What line are we talking about?

In business I see a very clear line between negative and positive attitudes. And negative does not equal success!

As in all areas of life, things happen. Setbacks occur. Plans go wrong. We get blind-sided by unexpected events.

This is particularly hard for inexperienced business owners who are still discovering the challenges of running a business. It may sometimes be a bit easier for those who have survived the first hard knocks, but business is never completely easy. Because there is no safety net or comfort zone in business. I bet even Richard Branson still has to face hurdles.

The secret to survival is how you respond to those setbacks.

So how do you respond? Are you typically positive or negative?

My experience has shown that there is usually a pattern of negative behaviour among business owners who are struggling. They feel tired and resentful, and they talk about how exhausted they are all the time. They blame others and make excuses. They often ignore or even deny uncomfortable truths. Some people stay stuck in old habits and old ways of thinking, and can’t move forward. Others wait for someone else to take the initiative. They find fault, they expect problems, they don’t take control, they even block their staff from trying something new.

If you don’t think you are that person, just ask yourself, how often have you blamed the economy for recent tough times in business? Or how often do you think next month will be okay, without taking action to make it better?

All of this is below the line behaviour.

I coach business owners to think above the line. Whatever life throws at your business, you have a choice about how to handle it. The success stories involve people who make positive choices.  Such as:

  • When there’s a problem, find a solution. There always is one.
  • Consumers are cash-strapped? It could be an opportunity for you to offer what they can afford.
  • Had a bad month? Assess the damage and take swift action to recover.
  • Your system isn’t working? Accept responsibility and change it.
  • Don’t know what to do next? Get help.
  • Feeling overwhelmed and exhausted? An action plan will get you re-motivated and re-energised.

This is not rocket science. It’s basic common sense that applies to all areas of life. No matter what challenges come your way, you have the choice between a positive or negative response. And believe me, there is always a positive way out, as long as you are open to learning and change.

So do yourself and your business a favour, make this a non-negotiable rule: keep your thinking and behaviour above the line.