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BUSINESS MATTERS: The Rocks in Our Path

By Glen J. Dalakian Sr.

You may have heard the old term “a stone in my shoe,” meaning I have a problem that is really bugging me. Let’s talk about something a little bigger like a rock in your path. In business as in life, we must all face obstacles; how big they are or can become is a matter of your perspective. Certainly, some are more daunting than others, but with faith and commitment, most (if not all) can be overcome. Rocks will not just go away; you need to confront them and deal with them. Unlike real rocks, problems can grow bigger the longer you take to deal with them.

So many people choose to ignore challenges that, if handled early on, would have been swiftly eliminated. But some ignore what is coming until it overpowers them or takes so much time and effort to resolve that it becomes a costly setback. Why do people wait? A story I once heard made it clear to me. A man walked up to an old farmer’s house looking for directions. As he approached, a hound dog howled, and as he got closer, the dog howled again, seemingly in pain. He saw an old man sitting on the porch in a rocking chair with a dog laying at his feet. The lost man began to ask for directions, and the dog howled again, obviously in pain. The man said to the farmer, “What’s with your dog?” The farmer replied, “He’s lying on a nail.” The man, surprised at this response, asked, “Why doesn’t he just get up and move to stop the pain?” The old farmer replied, “It just don’t hurt bad enough.” Funny but all too often true for many of us.

Rocks often stand in our way, and we have three choices on how to deal with them, but deal with them we must. 1) Move it – Look at all the angles, give it the attention it needs, gather a team if necessary and then do the heavy lift to get the issue dealt with properly and removed from your path. 2) Hammer it – Chip away at it, day after day. If you keep hitting it hard enough, it should start to shrink down to be more manageable to the point that it no longer matters. 3) Go around it – Create a workaround that sidelines the issue, and so it becomes ineffective as you take a new path to achieve your goals.

One thing you must not do with a problem is ignore it. If you do, it will not go away and, in most cases, will grow to perhaps one day be insurmountable. The key to dealing with the issues that arise is facing them head on and the sooner the better. Procrastination makes any obstacle more formidable and difficult to overcome.

“Obstacles cannot crush me; every obstacle yields to stern resolve.” – Leonardo DaVinci

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