The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games are underway, and once again, I am humbled and inspired by the athletes who have overcome adversity and not allowed disabilities to hold them back from achieving great things.
It’s been a reminder that what we think are disabilities, are nothing in comparison to what these legends have had to overcome. If an amputee can do long jump, and the visually impaired can play football, then surely we can make a success of our businesses with its minor limitations?
Perhaps it’s time to stop complaining, finding excuses and succumbing to challenges that life throws at us, and use the obstacles to motivate us to think differently and find ways to succeed despite our imperfections.
The first step is acknowledging and recognising your “disability”. There is no use burying your head in the sand and pretending it’s not there. No one is perfect. Analyse your and your team’s weaknesses, obstacles, limits and challenges, as well as those of the business.
Intelligence is the ability to change and adapt. So now that you know what your flaws are, what can you do about it?
Sometimes a disability can be overcome simply by fixing it. A disability in business might be having the wrong people in the team, or a lack of resources, or a supplier that continuously lets you down. Fix it. Get the right people on board. Invest in the correct resources and find a trustworthy supplier that can help you grow your business.
However, disabilities are often permanent and out of one’s control. If your business is affected by currency fluctuations, or you operate in an oversubscribed industry filled with lots of competitors all competing on price, there isn’t much you can do to fix that. But how can you adapt? What can you do to minimise the risk of currency fluctuations? How can you rise above the clutter in your industry?
Athletes are running with prosthetic limbs. Just as they found a substitute or alternative for their limbs, can you find an alternative or substitute for your business disability?
Paraplegics can’t walk. But they use wheelchairs for mobility and independence. What aid can you introduce to your business so you keep moving forward?
The visually impaired have a guide to direct them in their events. If you are missing a fundamental skill in your business, find someone to fill that gap for you rather than hiring clones of your imperfect self. Or hire a business coach like me!
Reach your potential
Be innovative and find ways to overcome whatever is holding your business back from reaching its full potential.
You can’t change what is, but you can choose how to respond to it, and influence the future through your decisions and actions. Take control of your destiny and your success.