Adversity and your business
In tough times, most people will respond in one of two ways: Some will continue to do the same things they used to and only increase the amount of time they do it. The mindset is, “I must work harder than I did before”; the second group of people will see the change and become disenchanted and overcome by the change. They will freeze in their tracks and all forward motion will stop. They then will wait for the old familiar conditions to come back before they can continue.
Each of these typical responses causes frustration, anxiety, and leaves you unable to make progress. Tough times leave many people sitting on the sideline of life wondering how and when they can get into the game.
Persistence over the resistance
What can we do to prevent this from affecting our lives and small business? We can learn a lesson from Thomas Edison. He logged 10,000 failed attempts in creating the incandescent light bulb. He increased the frequency of the attempts and continued to persist even when he hit new obstacles. When he was later asked to comment on those failures, he said that he had not failed 10,000 times but had found 10,000 ways the light bulb did not work.
Persistence by itself will produce results occasionally, but what we need to do is continue to try new ways of dealing with our challenges by testing our problems for new and innovative solutions.
#1 – Creative Persistence
Edison had at least two mental tools he used successfully to overcome the obstacles he faced as an inventor. The first was that of creative persistence (the ability to creatively continue to true and new solutions). Each time Edison tried a new solution, he collected the data and learned from the experience regardless of the success of the experiment. He didn’t do the same experiment over and over again, he tried something new. His simple (yet powerful) ability to continue and not be attached to the results ultimately led to his success.
#2 – Re-frame; re-think the roll of failure in your success
The second mental tool Edison used to successfully overcome the obstacles he faced as an inventor was the ability to re-frame failure into a positive form – so he could keep attempting new solutions through trial and error. When we try something and it doesn’t work, it is common to have the feeling of failure. In fact, our society has set standards in place in our school systems such that if you don’t get it right, you have failed. This success or failure formula leaves most people facing failure most of their lives. In Edison’s mind however, failure was a part or the process of success. He gave himself permission to fail and in fact, encouraged it as a way to succeed.
Change your thinking – change your success
With these two skills you can change how you look at what is happening in your small business. Remember that there will always be hurdles in sales and small business that will challenge your personal leadership. How you rise to those challenges will ultimately dictate your success. Don’t get stuck in your tracks doing the same non-productive things over and over. By simply changing your mind you can attain the business and sales success you have been looking forward to achieving.