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Give these Brands Some Slack

We all remember in 2020 during peak COVID scariness when anything we ordered online took forever. If you lived in the Midwest there was a 100% guarantee your USPS shipment got stuck in Chicago for weeks on end. And while things aren’t as scarce as they were in 2020, the end of 2021 still is having some pitfalls that are affecting brands that ship online sales.

Even more, small businesses that needed to find a niche to sell online during 2020 (to make up for in-person services or sales they lost during the quarantine); are suffering from what’s happening now. So what is happening?

Shipping is still an issue:

The queue of container ships waiting to enter Los Angeles’s and Long Beach’s neighboring ports hit an all-time high of 65 vessels this past week, and they’ll wait an average of 8.7 days longer to deliver their cargo.

The average transit time from China to the US is now 71 days, compared to 40 days in 2019…and you thought your morning commute was long.

Why it mattersThese California ports are the busiest in the US, and they accept the majority of imports from Asia. A snag outside their docks signals an economy-wide slowdown in getting goods → consumers.

To my esthetician clients! They began selling Korean or Chinese skin care products online to make it through the pandemic sales slump, they are now having to wait a long time to get re-stocked.

Product Price Hikes…Again?

Your local stylist to your behemoth Target? Covid-19 worker restrictions in Malaysia have caused the price of palm oil, a key ingredient in every bottle of shampoo, to skyrocket as much as 70%.

Travel restrictions in Vietnam are making coffee beans more expensive for companies like Folgers.

For now, its fine. It will be a really crazy time to buy things come Christmas though. Santa’s elves stationed at Target, Best Buy, and other retailers are scrambling for extra inventory in an effort to keep their shelves stocked for the holiday season.

Don't-Let-Customers-Affect-Your-Inner-Bliss

Don’t Let Customers Affect Your Inner Bliss

Now… I don’t want to be too grim, but…

Let’s face it – sometimes customers and the people we work with get on our nerves. We either butt heads with someone who has a different personality than we do. We have to deal with complaints as a business owners. Or we just flat out have a “Karen” walk into our lives that day.

Now I bet you think I’m about to say don’t worry, rainbows are ahead… Hmm… Not today.

We sacrifice a lot when we run our own business. We might give up on the idea of having a family or free weekends. Or it could mean you choose to pursue the idea that might deny you the opportunity to do something else in your career.

But it’s not just the business realm that teaches us about suffering. It also affects other aspects of our lives. To be successful in all our human relationships often requires suffering. And the same is true of being successful in matters of health. We often need to do things, like exercise, that doesn’t feel great at the time. Just ask me every time I’m internally whining during the first 10 minutes of a workout!

To really be successful, we need to be able to go into life with the confidence that suffering isn’t going to overwhelm us. We need to know that no matter what challenges we face, we’re going to be okay in the end. That’s the sort of confidence that drives the most successful people forward in everything that they do.

Of course, to get to that state of mind, we need to adopt strategies.

But it also helps to be secure in our own sense of wellbeing. We need to know that while unsatisfied customers can affect our business, people, in general, cannot affect our inner bliss. 

Interestingly, when you follow this line of reasoning to its conclusion, you discover that real success in business isn’t actually the money or the prestige that comes after years of hard work. It’s actually having the mental fortitude to go through the process in the first place. Business leaders are perhaps the most successful at all because they are able to find ways to manage their hard times and enjoy their lives at the same time. They can tolerate a high level of pain without allowing it to get to them on a fundamental level. 

Steve Jobs had a pretty good take on it. He reminded himself every day that his life was limited (and…it was) and that, whatever happened in his work, it would pale in comparison to not existing at all. He reminded himself that, ultimately, nothing that he did mattered except how it felt for him. Creating iPhones had a huge impact on humanity. But, for Jobs, it was mainly about spending his time as well as he could, doing something he loved. If he didn’t like the process and it became clear that something needed to change, he wasn’t afraid of making the hard decisions to make it happen, even if it involved a hefty dose of bad moments.

So the next time something happens. Anything. A bad customer review. Unwanted client feedback. A b!tchy customer. Know this – this too shall pass.

Written By Founder and Creative Director, Jacquelyn Tolksdorf