Some Thoughts for 2013 by Melissa Sayer

December 20, 2013

Don’t fear change.  Change is inevitable and unstoppable.  You can attempt to hold back an ocean, but that can lead to drowning.  Or you can ride the ocean.  That’s called surfing, and it is up to you which strategy you will pursue in 2014.


Control what you can, prepare for what you can’t.  Focus energy on what you can control.  If you are a farmer, you can’t control weather.  But you can control wind machines and crop insurance. If you are part of a family owned business, you can’t control your family members (even though we wish we all could sometimes); but you can plan for orderly succession of your company or estate.  Lastly, you can never control the litigiousness of others, but you can limit your exposure and liability.


Strive for excellence where it matters, otherwise Ok is OK.  I am not aware of any company that has ever failed because they picked the wrong font for their business cards.  But many small businesses expend a tremendous amount of energy on decisions that won’t really matter in the long run.  How to know when it matters?  If it will kill the business if you get it wrong, then it definitely matters.  Be a perfectionist when it matters.  Anything that is not potentially fatal is open to some level of compromise.


Fear failure, but not mistakes.  Every successful business, individual or organization has made mistakes and will make more in the future.  That’s part of life.  Learn what you can, try not to repeat them, and be adaptable.


On the surface, these suggestions might not sound like legal advice, but many of the legal problems I see stem from choices my clients have made.  Consider in advance how you will respond to some of these issues, and you will lay the foundation for a prosperous 2014 and beyond.


This Article first appeared in the Santa Paula Chamber Express News December 2013.