Bumps and jumps
BUSINESS MATTERS BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE - Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - October 20, 2019 - 12:00am

Businesspeople like me are wont of saying, “The world is changing.” In hindsight and reflection, I realized I have been saying this for the last twenty years.

Futurists in the past, like the celebrated Alvin Toffler, John Naismith, and Faith Popcorn graced business conferences and conventions presenting their personal views of the future that is to come. I am quite sure, however, that should these celebrated futurists of the past see the situation and the business world we are in today even they would have been surprised.

Things have not just “changed.” There has been a massive transformation that has taken place. Businesses disrupted; legacy companies are closing their doors for the last time; products hailed as “advance” are now considered obsolete. And the disruption continues.

The truth is that you do not even have to be in business to experience massive transformation. If we can only still our hearts and minds and reflect on how our life has been disrupted, we would be perplexed ourselves. Consider the following. There are five disruptors of modern-day living:

1. Time

2. Technology

3. Uncertainty

4. Traffic

5. Competition

There are many other factors as well, and fact is we deal with these all the time.

A businessman friend of mine in the automotive industry said, “When I started my career in the industry I saw how cars were offered at least 40 percent down payment, and then it started going down and now to my amazement; from the simplest to the most luxurious brands, everybody seems to be offering zero percent down payment schemes.” I thought about this for a moment and asked, “Has this something to do with road clearing and the new-found difficulty of getting parking spaces as well as the traffic situation?” He sadly nodded his head in the affirmative. Nobody saw that coming!

Life offers us bumps and jumps, and it has always been like these for ages. Let me explain what I mean. Life BUMPS usually comes unexpectedly. In other cases, you see signs of it happening and paid it no mind until it arrives and hits you in the face.

·   A bump is when you just invested in a car, hoping to get into the car-sharing business, and now the regulatory board is putting a squeeze on granting franchises for new players.

·   A bump is when the new kid across the street opened a new business offering the same kinds of products and services you do at a much lower price.

·   A bump is when your traditional business practice is now threatened with disruption because of online services.

·   A bump is when somebody great in your team leaves you. And that one person carries the capacity to change the whole team.

·   A bump is when the person who hired you and promised to help you resigns 15 days later and leave you out there in the cold.

But then there are JUMPS. A JUMP is when you jump into something willingly that is positive.

·   A jump is when you decided to accept that position nobody wanted not knowing that it would be the springboard that would bring you to better opportunities.

·   A jump is when you take a course, which is precisely what you needed, and the next opening offered, and you are ready.

·   A jump is when you talk to a mentor.

·   A jump is when you attend a seminar.

·   A jump is when you agreed to partner with your friend in his start-up business and then experiences exponential growth that turns you from obscurity status to legendary status.

So what do you do as you deal with life’s bumps and jumps?

Here is what I have learned through life experiences, as well as through the books I have read. When it comes to BUMPS, you need relationships to carry you through, do not bear the burden alone. Your trusted friends or family should be there to help guide you and encourage you. When it comes to JUMPS, you need character to make sure that you are handling these experiences correctly and skillfully. You don’t get too overly excited and allow pride to enter your head.

BUMPS and JUMPS, when handled well, both opens doors to opportunities. And when the opportunities present itself, you grab it, but you need to hustle, and you need to grind to convert opportunities into profitable ventures. And when it comes to character; you need to live out your faith and to understand that it is God who has given you the ability to do what you are doing. This keeps you grounded and will enable you to learn and absorb more knowledge making you a perpetual student always acquiring more options to make the right decisions. We need to learn how to manage our BUMPS and JUMPS.

Famous football coach Lou Holtz says: “Everyone goes through adversity in life, but what matters is how you learn from it.” Calvin Coolidge says: “Prosperity is only an instrument to be used, not a deity to be worshipped.”

Meanwhile my favorite Scriptural reference says: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, for you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Bumps and Jumps happen. Enjoy the journey.

(Connect with Francis Kong in www.facebook.com/franciskong2 or listen to “Business Matters” Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. over 98.7 dzFE-FM ‘The Master’s Touch’, the classical music station.)

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