A few days ago, I was interviewed by a local radio station in Miami about the effects of the current recession on small business. After the interview was finished, they called me back and expressed surprise at my answers. I did not mention anything negative about the current economic situation. I did not say anything about layoffs, downsizing or business restructuring. Instead, I talked about possibilities.
It is impossible to deny the effects of the economy. We have to be aware of it and clearly understand the impact that this turbulence is creating in our businesses and in our personal lives. However, to achieve success we have to focus on creating possibilities.
In his book, “Making It Happen Before Lunch,” Stephan Schiffman says: “Dwell in possibility, there is always a door somewhere waiting to be opened.” What a great thought!
For me, a possibility is that this climate may result in coaching more clients – to help them increase their success in retaining, developing and enhancing the performance of their people. It could lead to my helping a manager become a leader. It could lead to helping a person or organization plan and implement change.
Focusing on possibilities, in my case, requires overcoming or controlling my instincts and attitudes. It doesn’t mean abandoning what I like to do (organizing, reading, preparing). It does mean creating a habit of thought: to focus on finding the doors that Schiffman talks about, and then opening those doors and walking into an opportunity to be of service to people and companies. We all have to create our own possibilities. How to do it?
- Start with optimism. It’s so much easier to believe in possibilities as an optimist. That’s a challenge for about 70% of the population – the 70% whose thought pattern conjures up pitfalls rather than opportunities. All those pessimists should start every day with this thought: “Something good will happen today – if I make it happen.” Keep telling yourself that. Once you convince yourself that there are doors waiting to open – whatever that means to you – carve out the time and energy to find those doors.
- Talk about obsession, not recession. Don’t participate in negative conversations about the future. Change the subject. Start talking about how well your business is doing and the things you are doing differently. Talk about today. Be obsessed with your success, making reference to your vision and dreams during your conversations with co-workers, family and friends, allowing them to be aligned with your positive thoughts.
- Change your perspective. Don’t stare at the picture from yesterday’s viewpoint. You have to come out to where you are today and watch your life and organization from a different perspective. Stop your day-to-day activities to take some time to look at perceived obstacles and impediments from a different point of view. Invite your team members to do the same thing. If you change your perspective from time to time, the questions you ask will be different, and so will the answers you get.
- Create goals that keep you focused on possibilities.
- Make a promise to yourself that every day you will take an action that will create possibilities (such as a phone call to a prospect, a new meeting with your people, or a lunch with a long-lost friend or client). But in every case – do it! Write down your accomplishments when you create a possibility – then see how many of those possibilities you created can be made into opportunities, then into relationships, then into new businesses.
- Speak possibilities. Do you have a roadmap to your success? Do you have variable solutions to your obstacles? If not, act now! Explore your possibilities. When you speak possibilities you are sending a positive message to the world around you, asking for success instead of failure. You are creating your own future today by opening your mind to new things.
- List your dreams for this year, and draw the roadmap to get there, and you will see how many new possibilities appear in front of you.
- Build on your success. Be convinced that the more possibilities you create, the more doors you will open – and think about how great it will be to step through into opportunities. Realize that every day new possibilities can be created – they are there waiting for you!
As an Executive and Business Coach, I help people use their resources and skills to do a better job, watching the picture from a different perspective. For more information, please review our website, call Pablo J. Perez at (305) 722-7213, or send an e-mail to [email protected].