What would you do if someone tackled you, took you down to the ground and stayed on top of you? First, you would probably scream…but then what?
Would you curl up into the fetal position, or would you fight?
Would you give everything you possibly could in order to free yourself?
Would you press your limits and boundaries and use the surge of adrenaline to take control?
Imagine if you did gain control and then ended up on the ground yet again. Would you have the mental fortitude to continue to fight your way back on top? Or would you finally throw in the towel and surrender?
At the risk of sounding overdramatic, being a business owner is a lot like being in a jiu-jitsu match.
In a recent episode of The Journey Up podcast, co-founder of Proven Recruiting, Louis Song, joined us and shared some interesting feedback. Louis noted how he was practicing stand-up Kung Fu and pondered what would happen if his opponent pounced on him if he were to fall to the ground. The thought scared him a bit, but he realized that sometimes being afraid can drive advancement. As Louis noted:
“You know, a lot of my things in life, my success in life, my journey in life, has really been about being afraid of something, and saying, you know what? I don’t want to be afraid anymore, let me go tackle it.”
And THAT is exactly how being a successful staffing owner is like Jiu-Jitsu.
In staffing, just like in a Jiu-Jitsu match, there are ups and downs. One moment you may be ready to pounce on your opponent, the next you might be struggling to regain control. Here are a few lessons and takeaways from Jiu-Jitsu, that correlate strongly with running a successful staffing operation:
Know Your Opponent.
To be effective in martial arts, you need to understand your strengths and the strengths of your opponent. The same is true in business. To run a successful staffing agency, you need to know your strengths and stick to them! Identify your areas of core competency. Know exactly where you outperform the competition and focus your efforts there. If you can identify the area in which you are the best in the world (or at least best in the market), you will gain a clear competitive advantage and differentiate your company.
It’s Okay to be Afraid, Just Don’t Curl Up.
Nothing is going to perfect. There will be ups and downs in business. But the best leaders have a plan to get back on their feet when they are knocked down. The staffing industry historically has been cyclical. Right now, we are in a candidate starved market. From a business development side, the economy is great—many firms have an abundance of orders. However, staffing companies are struggling to recruit and can’t fill orders. Even with more orders than ever, many firms have flat or declining revenues. But others, others are capitalizing. These are the companies that didn’t sit back and complain about recruiting. They have taken an active role in finding new sourcing methods, have dramatically improved retention rates and are redeploying people at record numbers. Don’t sit back – find a solution.
Anticipate and Plan for the Negative.
As mentioned above, staffing is cyclical. There is going to be a downturn. The companies that plan for that now will come out of the downturn sooner and stronger. What are you doing now to invest in technology and infrastructure? Are you devoting more efforts into business development? Are you building in processes and efficiencies to drive more profit to the bottom line? Taking the time to plan ahead will help insulate you from a downturn and help you gain market share coming out of a downturn.
Are you as prepared as a prize-winning Jiu-Jitsu fighter?