Is the economy recovering, or not? Is the political milieu for real, or a joke? Are start ups doing better than ever, or worse? Stories come at us loaded with answers, data, and sound bytes, and it can throw us off balance. Beginning new things feels particularly scary. But so does staying stationery. The MO for start ups seems to be ‘go go go.’ But how do you manage that and stay somewhat calm and balanced? One of NACET’s stellar clients, Jim Corning, engineer and entrepreneur, has adopted a positive outlook that he attributes to his success. “Once I gave myself permission to be comfortable, successful and abundant, my business became a lot more profitable.”
Jim says that “when we focus on problems, we invite them into our life,” but he has a way to move beyond that. “Visualize the solutions, fully implemented and working well. Feel the feeling of satisfaction that things are working well.” And Jim, and his four startups, are proof that success does follow such an attitude.
In addition to the wisdom of this fine entrepreneur, here are several other tips to help you stay balanced, positive, and become more successful in your entrepreneurial endeavors. We’d love to hear your methods. How do YOU stay positive, and balanced, in a world that continues to try to tell you that you can’t or don’t deserve to feel on top of your game? Let us know.
- The Blame Game: The game you CAN win is ‘Own It.’ The other? Not so much. There are extenuating circumstances behind every bad decision or bleak outcome. “The economy’s bad.” “The weather’s worse.” “The receptionist quit.” “The dog ate my paper.” But as a professional, an entrepreneur, as someone who is starting out, if you own it, you win. When it’s your project, it’s ultimately your responsibility. Take credit, make amends, fix what you can, and move on as soon as you have wholeheartedly determined what you can learn. Share this with your staff or others who participated or contributed, being included in the solution, and moving forward together, is a great way to keep your group balanced, positive, and confident.
- Pick Just One: We’re like kids in a candy store. So many options out there for how to be be better, go faster, work harder, get smarter. Whether it is five tips or ten solutions or seven answers, we are barraged with lists. And in and of themselves they feel so quick and uplifting, but as a whole, it feels like a bombardment of too many choices, ie. a candy store. So, as your mother might have said, “pick just one.” One that pertains to your issue of the day or week or project. Struggling with confidence? Look for a list. Confused by the technology? Find a blog. Peruse the article, choose ONE of the recommendations, only one, and focus. Make it a mantra or meditation for the day. Focus. Journal on it, share it at staff meeting or over a working lunch. Focus. Find balance.
- Say ‘Okee-dokee’: Sometimes it’s just better to say, “yes.” Even make it a “Yes!” Even when you don’t feel like it. The email is down. The part didn’t come in. You lost the thumb drive. The investor said you’re not ready. That’s when you put on the “okee-dokee” face. Not exactly a poker face but certainly a deep breath face. Polite, compliant, and secure in the realization, it is simply not worth fighting. What have you got to lose? Or better asked,What can you win? A moment of calm, a mini-regroup. While in your head this acquiescence may very well mean, “You’ve got to be kidding me,” or “I need to think about this,” or “When is my vacation?” Get through the moment. Let the grumble settle. Balance. Okee-dokee.
- Confidence Breeds Confidence: According to Jim Corning, “When we are confident and know we are worthy of customer’s best efforts, that expectation is communicated clearly by our actions and our attitudes. When we are confident and know we are worthy, they feel confident and worthy, too.” Bottom line, be honest and be true. If you don’t know, you say it, confidently and eager to learn. If you’re certain, you say it, and you share as an equal, because your expertise will speak for itself. Stay where the truth is, be open to others’ ideas and expertise, and stay true to the your personal vision for your career, and the business vision for success.
- But What About Negative Nellies?: They’re everywhere and sadly they don’t see any idea as good, any solution as sound, any sunny day as bright. Grumpy is their comfort zone. Whether’s she’s your boss or he’s your receptionist, chances are there is someone coming at you every day who dons that look, uses that tone, throws that little verbal dart. Be tougher, and perhaps walking strong and in the other direction is your best, or only, option. Even a friendly check-in can lead to the growl, or worse an invitation to join venomous gossip. Most importantly, remember, it is not you. This is difficult as a start up when you need to make a great impression in the world or community or building. Be as kind and professional as you can, take care of the business at hand. Let their grumpiness roll of your shoulder as you walk back to your office and hopefully friendlier colleagues or vendors.
Let us know what you do to stay balanced and get positive, even on the rockiest of days or paths. Tell us a success story about how an attitude shift or perception change led to the right choices and the best results. We love to hear from you!