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Business Strategy Stop Wasting Time Being Afraid of the Market: Just Get Stuff Done!

I want to start by saying that no animals were harmed during the writing of this article. You’ll understand why I need to say that in a moment.

If you don’t read or listen to the news, you’re probably in a better state of mind than the rest of us who are routinely subjected to ‘breaking news’ regarding the world’s economy. I don’t profess to know a lot about the details of how the stock markets of the world work, but I know enough to be my own worst enemy. Every time I hear of the ongoing turmoil that is playing itself out in the stock markets, my mind begins to make stuff up and it scares me. It actually scares me quite a lot, since I tend to make up some pretty far-fetched things. Whenever I ask someone to explain what is going on I get even more confused. Let me explain where my confusion comes from. 

So, a company reports huge profits over the last quarter but in the marketplace, their stock tanks. Why? I don’t get why this happens at all. A colleague recently explained to me that it has to do with things like expectations and so on. I still don’t get it. The company made money! That is a good thing! In many cases, they made even more money than last year, yet the stock still “tanks”. 

But that’s not all. There are companies that have lost money, but their stock remains the same or even goes up. So let me get this right, a stock that makes money goes down and a stock that loses money goes up. If this confuses me, I can’t even imagine what other people are thinking.

Recently, there was a lot of concern that the Chinese economy was slowing down, and then the global market crashed. This only happened because of the expectation that their economy was slowing down. Where are the facts? The last I heard, the Chinese economy was carrying on at some unsustainable rate anyway, so it’s not a matter of ‘if’ it will slow down, but ‘when’. So when this finally happens, why does everyone in the stock market freak out?

Stocks tank when they make money, and markets tank when there are concerns about things we knew were going to happen in the first place. How does this make any sense?

It seems to me that trying to predict the market is like trying to herd cats. It is almost impossible. Now if you add concerns in, that’s like adding fuel to the fire. Have you ever tried to herd a bunch of cats on fire? (Remember, no animals were harmed during this article.)

Think of the stock market like cats that are on fire: no predictability is possible. So what does that mean to us, and the businesses we work in? Chaos! Unless we learn to put our concerns aside, and focus on what we can do.

Instead of being driven by a sense of fear about what’s going to happen next in the marketplace, we need to make peace with our concerns. We should not try to make sense of them. Just go to your job and make the most of every day. Do your best work, and companies as a whole should strive to do their best also. That’s all you can do in an unpredictable world. 

If you let negative news influence your life, you’re going to be influenced every day. There’s a constant barrage of negative media out there all the time about the stock market. Listening to that would mean that you’d never do anything, out of fear. I’ve always believed that fear is something you make up in your mind. Without it, your mind can focus on doing so much more.

The only things we can predict are that which we have control over: our jobs and our businesses. If we are doing a really good job at both, then we should be able to weather any storm. Fear causes us to do nothing, to be paralyzed, because we become confused about the right thing to do.

As professionals and business owners, we need to ignore that fear. Do something right now, and do it to the best of your ability. Repeat daily for best results.