I recently discussed the state of business with a group of colleagues. Someone I greatly respect asked a question – one that I think many other people are silently asking right now.
She asked if there was anybody who was really motivated to take a risk by trying to change or innovate. Her comment reflects the fact that many people seem to be hunkered down as if they are waiting out a storm. If they have a job, they are in their foxhole and afraid to look out. If they are out of work, they often feel beaten down from days of searching.
I tried to be encouraging, but I fear my words did little to help. As we embark on a New Year, you may be feeling the same way.
When I look back on my life, I remember a lesson my grandmother taught me when she faced a similar situation. At the time, she was up in years and confronted a difficult health challenge. We were concerned because she seemed deeply troubled by the circumstances. However, she made a dramatic turn one day when something occurred that made her mad. (When Scotch-Irish blood gets riled, it can be a fearsome sight.)
Phil Romano, the great entrepreneur who founded Macaroni Grill, EatZi’s, and 26 other restaurant concepts, describes his business philosophy as living a very MAD life. For him, the letters MAD stand for Make a Difference.
My sense is that business conditions, in general, are nearing a dramatic turn. Regardless of when that occurs, it always helps to live a MAD life. Whether you are trying to find a job, helping a client see how they can improve, or just making your current work more impactful, what can you do to make a difference? Let me know your approach to MAD by sending me an e-mail.