The other day, I went for a run with my kids on the Monon Trail, an old railroad track scar that cuts through Indianapolis. Halfway through the run, I noticed that the people passing us were picking up speed. Rain started blowing across our path in a downpour, as we turned and headed away from the storm to where the sun was still beaming through the clouds. Unfortunately, the storm picked up its pace and we were soon enveloped in rain with intensifying wind and lightning.

My daughter ran a good 50 yards in front of me, while my son was close by my side. I started thinking how stupid I was for bringing my kids out in this weather, but I truly didn’t see it coming. It was sunny and beautiful when we started. We ran past a woman on the path. She was calm and kind and called out to me, “You’d better catch up with your daughter, she’s a determined little girl!” At first, I didn’t know what she meant, and then it dawned on me. My daughter was having a panic attack. She was so scared and running so fast I don’t think Usain Bolt could have caught her.

Because of the wind, rain, lightning, and distance between us, I couldn’t hear her crying. My son and I sprinted to catch up with her. When we caught up to her, she was having a massive panic attack. I asked for her attention to show her I wasn’t panicked and told her everything was going to be okay. As I bent down to calm her, a bolt of lightning hit near us on the path. The boom sent the hair on my arms and neck on end, and it sent my daughter over the edge.

As tree branches started falling and the lightning intensified, I became really concerned. I didn’t know where we could take shelter. Luckily, we came upon an overpass and found shelter beneath it. It felt great to be able to hold and reassure my daughter that everything was going to be okay. My son remained unaffected.

After about 10 minutes the storm broke and the sun came out, so we headed back toward the car. As we turned the final corner on the pathway, we saw a full rainbow — the entire arch and its ends. Behind the rainbow, you could still see the darkness of the storm and the ferocity of the lightning.

You Learn How to Pilot in a Storm

The drama and excitement of this experience made me think of the parallels and lessons in sales.

  • Clear Mind:

    Regardless of whether or not you planned for a decline in the economy, or are in the process of pushing through it, a clear mind is your best asset as you make decisions to emerge safely on the other end.

  • If You Feel Good – Don’t Hold Back:</h4

    Stay safe by keeping a good pace. How good of a game do you have? You may never know until you allow yourself to be tested. Your best may be yet to come – if you’re willing to be challenged.

  • Avoid “Should of” or “Could of” Deliberation:

    It doesn’t matter if you saw the downturn coming or not. Don’t become trapped by this mentality. What matters are the decisions and actions you take moving forward.

  • Keep Moving Forward:

    If you’re out in the storm — don’t stop. Sure, you should slow down and take stock of where you are, but make decisions and be resolute. If you a need safe harbor take shelter for a short while, but don’t take up residence there.

  • Answers are Abundant:

    Allow yourself to listen and observe things around you. You never know where or when crucial advice or words of wisdom might come. Sometimes the insignificant becomes significant.

  • You Will Be Better:

    There will always be storms and some will be worse than others. By surviving this one —which you will — you’ll be better prepared to handle and thrive in the next.