Those words were spoken years ago by a member of the advisory board I had recruited. What? File bankruptcy and see the manufacturing company we’d worked so hard to build torn apart? The thought made my stomach churn.
However, I knew there was some wisdom in those words. Our company had been struggling for months. The economy was in a recession; key customers had scaled back orders and others procured parts through reverse auctions, where we couldn’t compete.
Still, intuition told me to wait a little longer before making any drastic decisions.
I’m glad I did. Within a month a number of things happened that changed our future:
- A current customer placed an order for several new parts and a number of repeat parts.
- A new customer, looking for a long-term relationship, found us in the Thomas Register and started the vendor approval process.
- Our bank allowed us to make interest-only payments for six months, freeing up much needed cash.
Still, the board member who made the suggestion wasn’t happy; he thought I showed “poor leadership” in not taking steps to move toward bankruptcy. Thankfully, other board members didn’t agree and did their best to help our company survive the storm.
When we allow strong-minded, loud-voiced people to influence our behavior, even when we feel in our gut their advice is bad, we are nothing more than ping pong balls in a game played by others.
I solicited feedback from my board, but I was under no obligation to adopt their suggestions. I listened carefully, considered all the facts and used my own best judgement to decide our course of action.
It is essential to seek advice and consider options, but you must follow your intuition and live with the decisions you make. (Hear the definition of intuition by Deepak Chopra.)
The best belief is in yourself.