During a conference I attended this past week a speaker asked, “What opportunity is this creating for me?” and I’ve been thinking about that question ever since. There is a Chinese curse that loosely translates to “May you live in interesting times.” If that is a curse, why are uninteresting times considered to be better? If uninteresting is normal, wouldn’t that be boring? While interesting times can be difficult, they also require people to think differently, creating opportunities.
When Sanjay and I started J2 in 2002 (almost 20 years ago already!), it was very different compared to what it is today. The recession in 2008 almost destroyed our business. We were stubborn and tried to push through, but the next few years were challenging. We had to take a step back and ask ourselves what opportunity these challenges presented to us. It was difficult to admit to ourselves that change was needed and reframing it as an opportunity made it easier. We listened to our customers, who suggested we focus on technology. They had made this suggestion before, but in easier times we missed seeing the opportunity.
In 2013 with the business struggling and our confidence waning, we decided to change direction and focus on implementing technology solutions. It was difficult to admit that a change was needed and even harder to implement that change, but in the middle of adversity, that was the opportunity created for us. The changes got us through a difficult time, made us stronger and set us apart from other companies. We have and continue to learn a lot from this experience by asking ourselves and our customers what is possible.
When you face adversity, ask yourself: What opportunity does this present? By flipping the script to that mindset and taking a positive view, you open the door to new opportunities and adventures. Since our experience in 2013, I work hard to practice this mindset in my professional and my personal life. It’s not always easy, but it is worth it. Once again, we are in interesting times that may present opportunities. Stay tuned!
“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. The best is yet to come.”– Zig Ziglar
We certainly live in interesting times; have an opportunity filled weekend, and be sure to tell me about it.