Coping With Those Difficult Days

How do you cope with those difficult days?

Those days when you would rather stay in bed and cry. Those days when you question whether there are still good and happy times ahead of you.

I have experienced those difficult times, too. These are the things that help me cope:

  1. Making a list of things that I am grateful for. Doing this never fails to help dispel any negativity in my mind or pain in my heart. This helps me see that despite the “bad things” that may be plaguing me now, so many good things have happened as well. This creates a spark of hope in me. 
  2. Listening to a worship song. Somehow, listening to a worship song changes the environment around me and inside me 🙂  For maximum effect, if I may say so, I listen to a whole playlist of worship songs lasting to an hour or more.
  3. Talking it out with a friend. This is usually cathartic, given, of course, that the friend is someone who knows how to listen and help “process” what I am going through. We all need to have friends who can handle not only a happy and joyful us but also a burdened and broken us. 
  4.  Reading inspiring stories, the Bible. Stories of people who overcome adversities and challenges in life are very helpful during our own personal challenging times. Reading God’s promises in the Bible is hope-stirring 🙂
  5. Praying to God. Talking to God will have to be part of this list. After all, this life is our journey with Him. And He has given us both love and life (you and I are part of that world mentioned in John 3: 16 🙂 ).

We will have difficult days but they will not last forever. There’s a season and time for everything — the season of hardship will eventually give way to one of singing again (Song of Songs 2:11-13).

 

Keeping Customers and Bringing in New Ones

Starting a business is an exciting thing. It is born out of passion or a dream which may have taken some time to begin as one prepares resources to build it.

Some research or survey may have been done first to ensure how viable the business is. After all, profit is also expected when one goes into business.

Now, it does not always follow that quality goods or services would equal to profit. One needs to remember that it is people who will avail of the goods or services that a business provides. If no one comes to patronize those services or goods, there is really no profit to talk about. So how do we ensure then our customers keep coming, and that we also continue to get new ones?

Customer is King. Quality services and goods do matter. But we must not forget that certain group of people in the equation – the customer or client who patronizes those services or products.

Unfortunately, some business owners seem to forget the key role of their customers as time goes on. Some even disregard customer feedback, even if it is obvious that such a feedback will help improve the business.

If you own a business or about to open one, I think you will agree with me that you desire its longevity. And for that to happen we need to care about our customers.

Journey with Customers. I think we need to have the perspective that we will be dealing with customers on a long-term basis. It’s not a one-shot deal. Our aim is to build a relationship with them, understand what their needs or goals are in relation to our products or services that they use. And so, we care about what they truly need. In other words, we give importance to customer onboarding. And this is meant to start even before they start paying for our goods or services.

Define What Success Looks Like. What do you mean when you say you want a successful business? How would you define customer success? Would you agree with what Lincoln Murphy said: “Customer Success is when your customers achieve their Desired Outcome through their interactions with your company”. When we don’t take time to define what success in our business looks like or what customer success is to us, how would we know then that our business is a success? Surely, we do not define success in terms of profit only.

Learn from Others. There are so many resources that one can access now to help grow one’s business. If you do not have a strong business background, you can learn from others, even collaborate with them. If you face the challenge of customer adoption, retention or expansion, you do not have to do this alone. Consider seeking help from others who have gone ahead of you in their business journey. Learn from them, consider being mentored. And when you have gone ahead in your own business journey, take time to also help and even mentor others.

Perhaps this year is a year of change for you in your business. Or perhaps you are just about to embark on something new, a new business endeavor. Wishing you all the best in your undertakings this year!

Morning Song

The month of March is referred to as Women’s month. And before we say good bye to this month, I would like to share here a beautiful poem by one of my favorite poets, the late Sylvia Plath.

The poem is about a mother and a child. It is a piece that mirrors the author’s experience of giving birth to and taking care of one of her children. It is an experience shared by women across different cultures and generations, whether they were the biological mother of a child or they took on a motherly role.

Morning Song
by Sylvia Plath

Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry
Took its place among the elements.
 
Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue.
In a drafty museum, your nakedness
Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.
 
I’m no more your mother
Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow
Effacement at the wind’s hand.
 
All night your moth-breath
Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:
A far sea moves in my ear.
 
One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral
In my Victorian nightgown.
Your mouth opens clean as a cat’s. The window square
 
Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try
Your handful of notes;
The clear vowels rise like balloons.