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Leap and the net will appear

‘Look before you leap’ is something we learn at our mothers’ knees. And nowhere does it seem to apply more than in business during an economic downturn. And yet, this is the very time when boldness is required.

Were our mothers wrong?

In business, you cannot stand still. Your competitors are always thinking up new ways to improve their businesses or reach their target audience. And if you don’t act, you’ll start to lose market share.

Be someone who doesn’t know the meaning of ‘no’

But even though we know this, too often our doubts assail us. And that’s where having something to counteract the sensible aphorisms we learned in the nursery, helps.

I was speaking at the FSB national conference on start-up businesses recently. At the same event I heard Sahar Hashemi, co-founder of Coffee Republic, quote the Zen saying ‘Leap and the net will appear’at a conference recently. And it seemed to me that she’d summed up the essence of entrepreneurship. She believes that “Dreams only come true when you don’t let a ‘no’ derail you” and started Coffee Republic despite being rejected by 19 banks. True entrepreneurs believe in themselves and their business visions.

Necessity is the mother of invention

Have you ever had a great business idea and procrastinated on it, only to see a competitor get up and run with it 6 months later?

Or watched them find a whole new set of customers that should have been yours, because they’ve revised their marketing?

All because you hesitated? In hard times, bravery and innovation are needed more than ever. It isn’t the time to hide, but rather to get out there and chase new customers. Adversity can make our organisations slimmer and better toned. That’s because we don’t get the chance to become lazy.

It’s leaping, not looking, that’s the thing

Of course, it’s important to do your research. And it’s important to have a plan. But too often we don’t even let ourselves dream enough to get that far. And there always comes a point, when you have to take a gamble. No-one ever has all the information they want, when trying something new. Goethe too summed the ‘Leap and the net will appear’ idea up, instinctively.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back– Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

Why not go out on a limb? Isn’t that where the fruit is?

So, if sales are down, it’s time to conduct some market research and double your marketing efforts. Or maybe even diversify into new areas. And if sales are up, it’s probably the right time to grow your business. Let your planning process help to build your courage, commitment and belief in your ideas. Then, throw your full weight behind them, and watch as the world seems to follow obediently in your wake. Passion and courage are irresistible.

Many hands make light work

But maybe you need some help? At Oxygen Creative Services, we can come in at any stage of your marketing development to help you to consolidate and implement your plans. We’re experts at finding new ways to help you reach your customers. We can find ways to make them passionate about what you do. And we’ll help you to leap.

• Marketing planning and strategy

• Brand development and implementation

• Direct and digital marketing

Take a leap of faith with better brand development and marketing

 

Steve Lodge: Steve trained as a NCTJ journalist and is an experienced copywriter. He has over 15 years in agency, and started Oxygen in 2002.