It’s not often I post something personal on this blog but I felt now was a pretty great time to do so. The last three or four months have probably been the most amazing ever for me from a business perspective. In pure currency terms I’ve basically tripled my one companies retainer revenue while at the same time growing my second company from nothing to making more in a month than I’ve made in my best solo year. I’m not here to brag, I’m here to talk about attitude.
I’ve recently changed a lot about my attitude and bought into what I am calling the “enthusiasm economy”. Essentially it’s using enthusiasm to create something; whether it’s motivation or something more tangible. Now I’m probably starting to sound like the first chapter of “The Secret” but let me explain: I don’t believe in visualising what you want in order to manifest it: I believe in enthusiasm motivating you.
I’ve read all the entrepreneurship books and the one thing that stood out to be was the fact that people who are successful became so when they reached a point where they finally believe in themselves. I reached a point six months ago where I tried to sell my company to someone I perceived as good at sales because this was my “failing point”. Thankfully that didn’t happen because I recently realised I am very good at sales and dealing with customers yet I believed I was really mediocre at it. This change took me from average business to vastly more successful overnight. My attitude influenced my reality.
So what changed to make my attitude one of positivity rather than plodding? A couple of things:
- Removed myself from a negative relationship: Yeah sometimes relationships are hard and not all roses. You know what’s really hard: spending your waking hours placating someone else. Get out, it’s not worth it.
- Stopped ripping people off: This is actually a secondary benefit of the end of my relationship. She used to insult everyone and I bought into it. I used to agree that people were “white trash” and thought they were losers. I then actually met these people, totally loved them and realised the “hate” was all a matter of insecurity and jealousy. Don’t judge someone by their Twitter account.
- Celebrate small victories: This one is so obvious yet so hard. Historically I used to achieve something and think about the next achievement, never really enjoying the moment. Go buy your team coffee on the way into the office to say well done for reaching a milestone. It’s small but effective.
- Support the competition: I used to hate it when other people succeeded. I often described some people as “falling upwards” because I thought so little of them yet they were succeeding. You know what, that’s a total waste of time. Someone does something successful: high five them. They’ll love you and you’ll love yourself. Stop focussing on them and care more about your own “stuff”.
- Focus: probably the most powerful technique I’ve learnt this year is focus. I am an ideas man and even worse, an implementor. I get an idea and I run with it because it’s exciting and fun. What I never realised is that it’s dumb if you neglect everything else. I’ve pared down my work commitments to four ideas and while this is still probably more than I should it’s enough to keep me busy and stimulated.
- Find your energy: I’ve realised that for me, coming up with creative ideas is something that gets me going. It helps me plod through the tough work that isn’t necessarily fun but is housekeeping that is required in running a business. For other people maybe the housekeeping keeps you focussed and allows you to be creative or maybe you have something else that keeps the tank fueled. Whatever the case, figure it out and you’ll power through the tough times.
- Surround yourself with the right people: If I had five bucks for every bad business partner I’ve had I’d have about 50 bucks but what this has taught me is the need to constantly surround yourself with people who will challenge, compliment your skills and improve you. Find those people, they’re priceless.
There’s no right or wrong in terms of jumping in on the “enthusiasm economy” but as an entrepreneur I’ve found these small tips help me through the inevitable tough times and help me come out of the other side stronger and wiser.