Upside Down? Look at the Candlesticks!

Life According to Candlesticks-Upside Down?

Most small businesses fail. This is a fact that is easily verified. However, that doesn’t keep 543,000 businesses from starting each month. 52% of all businesses are now home-based, but more business shut down each month than are started. If your business is upside down, what do you do? One option is literally turning areas that are upside down right-side up for a different perspective.

For at least ten years I have used two tall iron-rod candlesticks on our dining table with glass sconces that hold the candles. One of the candlesticks had prongs too narrow to hold the glass securely, thus I was very careful to balance the glass atop the stand. Fortunately, they have survived many dinners and large events.

Several weeks ago we had a group of friends over for a wine tasting event. One of our friends took the candlestick bases and said, Your candlesticks are upside down! He turned them over and voila! The flat area I had always used as the base was now steady and flat on top, ready to balance the sconces securely and correctly. (notice the difference in both pictures!)

upside down2

An "Ah-Ha" Moment!

Suddenly, I had an ah-ha moment, feeling a bit sheepish that I had not seen this same solution, using the candlesticks for years! But isn’t life like that? We work around the same problem over and over with the same puzzling dilemma of a life off-balance. Sometimes it takes someone on the outside to see the true solution.


Exploring a common predicament from a different viewpoint, even turning it upside down, can reveal a whole new solution to a problem faced for years. Besides accidentally stumbling upon those explanations, how else do we find answers we are looking for? Here are three ways to start to start that process.

THREE ways to discover new solutions

ONE: Interact with trusted colleagues for valuable feedback from a different perspective. Ask them point blank, How can I fix this? Don't be afraid of honest feedback and answers that you may not expect. You may receive a couple suggestions that are very valuable and can even be a game-changer in your life. This is especially true for areas where habits or ruts have blinded you to the reality of the situation.

TWO: Investigate, read and listen to other experts in your field. But beware: there are many touting so-called expert status! So do your research! Many times, referrals are best from trusted sources. 

THREE: Design and commit to the process of change. This will take a plan. You will not have time to act on every idea and system. Your solution is truly your solution for your life and business. Get help if needed!

Upside Down now Right-side Up

I am excited to start using my candlesticks in an entirely different way. Not only are they more stable, but I can place larger candles on the top of each piece. I realized after this incident how this has applied in my business. For years I’ve focused on a gig economy where your last gig is your last gig. As I’ve now expanded and view my business from a different perspective, I’ve created additional avenues of residual income. In this way, a business not merely focused on gigs suddenly brings more freedom, function and even profit.

I encourage you to do the same. Take one area of your business and figuratively turn it upside down. Interact, study and seek other opinions and advice. Then if it makes sense, ACT! For an online course that has helped many transform their life and move ahead successfully, start the course below FREE! Creating this course was not only fun, but part of my action plan for change and growth.

(630 words)

About the Author:

DEBORAH JOHNSON, M.A., creator of Hero Mountain™® and President of Los Angeles National Speakers Association, is an international award-winning music artist, author, speaker and National Media Commentator. Deborah provides principles to produce a successful second half, creating momentum and getting unstuck, reaching expansive goals and a desired lifestyle. Up for multiple GRAMMY Awards and spending over 20 years in the entertainment industry, she's an expert on how to constantly reinvent yourself in a gig-economy. She is also the recipient of the 2018 Women's Economic Forum Exceptional Women of Excellence Award. Deborah is the author of Stuck is Not a Four Letter Word, Bad Code and Women at Halftime. She speaks and performs in both live and virtual events.