“Ok, this is the big one”. No, this wasn’t about the big earthquake that’s kept California on edge for years. And sadly, no, it wasn’t the biggest inversion on the fastest rollercoaster at the world’s best theme park.
This was my Facebook friend calling the beginning of the Financial Crisis 2.0, based on a spike in the producer prices index.
As I read his post, I had all kinds of thoughts, including “Should I switch my super to ‘stable’?”, and “What is going to happen to my business?”.
But then I stopped panicking and caught myself.
I remembered the antidote to all the doom-and-gloom forecasts that are currently going around amid the change in economic conditions.
And I decided to write them down to share with you – and also to remind myself!
So, what is the antidote?
Step One is to stop listening to all the doom-and-gloom.
The mainstream media peddles fear, and they want you to be on edge.
Social media algorithms favour posts that add to this narrative. And that feeds into sentiment, which influences many people’s actions.
However, you have a choice. You can buy into the fear that comes with every piece of bad news that feeds into their narrative, or you can observe the environment you actually operate in and remember what your plan is.
It is true that investment activity has slowed. But it is also true that there are a lot of buyers who are looking for opportunities.
In parts of the market, activity continues. In others, we are in an adjustment phase, where buyers and sellers are waiting to see who blinks first, or just taking a breather to see what happens next.
When it comes to your plan, you can choose to change everything because of what the media is saying or because of what happened on one or two campaigns. Or you can stay committed to your goals and do what is necessary to achieve them.
To be clear, this doesn’t mean putting your head in the sand and making irresponsible decisions or dispensing ill-informed advice.
But it does mean to recognise that, as we head into a period of uncertainty, there will still be many opportunities.
Opportunities to expand while others are contracting; to continue planning for growth, to be in and on the market while others wait it out, and to recognise that, even if there is a downturn, there will be demand for services that previously didn’t exist.
And that leads me to the second part of the antidote.
Step Two is to continue showing up.
You’ve probably heard the saying “90 per cent of life is showing up”.
Showing up can mean two things: physically showing up and metaphorically showing up.
For sure, you need to be in it to win it.
So, if you pull back and don’t physically show up (because, for example, you believe that your efforts will be futile during a period of uncertainty), then you’ve put yourself on the sidelines.
But physically being there is not enough. You also need to metaphorically show up; to keep your head in the game and to continually bring your best.
If you let the fear mongers take over your thinking, you’ll be more worried about what’s going to happen next, or worried about what others are worrying about.
Therefore, part of the antidote is to continue to show up despite what others are thinking and feeling.
This means you need to continue with your prospecting – in fact, you should prospect more to make sure you have more opportunities in your pipeline to offset any slowdown in inbound activity.
It means showing up for your existing clients – and going the extra mile to get in front of them.
Now is a great time to show up to more face-to-face meetings than you’ve done since 2019.
The pandemic is basically over, so that’s no longer an excuse, and your presence will be rewarded – for example, you’ll hear from people who matter about what is really going on.
You can also virtually show up in other places – ramp up EDMs and social media (or at least stay consistent), don’t slow it down.
If you don’t have as many listings and deals to report, then it’s the perfect time to talk about topics that position you as an expert and help people get to know who you are.
We can’t control the economy, so it’s a poor use of mental energy to focus on it. But we can manage our thoughts and continue to show up.
And, if Financial Crisis 2.0 is really coming, maintaining your focus and showing up will put you in the best position to help your clients navigate through the turmoil and make it to the other side.