Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Every boss I ever had has told me the same thing, “Eric, your best quality is your attitude.” That used to annoy me! I wanted to be known as the smartest, the best educated or the most driven. As an entrepreneur, I can see that having the right attitude is one of the most valuable skills a person can possess. Athletes, politicians and world leaders have the right attitude for success. What does that look like for business and entrepreneurship? Is it important? Definitely!
Michael Jordan said, “My attitude is if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.” Athletes understand the importance of the right attitude on the court, field or ice rink.
This recipe for success directly translates to the boardroom and office space. We have all been told success is:
- Based on who you know, not what you know.
- 99% perspiration, 1% inspiration.
- Location, location, location (let’s make this one thing).
In business and in life, your attitude affects your success in four ways:
- RELATIONSHIPS: People like to be around positive people. If you are encouraging, supportive and hopeful, people will want to work with you. I worked with a man who was clearly smarter and more experienced than I. However, no one wanted him on a team or project. I was given key projects and responsibilities because people wanted to work with me. I created a fun and dynamic work environment. As a business owner, my company has tripled revenue in the last three years and built a successful training business because people like being around our trainers, not just because we are the smartest people in the room (frequently, we are not).
- VISION: Most athletes will tell you, before they run a race, take a shot or start a game, they envision success. They picture themselves winning the race or making the basket. Before you meet with a prospective client, envision a successful and positive discussion. Before you speak, envision the audience enjoying your presentation. As you begin each day, envision accomplishing your goals. Believing you’ll win is the start of success.
- FAILURE: Everyone fails sometimes. Every time a major client tells me no, it eats away at my belief in myself. My attitude (and my Faith) get me through. The first time someone told me no, I told my wife I was going to quit this business and “get a real job.” She said, “If you are going to get depressed every time someone tells you no, you might as well quit now.” That was harsh but true. Edison tried over 10,000 times to invent the light bulb before he got it right. Failure is a reality, but you should never quit trying.
- HUSTLE: I spoke to a business owner once who said he never hung his awards or mounted his trophies because it made him feel as if he had “made it.” He always wants to feel hungry for the next sale. Entrepreneur Peter Voogd is quoted as saying, “Think like a billionaire; hustle like you’re broke.” Your attitude should keep you always moving onward and upward. Work hard when things are going slow AND when they are going well.
Having a successful attitude will not cost you money, time or other resources. However, it is the first step to success. Everyone is going to get down sometimes. The key to success is how you recover from it and persevere.
Scientifically Speaking, of course.