When asked what the secret to the success of her business was, Heather Andrews, owner and proprietor of The Alton Craft Centre, replied:
“I guess it is always remaining positive about what you are doing and working hard. If you believe you cannot fail, then most likely you won’t, and working hard goes along with this. I think it is so true that ‘the harder you work the luckier you are!’ We all get frustrated with difficulties, but I really believe that if you want to find the rainbow, then you have to put up with a little rain now and then.” Heather adds that she constantly reminds herself that “it could always be worse.”
Her answer inspired me to write about the value and importance of remaining positive and the value of hard work to make a success of anything in life really. Yes its important in making it as a business person, but being positive and learning to see the silver lining is a life altering experience for anyone willing to take the time to learn to think positive.
A close friend of mine once told me that learning to spot the opportunity is often the secret to success, but to make the opportunity a reality takes a lot of hard work. Rob James is well known, well respected and a master of so many different skills he’s quite remarkable. Rob has always had the foresight to see where opportunities lie and been willing to apply himself and do what it takes to become an expert through hard work, training, networking and spending his time equipping himself to be successful in the opportunities that he tackles.
I have firmly come to the conclusion that there is no honest way to making big money quickly. Anyone who’s made it without resorting to criminal endeavours, has done it through hard work, long hours, and a total belief that they cannot fail. So if this is something that works for them, then why should it not work for me? Well first off, its a state of mind that they have about themselves, and its learning to have that total unshakable realisation that no matter how bad it looks, you are not going to fail. Learning to look for that silver lining, learning, adapting, getting better and that all important self confidence.
As entrepreneurs, it’s easy to get discouraged. The tricky thing about being positive is that it’s an attitude, not a feeling. It’s a state of mind that is self-induced. Yes, that right! YOU have control over whether you have a positive attitude or not. It has nothing to do with what happens to you (go to a cancer ward in your local hospital, and you’ll understand what I mean). How often do you hand that control over to someone — or something — else: Family, friends, clients, colleagues, or your bank account?
The truth is, you can allow yourself to let these external factors control you, usually causing a negative attitude, or you can CHOOSE to achieve and sustain a positive outlook. How? I believe it must be cultivated and learned. Its not something that will happen over night, and often your going to have to come back to the beginning and start again, but like any habit once its formed, it’ll change your life forever. Here are 3 ways I’ve been using to keep a positive attitude:
- Surround yourself with positive things and positive people. Read a motivational book for 20 minutes each morning. Use positive affirmations. Write in a gratitude journal at the end of the day. Surround yourself with positive people that encourage you to be your best self. Set very strong boundaries with chronically negative people; protect yourself and send a message to them that you care enough about yourself to avoid negativity.
- Change your language. Instead of saying how you CAN’T do something, find ways you CAN. Speak of your less desirable personality traits in the past (“In the past, I have tended to be negative.”). This is a powerful tool, but in order for it to work, you can’t fake it. For a shift to occur, what you say must be authentic and true, just said in a positive way. This takes effort, but in time, you’ll find that you do this automatically.
- Turn a negative experience into a learning experience. There is always something good to be found in a negative situation. Search for and draw your attention to the positive. Instead of berating yourself after making a mistake, learn from the experience and move on. What did you learn about yourself or your business? What skills did you develop?
If you’re absolutely stuck in negativity and feel there’s no way out, ask a friend or hire a coach to help you gain the right perspective, get support and brainstorm together to find a resolution.
A positive attitude rubs off and clients will notice. The same is true if you’re negative, and no one likes being around someone negative. Positive people seek those who are positive, so ask what kind of people do you want to attract or repel? It may be hard to adopt a strong mental attitude to be positive in everything we do, but it is effort that is well worth the time.
The effort is well worth it. You’ll enjoy higher productivity, better relationships, better health and you’ll be happier.