With the world and local economy barrelling towards recession it is easy to be concerned and even unhappy about where things are at. One of the issues with globalism that 'they' never properly told us about is that when the world economy slows down, everyone who doesn't have their hands on the wheel of power is merely along for the ride. It's like a rollercoaster of economic thrills and spills.
As a business owner, there is very little you can do when a rogue virus turns the world pear-shaped. Indeed, as many non-essential businesses found out, the feeling of helplessness was amplified when the rules of the day impacted the ability to trade at all.
Then you have what has become the excuse du jour of Left-leaning governments everywhere which have lost control of their economies - the conflict in Ukraine. And, while conflicts between countries are not unique, this one has a more pervasive effect because of its effect on fuel (the now) and grain stocks (the future) – the result being skyrocketing inflation.
Right now, consumer and business confidence are heading for unprecedented lows, and it is easy to think things are going wrong.
However, and here is the good news, often when you find that the environment around you is changing the most important thing that you can do is change with it – and if you do, you have more chance of emerging intact and successful. Indeed, as uncomfortable as conditions shifting and having to change might be, the results of making change are exponentially more likely to be positive than doing nothing.
Albeit the situation and stakes are significantly different, recently I experienced a change in another environment which, like the current economic situation, was out of my control - but changes were made to get what was in the end a really good result.
Last Friday night, our band Vinyl played a successful gig at Coopers on Wilson Street (a shout out to Michelle and the team – what a fantastic place to play live music!). However, early in the gig I was quite worried about how things were going to turn out. During the first number (Sail Away by David Gray), something was majorly different compared to our earlier sound check. Whether it was the room being full of people or if something had changed in terms of the sound set-up, upon commencing the song all I could hear were drums and bass. As a singer you need to be able to hear yourself and all the instruments, including my acoustic guitar – the result was I was completely uncertain of what I sounded like and lost my place with the guitar.
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At that point, I realised quickly that I was in front of 100+ people, potentially sounding like a wounded sea lion. So, the solution was CHANGE – according to the conditions presented. I dispensed with the acoustic guitar and shoved a finger in my ear to hear myself (and signal the sound desk). Then, like the Reserve Bank controlling the official cash rate, our sound guru (the legend Ron Heaps) took charge and the instrument levels clearly changed around me. Finally, Ron spoke to us after the first song was finished and stage amps were adjusted.
Without those changes, the songs which immediately followed wouldn't have sounded as good as they did – and we wouldn't have gone on to play (what was) the best sequence of songs we have ever played in the second half.
It helps to be backed by five incredibly talented musicians, but that experience showed how assessing current conditions and being prepared to execute changes got a better result than could have been anticipated prior to making those changes. Although the scenarios are quite different, making change when the environment changes is far more effective for you and your business than making no change at all.