Managing hoops

Matt Morgan
Dec 5, 2013

 

Often times the simplest changes or ideas can still invoke a host of questions which an imagination can spiral out...even about a simple spiraling product!
 
How can you help reign in questions, rumors, and more especially in a smaller city? I can give some personal advice and also point you to a bit of a good "sleeper" movie called The Hudsucker Proxy (1994). In specific we will focus on this scene:
 
[Norville Barnes introduces the "extruded plastic dingus" to the board members]
Board Member 1: What if you tire before it's done?
Board Member 2: Does it have rules?
Board Member 3: Can more than one play?
Board Member 4: What makes you think it's a game?
Board Member 3: Is it a game?
Board Member 5: Will it break?
Board Member 6: It better break eventually!
Board Member 2: Is there an object?
Board Member 1: What if you tire before it's done?
Board Member 5: Does it come with batteries?
Board Member 4: We could charge extra for them.
Board Member 7: Is it safe for toddlers?
Board Member 3: How can you tell when you're finished?
Board Member 2: How do you make it stop?
Board Member 6: Is that a boy's model?
Board Member 3: Can a parent assemble it?
Board Member 5: Is there a larger model for the obese?
Board Member 1: What if you tire before it's done?
Board Member 8: What the hell is it?
 
Yes, what is this baffling product that confounds a board room full of highly-educated executives? A hula hoop.
 
So now if a situation like that can be misunderstood what about when something about your business or life feels the same way? This is a challenge I am overcoming and will share the experience with you.
 
1. Know what's going on as much as you can. If you understand the circumstances you can better adapt to them and explain them to those concerned. For me, the store's demographics have changed. For a business like the Zinc Brasserie it was a lease termination. For you and what you may be going through? Look around, ask those you trust. Some advice may be blunt and hurt, but it needs to be heard.
 
2. Tactfully but directly get the word out about what is changing. Use caution, too, especially if you are a small business (or in a small town, or both!) as the telephone game will provide you interesting feedback. Within a few days of making my direct announcement there was one individual who took it upon himself to tell others the business was bankrupt. Well, that's a stretch! But what can you do? Actually...
 
3. Keep information coming. As changes take place, it is best to have conversations with those concerned. For personal issues it would be your friends, family, or religious leaders if you subscribe to a faith. I'd wager the Sandusky Register loves to know what's going on with entities like City Hall especially if there are changes taking place. Without information and guidance there is only speculation.
 
4. Stay positive. Being the center of whichever circle is getting modified, it is crucial that others see you have optimism and resolve. Sure, some may jump ship. Fair-weather friends isn't just a quaint term. But, stick to it because once the dust settles your reset will leave you with a solid base to build from again.
 
5. Ultimately accept that a change may not be enough. Hey, it happens. Even one more piece of bubblegum may not keep your car going. Public speeches may not be enough to keep a policy in the public's favor. Redecorating your business may not attract back the same people you had in your golden years. If revisions won't work, acceptance of a closing of that chapter in your life is what's left. But that doesn't mean the end. After all, Detroit hasn't just vanished off the face of the earth after their judgment.
 
There are many (hula) hoops we jump through when going through a period of change. Keep at it. You can do it, and also, know that you aren't alone. Let that fact support you and help bring you to where you need to be. If noone else, you always have Moses the Clock Man who like many others in your life watches silently, supportive of you if only to tell your tale to help others...
 
"And that's the story of how [character] climbed waaay up to the forty-fourth floor of the Hudsucker Buildling, and then fell all the way down but didn't quite squish hisself. You know, they say there was a man who jumped from the forty-FIFTH floor? But that's another story..."
 
=  = = = = =BONUS= = = = = =
If you want to follow a larger-scale "getting back to basics", check out what is happening this December 7 at Mt. Vernon.