Surviving Despite Economic Uncertainty: What must be done?

Paul Segreto
5 min readJul 5, 2022

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photo credit: lassalmedia.com

Such a powerful quote consisting of only eleven words. “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” as quoted by Peter Drucker pops up often, and most likely more so if you’re a small business owner, franchisee, restaurateur or entrepreneur.

It’s a take charge, take control quote that can be interpreted as being both inspirational and motivational. But from a practical standpoint, is it easier said than done? Is it possible? Feasible? Realistic? And during a period of economic uncertainty? Dare I mention, recession?

In order to come out alive on the back end of these challenging times, an action plan must be developed and deployed as quickly as possible. Essentially, if we’re to create the future, we must determine the vison for the desired outcome, along with the timeframe needed to get there.

What will it take? Who will be instrumental in executing the plan? What benchmarks will be established to gauge whether on the right path, or not? Will there be a contingency plan in place to shift as may be necessary? At what point will it be time to make hard decisions? Very difficult decisions? What will determine when drastic action must be taken, and potentially, what will that look like? What can be anticipated? What can be projected? What is practical, and what is not?

Yes, definitely a lot of questions to be answered. It’s going to take a great deal of effort, a lot of work, long hours, diligence, and honest evaluation. Of course, if we choose to do so. It is about making the choice whether to change, or to sit idle and ride out the storm. Choices. Such a simple concept, yet so much riding on whether the right choices are made, or not. At times, just making a choice, right or wrong is better than remaining undecided.

Nevertheless, change can only be implemented if the choice is made to do so. Choices. It has me reflecting on a story that has been bouncing around Facebook for quite some time. I don’t know the author, but the message is quite clear. As you’re faced with making the choice to take the action necessary to survive these challenging times, maybe even thrive, remember this very inspiring story. Refer to it often. I hope it motivates you to create your future!

I was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing I noticed was the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for me.

He handed me a laminated card and said, ‘I’m Wasu, your driver. While I’m loading your bags in the trunk, I’d like you to read my mission statement.’

Taken aback, I read the card. It said, ‘Wasu’s Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest, and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.’ This blew me away. Especially when I noticed the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!

As he slid behind the wheel, Wasu said, ‘Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.’

I said jokingly, ‘No, I’d prefer a soft drink.’

Wasu smiled and said, ‘No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, lassi, water, and orange juice.’

Almost stuttering, I said, ‘I’ll take a lassi since I’ve never had one before.’

Handing me my drink, Wasu said, ‘If you’d like something to read, I have Good Housekeeping magazine, Reader’s Digest, The Bible, and a Travel + Leisure magazine.’

As we were pulling away, Wasu handed me another laminated card, ‘These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you’d like to listen to the radio.’

And as if that weren’t enough, Wasu told me he had the heater on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for me.

Then he advised me of the best route to my destination for that time of day. He also let me know he’d be happy to chat and tell me about some of the sights or, if I preferred, to leave me with my own thoughts.

‘Tell me, Wasu,’ I was amazed and asked him, ‘have you always served customers like this?’ Wasu smiled into the rear-view mirror. ‘No, not always. In fact, it’s only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard about power of choice one day.’

‘Power of choice is that you can be a duck or an eagle. If you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself. Stop complaining! Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.’

‘That hit me right,’ said Wasu. He continued and said, ‘It is about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So, I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.’

‘I take it that has paid off for you,’ I said.

‘It sure has,’ Wasu replied. ‘My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year, I’ll probably quadruple it. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on it.’

Wasu made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles. I hope we all decide to soar like an eagle and not quack like a duck.

At this point, I’m reflecting upon our mantra at Acceler8Success Group. One that we must do better at doing within our own organization. Yes, a change is necessary and I’m making the firm choice to do so beginning today, the first business day of Q3 2022.

“Act swiftly. Act decisively. Make it happen. Make it count.”

It is the way to survive AND accelerate success. Have a great day.

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Paul Segreto

Proven Business & Franchise Growth Strategist; Fueling the entrepreneurial spirit is my passion!