes 100 per cent sense for me. Even as my workload increases this summer, I'll still find time for the blog. Should you blog if you are a contractor who prefers to work building stuff (physically)? Maybe. But perhaps you should correlate your marketing with the opportunity to build stuff, maybe in a community-service initiative.

We do no live in isolation.

In making my decisions, I listened to several advisers, often providing conflicting suggestions. I also took into account the employees' needs and how to minimize hardship.

Business owners must be prepared to take tough decisions, often quickly.

I could have buried my head in the sand, and been buried as a business person. But that isn't the way to stay in business for more than two decades. When the business required me to respond with blunt choices, I did. Fortunately (as is usually the case) the pain is more in the perception of what might happen, than the actual experience.

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