While many questions regarding the Coronavirus pandemic remain unanswered, and with a stock market experiencing extreme volatility, there is continued uncertainty as to what could happen in our industry over the next few years. But many people in the industry have been through such ambiguity before. We sought the advice of industry leaders who successfully made their way through the Great Recession, and we asked what they learned from it and how they will use their experiences to advance through the coming years.
KERRY CAUTHEN, Four Star Sales
Looking back on the way the Recession of 2008 played out and how Four Star weathered it, I feel like I learned quite a few business and life lessons from that time. Some of those that I think will help us again are: having faith in yourself and your team, remembering that you are not alone, and that oftentimes the end result of big change is innovation. That last one doesn't mean we would ever want to have something like this happen, but since it is here, there really is no way to go but forward.
My father, Tex Cauthen, was a farrier by trade, but was even better at teaching big picture life lessons. He gave my brothers and I a lot of sage advice that we all kiddingly call “Tex-isms.” Whenever things got rough or unpredictable like they are right now, he would say, “Just keep hammering nails.” That phrase was shorthand for a whole lot, but basically it meant that if you don't panic and you keep putting in your best effort every day, things will actually turn out alright. I struggle and stumble with this advice quite a bit but I keep trying to remember it and to practice it, especially in this current situation.
From a business prospective, during the last recession I really just tried to keep a good, tight handle on the budget and always do whatever was truly in the best interest of our clients. The Covid-19 pandemic is bound to continue to affect all of our businesses in many yet unseen and unanticipated ways, but I believe that if we just keep hammering away each day, things will eventually get back in the black and we will all figure out how to do quite a few things in a better way than we ever did before. I also believe that if we try to take the long view whenever possible by helping as many of our clients, employees, friends, and even our competitors as we can, we will all end up stronger and better off for it.