It was the late 1970s. Inflation was in double digits, fuel prices were at record highs, Jimmy Carter was nearing the end of his lone term as president. Americans were being held hostage in Iran, Cold War tensions were high, and the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. The nightly ritual was the burning of American flags and the Ayatollah Khomeini declaring that Americans were too weak to do anything. He was right.
America’s morale was at a historic low, and even President Carter referred to our diminished confidence in many of his speeches. It was not a good time in American history.
However, in the backdrop, no one would have ever imagined that a group of college athletes largely from the Midwest and East Coast would ignite the country’s pride with a sporting event … The 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. In hockey, the Soviets were unbeatable; some say the best sports team ever assembled, winning five of the prior six Olympic gold medals. Leading up to the game, the U.S. team was unbeaten, and it had to beat the Soviets to advance to the medal round. It was a modern-day David vs. Goliath, but this time it was played out on a sheet of ice in a small town in upstate New York.
The game was played, and with 3 seconds remaining, the scoreboard read, USA 4, USSR 3. It was at that time that the announcer uttered those now historic words, “Do you believe in miracles?!” Americans celebrated in the streets…and at this very moment the confidence was back. Later, Sports Illustrated would name it the No. 1 sports moment of the century.
As in sports, when operating a business, the challenges that come your way may seem (at the time) to be overwhelming and a drain on your confidence. However, without confidence in what you’re doing, your business plan will likely fail. When uncontrollable events take place in life — which is normal and natural — having the ability to regroup and revisit the one area you can control, which is following through with your plan, is vital to your business’ long-term success.
Following a plan to run your business in times of uncertainty is no different than a following a comprehensive financial plan to run your personal life when the markets turn as volatile and confusing as they have over the past year. Even the most patient investors may come to question the wisdom of their plan. On that note, a question you should ask yourself: “Do I have a plan?” You see, we’ve found that many successful business owners have a great business plan; unfortunately they have never sat down with their financial advisor to craft a comprehensive financial plan.
The plan should encompass the following areas; Estate and Business Succession Strategies, Retirement Income and Investment Planning, and College Planning for your children or grandchildren. So, no matter what challenges may continue to arise — which is one certainty you can count on in life — out of a crisis, a miracle of confidence often begins with a plan.