Knowing when to tap out
Tapping out is a saying that Webster’s cites as being a mid-20th century description of having no money left. The taps have run dry. In combat sports, it signifies exhaustion and a request to discontinue the fight for fear of, or already inflicted injury.
We are living in uncharted territory these days, where enthusiasm and optimism can be as quickly generated as taken away. Dramatic shifts in business, social interaction and restrictions on personal movement have been combined with a “hyper-woke” culture that appears to distrust all authority and any differing opinions…leaving no room for people to adapt. You’re either “in” or you’re “out”. Period.
In business things have changed, your customers’ priorities have shifted; your competitors are zigging AND zagging! What worked before isn’t working today. Well it worked yesterday, didn’t work last week, but just might work tomorrow. It is exhausting trying to keep up and it is financially painful investing to stay ahead of the changing tides, while your income has been reduced – or become less certain.
Exhausted – no money – the taps have run dry and you’re on borrowed time…or are you? I can’t really tell you if you should fight or submit. I really don’t know these days, but I do know that we have to frame the waiting differently.
Disney World has re-opened for business. It is admittedly weird now that everyone has a costume – err mask - customers and the staff. The bonus is that the line-ups might not be long, but the time to get on a ride could be longer. The protocols and distancing might actually increase the time to get on your favorite ride. Prior to the pandemic, you might have waited for a long time, but for some reason…even near the front, you might have decided to step out of line. Maybe you were tired of standing so long, maybe you were hungry or had to go to the bathroom…but maybe you were simply exhausted and “done” with it. You leave the line…and all of a sudden, everyone around you gets on the ride. You don’t care…you’re happy to relieve the pain and you don’t know what you missed. Until everyone who got in finishes and leaves saying how amazing the ride was. FOMO!
Today, you might wait in the line even longer, but you have framed the experience to be worthwhile because of the necessary steps to ensure your safety. If you actually decide to get in the cue, you tough it out and enjoy the ride. So how long are you willing to wait?
So what about your business? How long has it been that you’ve been trying to get things rolling again? How will you make the decision to stay in line or step out? There is no clear answer. Marketing is changing, messaging too. Your customers are at the mercy of forces beyond their control, and emotions that are new to them.
We’ve been forced to change, consider and deliberate. Maybe we’re not “woke” but most of us are more accepting than we were before.
We all must make a decision on how long we will stick with something until it works or we abandon it. Today it is not clear, because our new normal is not the old normal and you didn’t have a chance to reset. So the best advice I can give you is to decide how much money, time and energy you think is worth investing in whatever you are doing, then add 10% or more to compensate for your impatience, and allow for your customers to deal with their stuff. If it starts working or you get some traction, keep going.
Knowing when to tap out is important. It will save you headaches and fortunes, but knowing when to staying in the ring and keep up the fight could yield big rewards. It is hard to know exactly what to do, but one thing is for certain, we all have to get comfortable that this will take time and patience if we’re going to get through it.
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