A lot has been written about Crisis management. In my now published book on Amazon, The Business Zoo, I have a major chapter on how to deal with and survive a business crisis. But I also point out that a Crisis can and will occur to everyone, sooner or later, be it a financial, personal or even an ethical one.

I also discuss the necessary steps to confront and try to manage a Crisis, along with some helpful Rules and Tools to consider. One of the most important Rules to focus on is getting to the other side, that is through the Crisis. I use an analogy based on the circus act, The Flying Wallendas, that you must put all your energy into getting across the high wire and not think about falling or you will.

But there are other things that can help you accept and deal with a Crisis. During USG Corporation’s three year financial structuring, we resorted to a wide range of mental stress reducers from marking up cartoons with deal participants names to listening to music. I was reminded about a music one this week.

One of the young women I mentor has been trying to get a new business to turn a profit for the last couple years. We will call her J. She has worked endless hours and lived a very frugal, simple life in order to give the business the most chance of success. Still, as often occurs, a number of unforeseen events are pushing her and the business to the edge in the next couple months. It is stressful and exhausting to her on all levels.

In searching for something different to tell J., I recalled a song that helped me in the midst of the USG Corporation restructuring. We had been trying unsuccessfully to negotiate with very reluctant bankers and bondholders for over a year plus of our Crisis. We were exhausted and our Board of Directors was increasingly upset with our lack of success. Just before another major meeting with our adversaries I typed up and thought of handing out the words to The Alan Parsons Project song, “Nothing Left to Lose”. Some of the key lines go like this:

nothing’s good, the news is bad, the heat goes on and it drives you mad

you gave the best you had to give, you only have one life to live

you fought so hard you were a slave, after all you gave there was nothing left to save

you read the book, you turned the page, you changed your life in a thousand ways

you’ve got nothing left to lose

My young friend J. played the song on YouTube five times and went from sad to inspired!

So regardless of your type of Crisis, it is critical that you find things to relieve some tension and to get you through it and to the other side!