Do You Want To Sink Or Swim With Your Business? – by Howard Lewinter

When I was younger than I am today, just getting my feet wet in business, I bought a house with a swimming pool.

Being young and foolish, there were two things I wasn’t sure of: 1) I wasn’t sure how I was going to pay the mortgage, and 2) even though there was an in-ground swimming pool in the backyard, I didn’t know how to swim!

But the swimming pool sure did look inviting!

One day, I decided to take the big step and learn how to swim. I didn’t take lessons or read a book on how to swim. And You Tube didn’t exist back then. Nor did I have a lifeguard present. I just jumped in the deep water!

It was sink or swim!

Jumping into the water feet first, I found my learning curve was significantly shortened. I immediately started to paddle around!  I quickly figured out how to swim!

Jumping into the deep end of a swimming pool is somewhat like what we, as business people, find ourselves doing in business every day.

To effectively lead and manage your business means setting the example for everyone else in the company.

It’s important to know and learn at least something about every job in the company. The only way to do that is to jump right in. Spend a day in accounts receivables or join the warehouse supervisor for a day or even be the janitor on the night shift or be the receptionist during lunch hour for a week.

Then you’ll know what to expect from your employees. And because you’ve experienced it, you’ll know how to set appropriate goals for performance. You’ll know better what’s possible and what’s not possible. And your employees, though they may be surprised at first, will appreciate seeing you working side-by-side with them and getting to know them and the jobs they do better. Another benefit is that it should improve communication in the company because you are visible to everyone.

Jumping in also means you must be the one to live by your company’s rules, old and new. This can act as a motivator to move forward into new company endeavors with enthusiasm and support – because if you don’t set the example, then who will?

Jumping in can also mean doing things that you really don’t like or know how to do but are essential to the success of your business. Sometimes this can feel like jumping into the deepest pool of water of all because it can test your skill set and show a more vulnerable side of you. It is an opportunity to learn and to also show appreciation to those that do those jobs every day.

For example: Many business people I talk to really dislike making cold calls to people they have never talked to. Jump right in! Call someone you’ve never met but would like to do business with. See what their needs are and how you may assist them. Don’t just stay behind your desk when making those calls. Go out into the hallways of your office and talk to the employees that do this every day. Better yet, go ride with members of your sales or marketing teams to their various appointments out in the field. Meet potential new clients. Help seal the deal. Visit an established client you haven’t seen in a while just to thank them for their business.

In business, every day can bring sink or swim situations.  Sometimes, the best solution is to just jump into the deep end and immerse yourself.

The more you know about your business, the more successful you’ll be.

So get the swim fins and snorkel tube out. Put any fear aside and jump into the pool of business!

I bet you find the results exhilarating!


Howard Lewinter advises CEOs, presidents and business owners throughout the United States. Howard helps business people run their businesses more successfully by working with them to open up their minds, to more fully see the vision they have for their business, and then guides, focuses, strategizes and brings clarity to taking the necessary business action.  

Since 1989, CEOs, presidents and business owners have trusted Howard’s business advice, intuitive insight and objective perspective. If you have business problems, business issues or business goals and plans, would like to run your business with less stress or would simply like to maintain or exceed your level of business success, go to Howard’s website and blog at: or call Howard at 888-738-1855.  Follow Howard on Twitter: @HowardLewinter


Get your free Preview of Selling Fearlessly’s Chapter 1 here.