Jewelers Suite JHJ Magazine

Surviving a Challenge: It’s a Gift!

written by Bill Warren

You may be shaking or at least scratching your head having read the title of this article. How can I possibly suggest that the challenges you’ve faced or are facing now can be a benefit? I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re thinking right now, “Diamond Bill, you’re just plain crazy!”

As I’ve shared, my wife and I have been through almost countless challenges with our jewelry store over the years since we first opened the door in tiny Hudson, NC. We haven’t always been a wildly successful store every year. I understand your challenges because I’ve been through them all already. I fully understand. I get it. Been there; done that… and know I’ll face challenges yet to come. Yet, I’ll still contend that every challenge is a gift, yes, a gift for you.

While we have yet to know (as I write this) the extent of the negative economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent shutdown mandates, to some degree, it doesn’t matter. Look back at history and to the Great Depression. Yes, I’m talking about what happened in the late 1920s and early ‘30s, not the more recent recessions we’ve weathered. There were actually a number of successful businesses that launched and grew out of the financial ruins of that era. Here are just a few:

  • Publix® Super Markets: George Jenkins quit his job as manager of the competitor and opened next door in 1930. Five years later, he opened his second store. Today, Publix has 1000 stores in the chain.
  • Ocean Spray Cranberries:  The cooperative of three independent growers also started in 1930 and today includes over 700 grower families across North and South America.
  • Proctor & Gamble:  Although it was founded almost 100 years earlier, the company knew that despite economic hardship, people still needed soap.  Instead of reining in advertising, P & G looked for new marketing avenues, including commercial radion broadcasts…and the soap opera was born and evolved from there.

Just because the economy may be struggling doesn’t mean that you also have to struggle. It doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. Great fortunes were actually made during the Great Depression because entrepreneurs were actively looking for opportunity, and they looked for the silver lining in the dark cloud. That is what Angie and I have done through the years as well.

During the pandemic shutdown, a great many of my friends were concerned. Now I won’t say I wasn’t also concerned, but I made a decision about what my own response would be.  I determined to be the voice of calm.  We’d been through so many other life events and business challenges that I knew we’d weather this storm as well.

Why? Those previous events were all lessons and provided the gift of experience, so we knew to prepare for this – both financially and emotionally. Did I know a global pandemic would hit? Of course not. What I did know from experience is that there will always be another challenge. So, yes, we’ll weather this one and start to prepare for the next one. I encourage you to do the same.

This article is an excerpt from my book, “The Fastest Way To A Full Recovery – 5 Immediate Profit-Enhancing Strategies Jewelers Can Use Today To Create A Thriving Business.