Previous month:
February 2009
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April 2009


The CEO of one firm said to me, "We have seen our business drop about 75% from where it was last year at this time." Another CEO commented, "Our sales are down 20%. Most of our competition is down 35%." Both of these companies are in discussions with us to get help in developing a strategic plan and evaluating their sales force.  What about you?

Was Q1 All YOU planned?

Are you tracking progress against clearly defined metrics? You do have a plan, right?

In case you haven’t noticed, spring is in the air. In arid Colorado you can tell by the 16 inches of wet snow we got last week to replenish the water supply.  It also means that the first quarter of 2009 is almost behind us. Time flies — whether you're accomplishing what you want or not.

If you have a plan, ask yourself how things are going in pursuing your purpose. Be honest and assess progress. If you are on plan, pat yourself and your team on your back. Recognize and reward.

Assess and Adjust

If you're not on plan, you are not alone. Now is the time to ask tough questions and take appropriate action. Many firms have cut expenses as much as they can. The next step is taking necessary action to build the top revenue line. Determining appropriate initiatives takes strategic thinking. Once they’re in place dive in and embark on them.

Here are five practical pointers to make the needed adjustments:
• Envision the optimal outcome. What strategies will help you get there?
• Analyze. Determine what adjustments to make by looking at the current situation and comparing it to your where you want to be.
• Broaden. Take hold of a bigger purpose. There may be other product or market segments where you can find opportunity.
• Divide and conquer. Take on a big goal by splitting it into smaller chunks. What do you need to do “a day at a time”? Focus and finish one piece at a time, allowing that progress to replenish your energy.
• Reaffirm and execute. Establish mid-course corrections, commit to them with courage, and take the necessary action.

What If You Don't Have a Plan? 

There is no better time than now to create a good one. Especially in a storm, economic or otherwise, you don't want to be the ship lost at sea without a rudder. Without a plan you may actually sink. That's why one of the seven actions needed to survive and thrive in a recession is: Develop a good plan and act on it. Companies with a written plan outperform those without one. A good plan depends on a core ideology to provide guidance and direction.

Now is the best time to define your core and craft your strategic plan. Make sure it includes a sales assessment and plan. Then execute it. Don't wait.

Theresa Szczurek ( and


You are invited to come as my guest on Monday 3/30/09 to the Boulder Business Series program "Survive and Thrive in a Tough Economic Environment:  Practical Business Tips."  The program, sponsored by the Deming Center of Entrepreneurship, is held 6-7:45pm at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder in Koelbel 210.

The event is free to attend. 

Come to this program prepared to learn from others, and also to share your own strategies.  Rich Wobbekind, will give his thoughts on what the economy has in store for us in 2009.  Theresa Szczurek will introduce specific suggestions to help your company successfully weather this economic debacle.  Dan King will give us a glimpse as to the measures his company has taken to thrive.  Attendees will also be given a chance to share and apply these approaches during a small group interaction


Theresa M. Szczurek ( and


There is some good news.  The U.S. Department of Commerce reports:

  • Total sales volume for US Retailers was stronger in 2/2009 than expected (-.1% versus -.5% projected.

  • US retail sales, excluding autos, increased by .7% in 2/2009

  • US retail sales increase 1.8% in 1/2009

Check out for more good news.

Theresa Szczurek ( and



If you listen to and read most of the media today, you get the message that the world is falling apart. Negative  news is everywhere. One could easily conclude that everything is going down the drain.  It is just NOT true -- polarities exist in all of life. There is good as well as its opposite. 

Why so Negative? 

  • It is based on the filter which news editors use.  Bad news sells.  Market research shows that people remember negative messages longer.  This is why so many political campaigns focus on the negative aspects of the opponent. 
  • People, like YOU, are accepting this.  We need to revolt and make it known that we want a balanced reporting that includes the good. When consumers refuse to buy the negativity, the media will change and provide a more balanced perspective on life.

Here is Goods News.

There is a lot of good news.  You just have to look for it.  Here are five practical pointers on what to do.

  1. Check out  Let me and others know of other sources for good news.  Visit these outlets regularly.
  2. Spread good news.Let it be known that you want good news. Help communicate this message to others. I search out, for examples, people and organizations that are successfully pursuing their passionate purpose.  I write about them, speak about, and help them prosper.  In this way, I am focusing on and propogating the good work whereby people are making a meaningful difference.
  3. Believe in the power of positive thinking, positive reporting, and positive people as the medium.  Surround yourself with like-minded optimistic people. When you find those people who only propogate the negative, let them know enough is enough and you are not interested in their message anymore. 
  4. Create you own filter.  Don't listen or read it all.  People can get sucked into the negative.  It is addicting.  Turn it off.  I choose to get my news in print format so that I have control over what I absorb. By doing a quick scan of the headlines, I can then choose what I will read further.  With broadcast media, you have much less control.
  5. Learn how to balance polarities.  Read Chapter 7 on the Polarity Strategy in Pursuit of Passionate Purpose.  When you are experiencing the downside of one pole, bad news, then take action to experience the upside of the other pole, good news. It works!

Take on a success strategy -- get on the good news bandwagon!

Theresa M. Szczurek ( and