The global economy is kind of like an elementary school playground at recess. Small groups of people huddle together to share their time, knowledge, and marbles. Ok, it’s 2016, maybe they’re not sharing marbles, but whether they’re sharing snacks, toys, or innovative techniques, it’s easy to compare this dynamic with that on a global scale.
For years nations all over the world have adopted trade agreements like NAFTA to facilitate international cooperation on the basis of mutually dependant goals while barricading trade with non-participating groups.
Some trade agreements withstand the test of time and the politicizing of goods and services. Some agreements evaporate faster than a country can be shaken down for its lunch money.
New trade patterns are just one of the challenges the drilling industry and the oil and gas sector are faced with in today’s turbulent economy. What works one day might not work the next as corporations are forced to come to grips with fluctuating oil prices.
The other major challenges?
- Supply outpacing demand
- Keeping up with technology
- The rise & fall of pressure on OPEC
Drilling industry challenges aren’t a new development by any stretch, but the only way to succumb to these challenges is to let them control us. Well, we’ve got good news: you’re in charge.
Here’s three ways to keep working productively while the economy sorts itself out.
1. Work for Improvement, Not Wealth
The last thing on earth you should ignore during an economic downturn is your finances, right?
No, that’s crazy, what are you talking about?
Yes, you should worry about your finances, but there’s a lot of things at stake here if that worry threatens to take over. The quickest way to either drive yourself crazy or drive your company out of business is to focus exclusively on all the money you’re not making. Face it, the days of grossly overspending just to speed up the work are over. You’re not going to make as much money during this stretch, so stop worrying about the extra time you’re putting in and do the best you can to create the best work possible.
Time is often equated with money which makes our industry rush to get things done. Well, this is a great time to focus on making your product better rather than maximizing your return.
2. Invest in Growth
On second thought, while you’re not worrying about your finances, divert some of those finances into potential new growth. There are so many different ways to grow your company outside of selling your products or services.
- Attend a conference
- Boost your social media presence
- Buy a new machine capable of new work
- Combine forces with a related industry or company
- Train yourself or your staff in new methods or new technology
Or, you can simply grow your team and do more work. This certainly flies in the face of the drilling industry’s challenges, and while we don’t want you to run your company into the ground, for some it’s beneficial to delegate responsibilities.
3. Borrow Perspective
One of the most important ways in which we’ve mitigated the impact of the economy’s struggles is by simply putting ourselves into our customers’ shoes. Just like strolling around a playground, the drilling industry is filled with hard-working men and women who are left to the whims of their environment. It can be frustrating, depressing, and downright scary.
The more you talk with others in your field, the more you’ll understand their specific challenges.
Why is that important?
Because the more you understand, the better equipped you’ll be to help out; and probably at a bargain, too.
Look, in all honesty, it’s impossible not to worry about your income, your company’s earnings or, ultimately, the roof over your head.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it.