I know that bad news sells newspapers but I am finding that the world described in the headlines is very different from the world that I inhabit day by day. Without exception, the business people I meet at conferences and at networking events, as well as in my own circle of clients and suppliers, are all incredibly busy and positive about the future. Indeed, my own business is busier than it has been for a long time. So how can this be at a time when there are undoubtedly some major challenges in the economy as a whole?
It isn’t about wearing rose coloured spectacles and ignoring the reality of facts and events. Businesses have indeed closed and many people have found themselves without a job. The problems that the banks have experienced have impacted, in one way or another, on us all. High Street names that we have grown up with are suddenly no more. Institutions that we relied on have let us down. To deny any of this would be foolish. However, this avalanche of bad news seems to affect different people in different ways.
With twenty-four hour news channels on television, with the headlines being continually refreshed on our Google desktop, with news text alerts on our mobile phones and our Blackberry handsets, it is difficult not to be aware about what is happening around us. But it is how we use this information that makes the difference.
It is a sad fact that the vast majority of the population are fundamentally negative people and for them, bad news always provides welcome excuses. It shifts the blame for their situation to other people. “It’s not my fault” they say, “it is because of circumstances beyond my control.” And because that is what they honestly believe, they are right. But it is their mindset that is holding them back. Fortunately, you are not one of their numbers.
The people who seem to be enjoying success at the moment are the ones who, far from ignoring all this bad news, have used it to positive effect. They have used a reality check to increase their reality cheque.
Everything that happens, good or bad, creates an energy. That energy either impacts on us and knocks us off course, or we choose to harness it for our own ends. As Jim Rohn says, “The same winds blow on us all.” It is choice not chance that determine results.
Towards the end of last year, you didn’t have to be a clairvoyant to see clear signs that there was going to be trouble ahead. So in my own business I acted by revamping my marketing and increasing the amount of communication I was doing. I used the challenges in the marketplace to give a clear focus to everything I did. I cut out all unnecessary activities and put all my energy into finding new customers, and communicating better with existing ones. It worked.
So how are you using the current situation to your advantage? Are you waiting for things to blow over and improve? If so, you’ll wait a long time. As they say, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Now is the time to act. Whilst lesser people hold back, those who grasp the moment are the ones that will succeed.
There is no such thing as a bad time to start a business, only a bad time to procrastinate. There is opportunity out there for those who act and don’t allow negative thinking to hold them back. If you are considering a new business opportunity the longer you hold off, the longer it will take to get results. Be brave, be focused, be decisive and you will be far ahead of the majority who are none of those things.
The big lesson from everything that is happening in the real world at the moment is that the only thing you can rely on is yourself. Not banks, not government, not institutions, just yourself. With interest rates at rock bottom, with the stock market in turmoil, your best investment must be in yourself and in your personal development. No matter what the future holds, you are your greatest asset.
The person that you have become, and the success that you have attracted into your life, is a result of all the choices you have made up till now. The good news is that, by changing what you think, you can change what you do, and can change what you attract in the future. It all starts by changing what you feed into your mind. Negative in, negative out. Positive in, positive out. As Scottie says in Star Trek “You cannae change the laws of physics!” So what are you doing to become more valuable as a person?
In the real world of business, Personal Development isn’t common. Mention authors like Brian Tracy, and Jim Rohn and you will be met with blank stares. The employee mindset is to look to their boss and their company for leadership and direction, rather than to look within themselves. The Entrepreneur mindset is to tap into the vast capabilities that we all have within ourselves, if only we knew how to unlock them. That is why successful people never stop learning. As Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds put it, “When you are green you grow, when you are ripe you rot.”
He also said that “If you work just for money, you'll never make it, but if you love what you're doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.” Being passionate about what you do is also part of the equation.
So with more challenges around us in the marketplace than many of us will have seen in a lifetime, don’t look around you for the seeds of success, look within. Cultivate a positive outlook on life because this is what attracts others. Work on yourself far harder than on your job, and you will find that you become that success magnet yourself. Most importantly, act now and seize the moment. It may never come your way again.
© Copyright 2017 Chris Day