This year marks the 20th anniversary of Management Services Northwest (MSNW). Taking a small cleaning and landscaping company from the living room of my home to a multi-state facility management firm has been an exciting journey with many lessons learned along the way. Over this year, I would like to share with you 10 tools that greatly influenced our success, and took our company from ordinary to extraordinary.
To be bold means showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous. Looking back over the last 20 years, one of the reasons for our success was being bold, and not letting fear paralyze our company when we were called to be courageous.
One of the most challenging times of our business was during the great recession. Overnight, our world changed drastically. I observed several clients struggle financially, and one client partner of over 13 years shut down by the FDIC. There was a spirit of fear around us. Many of my own staff had family members who had lost jobs or businesses, and our own project division dropped 30% overnight. It was a scary time to be a business owner, and admittedly I had sleepless nights worrying about providing for all of the families who called MSNW home.
I remember one moment when it seemed tough economic times were crashing down around us, that I too, allowed myself to become paralyzed by fear. One of my managers pulled me aside and said to me, “Janelle, you are always the one that puts the wind in our sails, but you can also take it out.” That was a wakeup call.
I made the fundamental decision that day to do whatever it took to thrive in the down economy, to learn whatever lessons we could as a company and use them to prepare for a great future. It was 2009 and we were in an office space we had outgrown. Our HR Manager didn’t even have a door. But everyone was saying – hunker down, wait for everything to blow over, hold on to your money. Instead, I began seeking larger office space and purchased a new building for our company twice the size of the one we were in. This bold move helped to position ourselves for further growth.
Be Bold. Don’t allow fear to paralyze you. Choosing a mindset of boldness over the last 20 years has propelled MSNW through challenging times and made our company extraordinary.
Boldness: Seeing and seizing the opportunistic moments in life – timidity has never produced a proud moment, only a could-have-been.
“What you are afraid of is never as bad as what you imagine. The fear you let build up in your mind is worse than the situation that actually exists.”
― Spencer Johnson, Who Moved My Cheese