The Black Swan

For most of us, this is the Black Swan event that will define our career. How are you doing so far?

I was in the early years of my real estate business when 2008 hit and I learned a few things I’ve been deploying the last couple weeks I thought I’d share.

  1. Speed matters. As fast as things are changing, you have to be faster. It’s impossible to have all the information you wish you had. There’s no time for that. This is triage mode. Make things happen.
  2. Cutting expenses matter. Most all variable expenses need to immediately be cut or put on hold. Unless you can track a defined ROI. Fixed expenses too. Leases need to be abated, contracts halted. Credit cards frozen. Right now, everything is on the table.
  3. Communication matters. Especially if you have employees. They need the honest truth about where things stand. That means you have to make a decision about who stays and who goes, or if the entire team stays together, how is the sacrifice shared? Tough, but important immediate decisions. If you fail to do this, you lose.
  4. Cash matters. Maybe you don’t have as much of it as you wish you did. Do what you can. Pull credit lines to cash, close deals, pull in as much revenue as you can as fast as you can. You’re going to need it.
  5. Investment matters. When you’ve secured the business now it’s time to go on offense. Secure talent, advance your market position, build your community, reach out to your customers, show people how much you care. It’s all too easy to hide, and let the storm blow over. Do that, and you’ll likely lose your position and perhaps never gain it again.

I love this quote from Elizabeth Edwards. “She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.”

Adjust your sails. The wind is about to get stronger.