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Home   •   Archives   •   Spokane Edition   —   June 1, 2010

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Good Advice from Ray Edwards on Business Panic and how to deal with it

— Panic is a jungle response. It makes you want to either fight, or flee. In business, neither of these reactions is often appropriate. These days, business panic seems rampant; it's the go-to response for many faced with business downturn due to recession. What's the proper answer when you start to feel this business panic? It's probably the most difficult advice I've ever given: ignore it.

Use the one faculty that makes us different from all the animals: your ability to choose your response. Decide that you will feel the panic, but that you will neither fight nor flee. You will, instead, calmly face the situation -- and refuse to be reactive.

Here are some concrete steps to help you do this: Get some exercise every day. Cut out the sugar and caffeine. Cut out television, and media in general (news is usually negative). Focus on your primary mission as a company, as an entrepreneur, as an artist-as a "whatever it is you are". Wait. The Japanese, in particular, seem to be very good at this. Often, simply waiting is the very best response when you're in a state of panic. Finally, remember the timeless advice of Douglas Adams: "Don't panic."

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