Brexit angst? Take control

Jo Francis
Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Jo Francis recommends a bit of sports psychology for those suffering Brexit jitters.

What does sporting excellence have to do with Brexit?

More than a month has flown by since the EU Referendum, and now the Rio Olympics are almost upon us.

It seems to me that it will be a long, long time before we know the true impact of Brexit on the UK economy. Some printers I have spoken to over recent weeks report booming business, others have seen a slowdown – but that is also coinciding with what can be a traditional summer lull for many firms.

In short, nobody really knows what’s what yet. In such circumstances, uncertainty becomes the enemy, but it is absolutely pointless to spend time worrying about things that are not within our control, or about things that may or may not happen.

Hence the sporting reference. Elite sportsmen and women often talk about how they focus on ‘controlling the controllables’ in order to achieve peak performance, and business leaders can do this too.

Beware of the sort of doom-and-gloom behaviour that propagates anxiety and a negative mindset. Rather, be proactive, be positive and make sure you take an upbeat, can-do attitude to customers. If they’re thinking of canning a campaign, show them ways they can do things differently. Remind them that research shows that companies that continue marketing and advertising activity during downturns do better than those who cut back. And those who do MORE advertising do even better.

Positivity is contagious. So control those controllables, think like an Olympian, and be like the print boss I spoke to who sees nothing but opportunity in Brexit Britain.

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