“Bad News… We Are Broke”

It is easy to use this terminology when things are stretched as tight as possible. Companies are feeling the pinch everywhere. Some are robbing Peter to pay Paul. An employee of an organization reached out to me recently about getting some of my motivational materials to generate some positive energy in the workplace – ‘cause I am good at it. J However, the company vice president said, “We have zero training budget for that.  It’s bad news; we are broke in that department. We don’t have any funds to invest in personal development.”

The employee’s response was simple, yet dynamite! “How does an organization expect to get better and have better results when it is not investing in making their people better?”

Things that make you go “HMMMMM…”

Sam’s 5 Rules For Going from Broke to Positive

1. Change What You Say.

When you use negative words like, “We are broke,” it de-energizes you and others. You don’t have to ignore the issue, but when you cannot direct the winds of what are going on, you can adjust your sail.  Some people look at the bottom line and think, “Oh boy.”  I know, because I have been there.  I know what its like to have too much month at the end of the money.  However, using negative words to reinforce your situation will not help. Instead, use re-energizing words like, “Things are a bit rough now, but we will pull through.”

2. Be More Creative.

When there is not enough funds, my mom taught me to be more creative. One Christmas, someone came to the house and brought us food for the holidays. It was so humbling, yet we were so grateful.  We didn’t have much, but we were creative by making our gifts and spending time playing board games, watching Christmas movies, and eating mounds of popcorn, while sitting in the dark with only the Christmas tree lights on as we listened to Bing Crosby.  Mom always found a way to make things possible by being more creative than the bottom line.

3. Think Better than Your Situation.

The way we think better is by what we allow and feed the mind. If you listen to negative people all day and buy into being negative, then you will begin to act and think negatively. How can that be good for you or anyone else?  If someone is complaining (and believe me, you know the people that complain about everything), set some boundaries so you don’t have to be around the negative noise.

4. Get Feedback from Others.

Some might call this a “Come to Jesus Meeting.” It’s a time to get everyone together and air it out and be open to ideas.  “How can we change things, who has ideas, what can we try, what isn’t working?” What got you to where you are right now  may not work tomorrow, so creating some solution synergy can open the door to new possibilities.

5.  Don’t React to Unfavorable Information.

The other day, I got an unexpected bill from my electiric company for over $2,000! I was like, “Wow, what did I leave on or do wrong.” A $2,000 electric bill was definitely not in the budget. I didn’t plan for it and I almost felt panic set in. I wanted to react and complain. Then I had fears: what if they turn everything off and its over 90 degrees outside? While I didn’t ask for this to happen, I do have to deal with it. Dealing with it in a negative manner will not win any awards or get the situation fixed.  Turns out, the bill was for the wrong house. Before you spout off from the mouth and do something you know could create more negative consequences, think it out. Relax, get in your right mind, and respond in a way that moves you three steps forward.

If you look at my 5 Rules, you will see that it’s all about Attitude. Your attitude is tested when things are rough, but in order to get through the storm, you have to keep the right attitude. Yes, it is old school, but it will always serve you better in the long run then a negative one.

And as far as having a zero budget for training, my 6th rule is a bonus.

6. Fix What is Broke.

There was a survey recently that Wal-Mart was rated #2 for the worst customer service next to tech support over the phone.  I am a fan of Wal-Mart, but if customer service is bad, it means something is wrong and needs to be fixed. You can’t fix a bottom line by appealing to gun enthusiasts as to what they are doing, but rather fix what is broke.  There should always….always be something to invest in what makes business possible: your people. If you want their best, then make it so.

How do you deal with having less?

Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/amagill/with/3366720659/

9 thoughts on ““Bad News… We Are Broke””

  1. I am absolutely in agreement with “attitude”. I have been around some negative people and I found myself developing the same attitude, seeing only the negative in people or situations….I had to remove myself from the environment for 10 days, and got my head back on straight, and my heart too….When I let those kinds of people get into my head, I am so unhappy. Now I feel rejuvanated and am able to tune them out. By the way, I saw you about 3 years in Ft Worth TX…and you are absolutely fabulous. I wish I could convince the man that controls the money to bring you in. Keep on keeping on.

