Contraction or Expansion. Which is better? Where are you?

beach-tideThere is a time for everything, a season for every activity under the sun.  It is biblical.  There have been songs written about it.

There’s a time to reap and a time to sow.

Many of you are reaping!  Yay!! You are experiencing expansion.

But contraction happens.  For no reason.  You can be doing everything the right way. And it can still happen. Or there can be a flood!  Or  you can make a mistake and it happens.  Either way you have to be prepared for it – and not freak out about it.  OR learn to prepare for it – and not freak out about it.  Don’t waste the emotional energy on it.  It is what is.  Learn and be better.  To decrease the financial stress of contraction, you should have 2 months worth of operating expenses available to you either through the bank or in a bank.

Know that after the contraction – expansion comes too.   It happened to us here at RETAIL Mavens.  We were planning on rolling out a big group program this month – but stuff happened.  My skin cancer surgery, Paul’s big problems with his knees, team issues…so a program that I had been planning for 2 years had to be put aside. I was so excited to offer it – I know retailers need it.  Argh!  It kills me.   It means we won’t make our own stretch goal this year…at least not that way.  Perhaps there’s another way – that is what I am praying for.  I believe that when God gives us a dream, He gives us a way to fulfill it.  But sometimes it is in a different way than we planned.

It happened when I started in retail.  When my sister and I opened our store, we had  incredible success the first year.  It was amazing.  We were sure we were retail geniuses! Expansion. 

So we opened another store.  More expansion. 

It did great for 3 months and then the recession hit.  Big contraction.   

We had no idea what to do.  How could everything we had always done suddenly not get the same results?  We had no back up money.  We had no other ideas.  We were on the verge of bankruptcy.  Bigger Contraction.

We got help.  We learned what to do differently.  We worked hard and business came back.  Expansion.

It will always happen like that.  My mentor lives on the ocean because she loves to watch the tides ebb and flow.  It reminds her of how business works.  In and out.  Contraction and expansion.

How to handle it?

First, know that it happens to everyone.

Second, learn from contraction and learn to be prepared for it.  Squirrel away some money every month.  Trick yourself!  We have our credit card processing company takes a % off the top of every sale and put it into a savings account.  Do what ever it takes.

Third, be present in the now.  Enjoy the expansion.  Seek the other lessons on the contraction.

Fourth, get help.  Reach out.  It always makes a difference and keeps you grounded.

I am here for you.