When you are on top of your game and your business is the best in its market, you can make the mistake of thinking that the party will never end. There is a common truth that suggests the further you are from the last bottom the closer you are to the next one. No business can continue to increase in value without experiencing bumps along the way. This is what makes business exciting, engaging and worth the effort.
Failing to capitalize quickly on the shale boom as well as making a less than stellar decision to bet $41 billon dollars on XTO Energy, a huge natural gas company, ExxonMobil has lost more than $184 in market value since 2014. What was once the most valuable company in the world and who seemed unlikely to be dethroned no longer has a place amongst what use to be their peer group. ExxonMobil’s problems run deeper than a few poor decisions. The company admits that it is not firing on all cylinders the way a company of its stature should be and its business lines, like chemicals, is watching its margins erode which is impacting profitability. It’s a fall from grace to be sure however ExxonMobil will probably recover and today is the day that a stock purchase might be a good idea for your investment portfolio.
It’s hard not to drink you own Koolaid when you are the one pouring your own drink. Said another way, it’s hard to see your blindspots when you aren’t looking for them because you think you have handle on all of the aspects of your business. The truth is you can never truly know everything. The challenges that your business will face are probably already brewing under the surface. The right response is not to live in fear but to constantly be looking around and asking yourself “what could change our circumstances”. This is contrarian thinking, which many entrepreneurs can do quite easily if challenged to do so. If your business is rocking right now get planning for the party to end and what it will mean for your team, your customers and your bottom line.