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Winning with “Find a Way” Mentality

Have you ever started a sentence with I can’t, it won’t work, I’m not good enough or I don’t? If you do, then tell your friends that you will pay them one dollar when they hear you say it. If you say it to yourself, then put one dollar in a jar. Make this small commitment as your first step toward meaningful success. Self-defeating messages are a huge roadblock toward personal progress. STOP IT!

You are the one thing standing in the way of your success. People who succeed are resourceful. They are innovative. They are tenacious, yet respectful. In return, they are respected and are offered help toward their goals from unexpected sources with unexpected opportunities. It is human nature to root for the underdog, especially a scrappy underdog. Would you like a helping hand toward the direction of your vision? Show your determination and commitment. It will appear. Be positive, be open, be kind.

Think about it from your perspective. You have only so much time and mental energy to expend in any given day. For example, imagine you are a teacher. Will you spend your energy on a student with the smile who raised his or her had when stumped by a problem? Or, will you spend on it on a mope who grumbles about homework, has every excuse for not doing the homework, and makes no progress from the help you provide?

Imagine you are a successful business owner. Will you spend your limited time with a protégé who is busting his or her tail to make things happen? Or, would you cater to someone who never sees a path to an abundant future? I’m not arguing for quid pro quo. Keeping score is not a path to success, either. I’m just asking you to give thought to human nature and how you are perceived by those in a position to be of help. Adopting and possessing an outlook that lifts the spirits of those around you will motivate them to lift you, too.

I’m a marketer and have not always had the success I like. I did not always approach problems with an optimistic attitude. Rather than finding the few paths to a desired outcome, I could easily rattle off the dozens, or more, factors that would block the desired outcome. It was not until I became adept at “finding a way” to solve problems and “finding a way” to lift the spirits of those around me, that I more consistently found satisfaction in my own desired outcomes.

Recently, a member of a local business networking group, in which I participate, casually asked me to have a one-on-one lunch with one of his friends who owns a local business. The stated objective was to “just to meet” this person, listen to problems faced by their business and offer feedback as appropriate. This was during the Covid-19 lockdown and everybody was cash-strapped, so I approached it as a networking opportunity that could bear fruit months from now… maybe.

As I listened, I realized this owner was in deep doo-doo, was looking for an investor and ideas to get customers post-lockdown. I was not an investor candidate for the amount of money needed. But I re-stated several problems that I heard to be sure I understood them and offered ideas with no expectations beyond enjoying a conversation with a friend of a friend. I even paid for lunch.

A day later I received a call from my friend and learned that I was sort of “tested”. It turns out that he was an interested investor and wanted to get a sense from the current owner whether I understood the business and required actions to turn it around. I do not have turn around experience, but their reaction was over the top positive and they want me to be the General Manager when the facility reopens after Covid-19 restrictions allow.

Much discussion remains to determine whether that opportunity will or will not become reality. That is not the point of this story. The point is that I was willing to give of myself without expectation of return. Plus, I displayed optimism and non-judgmental kindness about the situation and how to address challenges. Eighty percent of the discussion consisted of asking questions and listening to the answers. It is a valuable lesson.

You can be sure that if I was perceived as having a negative attitude, I would never have been invited to meet with this business owner in the first place. And, if a meeting had occurred anyway, a respond citing the reasons why things can’t work would have killed any good feeling and good will. The result would have been a waste of time for both of us, further reinforcing negativity into an already negative attitude. I am not advocating to be a false Pollyanna, either. I did not, and would not, sugarcoat particularly difficult challenges. But, I redefined them within a framework and scope that appeared solvable. I merely conveyed paths that had “find a way” potential. Not necessarily guaranteed, but a solution worth trying. The only guarantee of failure is a possibility is not tried.

To be honest, I experienced failures and missed opportunities throughout my life until I more fully understood and internalized the secret ingredient of positivity, innovation, and vision into my mindset.

What about you? If you are still reading this, you must be intrigued by your limitless possibilities. If you are still reading this, you are clearly above average. People who are not above average start from a “can’t” premise. People who excel, start with a premise of “I’ll find a way”.

Finding a way by yourself can be time-consuming and expensive. The right partner who has been there and done that can shortcut the process. That is why I teamed up with John Thornhill and his Partnership to Success program. I will continue on the Partnership to Success path even if that General Manager opportunity develops into reality. How can I do both? It’s important enough that “I’ll find a way.”