When times are tough, entrepreneurs have two choices. They can ‘hunker down’ and operate their business much more conservatively – essentially pulling in their horns and, in some cases, sticking their heads in the sand until things return to normal or somehow in their eyes get better. I do not believe this is a good growth strategy. When you pull in your horns and cut staff, marketing, inventory, available hours, etc., this more often than not becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and business does, in fact, begin to decline.

The second choice is to recognize that no matter what the global or national economic environment is doing, entrepreneurs who provide massive value, delivered to their customers, clients, and patients with ‘World Class Service’ – and market their businesses with ‘Smart Marketing and Business Building IdeasTM’ – can experience significant growth in their businesses.

Kevin Harrington, Chairman of As Seen on TV, Inc. and former investor “Shark” on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank is a highly successful entrepreneur, and in the foreword to Stop Waiting, Kevin wrote the following: “On an early episode of ABC’s Shark Tank, entrepreneur Rebecca Rescate stepped up to face the sharks and immediately played a video of her cat running into her bathroom and doing its business – in the toilet!

“Rebecca is the developer of CitiKitty®, a program that teaches cats how to use a toilet rather than a litter box. At that time, CitiKitty® was on track to do $350k in sales, and altogether, CitiKitty® had generated sales of $1.4 million dollars. Not a bad start to be sure, but Rebecca knew that CitiKitty® had enormous potential, and she came to Shark Tank seeking both additional working capital and expertise to help her take her business to the next level. She knew that now was the time to act.

“Rebecca’s story contains a few important entrepreneurial lessons. First, she saw a need and wasted no time in creating a unique solution. Then, after having some marginal success, she grabbed the bull by the horns one more time and sought the help she knew needed to help her business be as successful and profitable as she knew it could be. In essence, Rebecca, like many other entrepreneurs, embraced the mantra that I live by: now is the time to act!

“In many ways, Rebecca’s story is what entrepreneurship is all about. She had an idea, that idea became a dream and eventually a product. Most importantly, when it really counted, Rebecca was not afraid to step up to the plate and take a shot at creating a better life for her and her family. If you have a dream and vision, now is the time to act, or as Jim says, ‘Stop waiting for it to get easier!’

“As you consider starting a business, or perhaps growing an existing business, I want to encourage you to become curious. This might sound strange, but all of the successful entrepreneurs that I know and work with have what I often refer to as ‘curiosity overload.’ Highly successful entrepreneurs have an insatiable appetite for knowledge – always looking for the slight edge that can take them to the next level.”