Invenio: Coaching and Mentoring March 2016 - Page 54

Positivity & 20/20 forward vision

by Adam Rabinowitz

I often share the story of a very capable but not very confident young entrepreneur who found himself in a classroom at the age of 36. Business hadn’t been good. In fact, the last vestiges of a business he had created several years before were about to unravel and crumble around him. He had created a software product that had long past its hey-day, and had been overtaken by new technology and bigger, more agile competitors. What was he to do?

Acknowledging that he lacked business management knowledge, he enrolled himself in business school and put himself through an MBA. One of the things he learned was how to dream big. He learned about business leaders that set clear visions for their companies, and how well those companies performed, and prompted by one of his lecturers he sat in front of a sheet of flipchart paper with a handful of coloured pens and he drew his own vision.

At the time, he hardly had enough money to pay the bills, but his vision included a sports car, a house with shining wooden floors, a new company that he wanted to build, a lifestyle that the business was supposed to create for him, and some icons representing some things he wanted to do, like be a solo performer, and to finally write that book he’d always wanted to write.

The hand drawn sketch was pinned up inside his cupboard, and every morning, he’d look at the picture, and remind himself what he wanted for himself.

And then a very profound thing happened.

Gradually, as if pieces of his puzzle had been hiding in the clouds above his head all his life, one by one, the pieces of his puzzle began to fall into place. He turned his failing company around literally overnight, and began to grow his business until it provided him the lifestyle he had dreamed of. He picked up his old, dusty guitar and started playing, writing songs, and performing. He found the girl of his dreams and remarried, and bought a house with shining wooden floors. And one morning he woke up with the remnants of a dream lingering in his head, and thought it would make a great opening scene for a book, so he picked up a pen, and started writing.

Although his vision was supposed to be a five year vision, he finally wrote the last word of the third book he had drawn on that page all those years before, and he realized that every action he had taken since drawing that vision for himself had subconsciously steered him closer and closer to the direction he wanted to travel in each day. Ten years after drawing the vision for himself, he had achieved and completed every element of that vision, so he sat down and crafter a bigger, more ambitious vision for himself, a vision so daring and so grand that it scared him.

How does this speak to positivity?

A positive attitude is more than just pushing aside negative thoughts. Positivity also includes actively defining and pursuing the things you want to achieve for yourself. If you’ve always wanted to do something, but have never gotten around to it, it will never happen until you make a conscious decision to pursue that goal, and go after it relentlessly, day by day. A positive attitude invokes energy and perseverance. It takes courage to make that first step towards following your dream. Often it pushes you way out of your comfort zone. But maintaining a positive and realistic view about your goal is key to achieving great things.

Starting a journey of a thousand miles one degree off course will set you hundreds of miles away from where you wanted to be at the end of your journey. Start steering yourself back onto the course you desired for yourself, and make small decisions daily that steer you in the right direction.

If you have a positive direction in life, and you maintain your positive attitude that no matter how ambitious your goal, one day you will reach it, then the decisions you make each day, and the actions you engage in each day will become aligned with that vision. On the other hand, if you don’t have a clear idea of where you want to be, you’ll make decisions that steer you further and further away from where you might have wanted to end up had you thought about it.

If you don’t have a clear vision, and a positive attitude about pursuing it, you can be sure of one thing: someone with a stronger vision will use you as a stepping stone to obtain theirs.

How can you believe what I told you about the young entrepreneur in the story? Well, I know him very well. He is me.

because I’ve been really good with my follow up. It doesn’t matter what your business is, keeping you at the forefront of your client’s minds will help you keep ahead of your competition. By follow up I’m not talking about hassling people, but keeping in touch with them on a regular basis.