  2. Keeping a positive attitude right now has been really difficult for me. I support three children with an at-home spouse. I was making moderate-to-good money when I was laid off. I was lucky to get another job within a month of my layoff making about half of what I was making. We had to move out of our house and take an apartment; my kids got free lunch at school; it was rough. Exactly a year after my layoff, I was hired at another job making about $25,000 less than I was making at my original job. Some days it’s overwhelming, but I’m trying to build up a positive attitude for the sake of my kids.

  3. Hi Sam,

    You hit the nail on the head!

    Management sometimes has a hard time realizing or admitting what the real problems are in the workplace. Helping staff become more positive results in positive outcomes for the company.

    Empowered employees create a positive workplace. They see solutions instead of obstacles. Very few people (if any) with good attiudes make bad employees and polute the office environment. We ceratinly all understand that negative people frequently add toxicity to the workplace and limit themselves because they tend to not to care.

    The equation is simple: help your employees be more positive and you help your company.

    If you are in mangement take a look around your office today. What are people’s attitudes and how is it affecting their work? Now ask yourself how creating a more positive culture would improve and impact your office tomorrow.

    I think that you may change your mind and see the value in creating a more positive workplace.

    June Blunk

  4. I love your Attitude Sam. Three thoughts came to mind while I was reading this post and I felt compelled to share.

    2. Be More Creative – I immediately thought of my family when I read this rule. It hit me that I have a generous family. My family has never had much, but what we do have, we gladly give to others.
    At Christmas there was never any money, but we all had gifts. Many of those gifts were things that we had then wrapped and gave to each other. There was never a shortage of generosity in my family.

    3. Think Better Than Your Situation – My professional life became more joyful when I quit the company that I had worked at for over 6 years. I was miserable there and never planned on going back. After a couple of months recouping from hand surgery, I decided to to some temp work. It turned out that my first temp job was back at the same company training another person for my previous position because the one hired to replace me didn’t work out. I came back with a new attitude and ended up staying another 7 years, until they closed the company due to the economy.

    4. Get Feedback From Others – Regarding your statement, “What got you to where you are right now may not work tomorrow, so creating some solution synergy can open the door to new possibilities.” The same company did not believe in the necessity of company meetings and, when the economy fell, they continued doing things the same way. Eventually, they shut the doors. It was too bad that a company that had been in business for over 70 years couldn’t change their thinking.

    Thanks for your Positive Energy out here.
    JoAnn

  5. Rebecca Weverka

    Hey Sam,

    I really have loved messages and been a big fan since Blue Cross Blue Shield in TX introduced us. My only complaint is I can’t afford your tapes yet I love them!

    I read this post thinking gee you saw my paycheck! Actually, you didn’t you just hit the nail on the head. I had a truck driver explain something to may way back when…I had someone tell me they were “poor” he said I may be broke from time to time however I have never been “poor” as I am not of bad Quality just a little low on funds. I never forgot that thought!

    I try hard to keep my attitude positive and times an life make it hard. I thought the idea of ending a statement with a positive “will pull through” was so funny as I just sent a chat to a long time friend and quit buddy about how my life was going my last line was “God always provide!” she ditto’d that one.

    Sometimes people get so lost in the day to day worries and forget to look for something to cherish. I always use “Thank you” for many things, like I really had a rough day today..”Thank you, God it is over with and I won’t have to live this day again!” Or Thanks for all your support.

    Sometimes I tick off things I am grateful for, I may not understand why my Grandmother at 101 is still living and suffering; however, she is my last relative and Thank God I can go hug her still!

    I have many friends who help lift me up! I pray that you always continue to shine with your positive attitude. I tell people on Monday’s that I’m GRRREAATT! It’s Monday start of new week and one day closer to the weekend!

    Life is too short to live in the dumps, life throws things at you evry day, however one thing is for sure it is never the same from one year to next so don’t ever give up as life will turn and you might be surprised! I think of it like my books I love to read can’t wait to get back to it! Before I miss something!

    Now if I could just have that attitude about my work! Of well, life goes on!

    Thanks for giving me this thought!

  6. TJ: It’s a tough time for many, but your hard work ethic is encouraging. I pray that things keep improving for you and your family. Keep on keeping on!

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