Business Moxie: Hanging Tough in Tough Times
- Quote of the Month
- Business Moxie – How to Get back on Track
It’s been quite a while since the last newsletter. Why? Because the economy is picking up and I’ve been up to my hips in opportunities for paying work! Naysayers, cynics and whiners aside, things are getting better – – – MUCH better. So here’s another dose of Kimberly. Enjoy! – Kimberly
Quote of the Month
“This is the true joy in life, the being recognized by yourself as a might one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” – George Bernard Shaw
FREE OFFER: I do one pro bono speaking event each month on business leadership, project management and breakthrough thinking topics ranging from “How to Get Out of Your Own Way” to “Why Projects are Always Late”, and would be delighted to talk with you about creating something special for your group.
Business Moxie: Hanging Tough in Tough Times (May 2004)
You’ve established a clear and compelling vision for your business or your life. You’ve mustered the necessary energy and courage you need to create the extraordinary results you desire. You are going full throttle when, all of a sudden, unforeseen circumstances cause you to skid or hit the wall. Ouch! THAT’S gonna leave a mark! What do you do? Give up? Immediately get into your pajamas, crawl under the kitchen table and suck your thumb in the fetal position? Actually, no. Challenges, resistance, or “setbacks” can be a sign that you are on to something worthwhile. Hang in there 5 minutes longer than you can stand it. Go ahead and spend a couple of minutes in a self-pitying haze, and then get back to work – get busy.
As a solo entrepreneur, the first most important step I take to get back on track is to find a “thinking partner,” or “generous listener.” It’s easy to find people eager to discourage us. Avoid them like the plague! It is vital to connect with people who will support and encourage us in staying committed to our dream rather than surrounding ourselves with people whose negative attitude can suck our will to live more powerfully than a brand new Hoover. Whether you are leading your business through an economic storm, transitioning to a new job, or following your life-long ambition, you’ll need someone who can reflect back to you your overlooked wisdom and insights with crystal clarity.
When you describe your dream, a generous listener will say, “That’s a great idea…” or “Tell me more…” rather than “Oh, be realistic!” They will listen for the possibilities in your dream, rather than focus on why your idea may not be practical or won’t work. Most importantly, a generous listener will believe in your dream FOR you when you cannot believe in it yourself. At just the right time they’ll say “I don’t see why you couldn’t do all of that and more!” like my good friend Sherry Rehm has done for me during many a storm of self-doubt.
As you describe your dream in great detail to your thinking partner, ask them to defer any well-meaning advice or criticism for another time. As you speak, rather than being further deflated by being critiqued along the way, you will find that your ideas will begin to grow and flourish. They will feel as though they are being fleshed out, enriched, and are ready to come to life. What started out seeming impossible will soon seem only highly unlikely, of just plain difficult.
Decades ago, Napoleon Hill suggested writing out exactly what it is that you now want to create, and including the date by which you intend to obtain your new desired goal. (The simple act of writing down your goals increases the odds of success by a factor of 5 or more.) Next write out a definite plan for achieving your goal, and immediately begin to take action. Twice each day, read your written statement aloud. As you read, see and feel yourself already having obtained your goal. Believe that it is already done. This creates powerful patterns in your brain that will work for you 24/7 to bring your dreams to life.
Studies show that only 4% of people write down their goals, however, nearly all of those who do write them down achieve those goals. One prestigious business school found that their top 10% most successful graduates differed in only ONE respect from the other 90% – they wrote down their goals. You’ll never catch me without a written list of goals, at least one of which is highly unlikely or darn near impossible. The impossible happens all of the time. Remember, Lord Kelvin, famous physicist, once said “Heavier than air flying machines are impossible.” Ha! When I hear some famous person saying something is impossible I know that I can pretty much count on it happening in the next year or so. (Shades of Ken Olson, head of DDEC, saying, in 1977, “There’s no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”)
A common dream-killer is the fear of failure. Perfectionism is a common companion of fear of failure. If you’re not allowed to fail you must be VERY careful what you start! We cannot afford the luxury of fearlessness. Don’t settle for a less than extraordinary life just to avoid failure. Bear in mind the words of Winston Churchill, who said, “When you’re going through hell, keep going.” Be willing to dive in and invent the water on the way down, screaming the whole way if you must. No one said we had to be graceful when tackling and achieving outrageous breakthroughs.
Sometimes it makes sense to burn your bridges behind you so that you have no option but to go forward. Take a risk. Leap and the net will appear. Chances are you’ll learn to fly, or invent water, on the way down.
Write me your experiences of staying true to your course in the midst of challenges!by