As the story goes, the owner of a hair salon in a small town enjoyed the serenity of knowing that his was the only salon in town. He was responsible for cutting and styling the hair of just about every resident.
His income allowed him to live comfortably and even send all of his six children to college.
Unfortunately for him, big business showed up one day. Right across the street from his busy little hair salon sprang up one of those new full-service franchises.
Immediately the media campaign began. Ads in newspapers, magazines, and billboards announced, “EVERYTHING FOR $6.00! $6.00 haircuts, $6.00 perms, $6.00 manicures, everything for $6.00.”
Soon all of his customers even his neighbors began visiting the salon across the street while his salon sat empty. Desperate, he hired an expensive consultant. “I’m finished,” he moaned. “It’s impossible for me, just one little business owner, to compete with that big, powerful corporation. I can’t match their prices and I sure cannot beat them. I might as well throw in the towel now!”
The consultant squinted at the salon across the street and took a very long pause. “Not just yet, not just yet,” he responded.
With that the consultant picked up the phone and dialed the town’s only billboard company. “Yes, on top of our salon … big letters: WE FIX $6.00 HAIRCUTS!”
The salon owner’s business returned, slowly at first but then with a vengeance. He did not try to put his competition out of business and he did not apologize for his higher prices. He knew he offered something the competition could not. Sure he needed the help of a good coach to find his solution, but he made it through the tough times. He didn’t throw up his hands and quit. He turned a roadblock into a detour that brought him through on a slightly different path.
What challenge are you facing right now? Are you deeply in debt? So strapped financially that you come up short every month? Feel you’re just one paycheck from getting tossed out onto the street? You need a solution, my friend! You need to see that roadblock as an opportunity to discover a new route. There is a solution, your job is to find it.
Years ago I found myself in quite a pickle: Unemployed, no savings and debts the size of Mt. Everest. I found my solution in creating a newsletter, Cheapskate Monthly, now Debt-Proof Living. This blog is now in its 15 year. I’ve written 26 books that so far have sold 1.4 millions copies. Was I an English major? Did I know I could write? Did I have a clue about the business of publishing? No, but my heart told my head to go for it. Suffice it to say I conquered that mountain and have gone on to create a business and a life that I absolutely love.
Charles Schultz once said, “All of us are like ten-speed bikes. We’ve got gears we never use!” Maybe it’s time for you to get yourself into a higher gear. Stop thinking about throwing in the towel—start looking for the solution instead!