It is snowing again. We had another snow day from school – one more than we are allowed which means school will go longer in June. I hate winter. I hate the cold. I hate the cloudy days.
Some times it is hard to see the positive in a situation. But if you look hard enough – it is there to be found. I did get to sleep in a little, I’m enjoying sharing a lunch with my daughter and the bad weather forces me to stay in and get caught up on projects that might not be done until later.
If you look hard enough – every situation has a silver lining. In Brian Tracy’s book Eat that Frog he talks about the three LEARNED behaviors of successful people and they are all wrapped around having a positive attitude.
- They always look for the positive in any situation.
- They look for the lesson in the tough times.
- They look for the solution to every problem.
Let’s take a closer look – successful people look for the positive in every situation.
Think about that prospect that didn’t turn into a customer…did it leave you open for one that did? Did you learn about a technique in your sales conversation that needs to change? Had you secured that prospect as a customer, might they have been more difficult that the effort was worth?
Think about today – say you do end the day without a single sale – how many seeds will you have planted that may sprout into a sale or at least a further inquiry later? How many people see your company name today that wouldn’t have ever known you existed? How many people will you meet today that will never need you but know three people who might?
Every situation – even the bad ones, has a positive perspective if you look hard enough.
So where is the lesson to be learned?
Positive people look for that lesson – as hard as it might be to find, every challenge has a lesson that we can benefit from.
Have you ever worked a vendor fair or a business expo? It is a lot of hours without a guarantee that you’ll get any business. Right? Say that you work the event for three hours and no one visits your booth, so one signs up for your drawing, no one talks to you. In short it is a bust of a day.
What lesson can you learn? Well, you sure aren’t going to do that event again.
You may laugh, but seriously you aren’t going to do that event again THE SAME WAY. I’ve been participating in a Solon three chamber business to business event for three years and each year it draws a wonderful turn out. So if you participate in an event that draws a big crowd and end up with no visitors – shouldn’t you look at your booth to see what you might do differently?
I had a booth my first year. I hadn’t ever had a booth at an event before. As a freelance writer, my skills don’t work for the town events where you are reaching retail customers. I thought a B2B event would be the perfect answer for getting the word out about my business.
Alas, the fact that I hadn’t done a booth before showed. My booth signs were handmade on my computer printer. The sign was a classroom 3-fold cardboard from JoAnn Fabrics. My booth was covered with a table cloth from the dining room. My brochures were not professionally done. I didn’t think about having a sign up form and the offer I gave away for the drawing wasn’t appealing to people walking by. Plus, I was one of the speakers and so had to leave my booth for a 1/3 of the time.
What did I learn? That unless I was willing to invest in some professional marketing materials or booth signage that branded my company – I shouldn’t bother. I did more damage to my brand than help. It was a hard lesson but an important one.
So think about your challenging times – the times when you would love to be negative.
What lesson is there to be learned?
The third thing optimists have learned to do is find the solution to every problem rather than to complain. You’ve heard of the 80/20 rule, right? 20% of customers bring you 80% of revenue. 20% of your effort brings 80% of your results. Well, did you know that 80% of the people you tell your problems to don’t care and the other 20% are glad you are miserable?
So why not look for the solution. Lord knows we don’t want to make those 20% happy!
How are you going to make all of this positive, optimist stuff come to life for you? Remember Brian Tracy said that these three traits are LEARNED behavior.
- Fake it ‘til you make it. You know those days when you just want to stay in bed but instead decide to go to work and paste a smile on your face? The people you pass will smile in return and pretty soon that fake smile is a real one. So fake positive. Really try to put in place the traits of looking for the positive, the lesson and the solution.
- Think positive about your circumstances, you have to be positive about who you are and the value you provide. That negative continuous loop tape that plays in our head wreaks havoc with our ability to view life in a positive manner. So you have to stop that. I know – easier said than done. You are experienced at what you do. You bring a wide range of knowledge about your products and services. Even if today is the first day on the job – you still bring life experiences from your other roles in life that can add value.
- Surround yourself with positive people. We have a tendency to mimic the behavior and attitude of those around us. That’s why faking the smile works. Someone sees a smile – they mimic it. Same with attitude. If you are constantly surrounded by the glass half empty people who moan and complain about everything you are going to find it harder and more stressful to fight the urge to join in.
What are the benefits of having a positive approach to life?
People buy from those they like and trust.
If you believe you are an expert…if you believe in the solutions your company provides…if you believe you are successful…YOU ARE. Believing is half the battle to getting there. Even when things are the darkest you can believe that at some point the luck will change. The phrase: it’s always darkest before the dawn – isn’t just a phrase – it’s fact.
We all have the ability and the opportunity to create greatness in our lives – starting with today. Look for the positive, exude that positive attitude and spread it around to those you encounter. I am reminded of Melody, the waitress of Crooked River Grille that I wrote about the other day. She is a living example of the fact that a positive attitude makes everyone around you feel great.
As I leave to you to be positive today, remember the words of Margot Black who said:
I think it is really important to maintain a positive attitude. It might not solve all your problems, but keep it up long enough and it will piss off enough people to make it worthwhile.