Legendary businessman and GE CEO Jack Welch once said, "If you don't have a competitive advantage, don't compete." These words couldn't be more true. And most entrepreneurs keep this statement in mind while building an ambitious venture.
What entrepreneurs tend to overlook, however, is that keeping positive is a competitive advantage. Conversely, negativity is a disadvantage that will only leave your competition in a position to squash you. Staying positive in a negative environment can change not just your business, but your entire life.
Rather than wallowing when a problem strikes, believe your business reality can be redefined. Old problems become entrepreneurial challenges as you perceive new solutions. Then, when you achieve a goal, recognize the benefits of your positive work lifestyle.
Say, "Thank you" and give away all the positivity you can as you lead your company by serving customers better, treating employees well, and respecting your partners more. And amazingly, the cycle of working positive begins anew, and you'll find yourself receiving even more in your business.
Give your mind a positive work-out. Think of your mind as a muscle that needs consistent strengthening. A flabby, unfit mind simply chases whatever thought concerning your business that enters it – or whatever thought someone else suggests, whether positive or negative.
Your mind freezes up; that is, mental scar tissue develops and you become susceptible to whatever thought shows up. Mental surgery then becomes necessary to remove the scar tissue of those negative thoughts that moved you to behave in your business in an unhealthy manner.
Why are you so susceptible? Here's how your mind works. Consider how snack commercials on TV affect you. You weren't hungry before, but suddenly you're getting up and heading to the kitchen for snack food. The power of suggestion is so strong.
Your mind received the impression, activated a hunger impulse, and triggered your legs to move. You really didn't even think about it. It just happened. But what if you focus your thoughts? What if you have made a conscious decision to cut out snacks between meals?
Your mind is made up – your priority of losing weight takes precedence over the commercial's suggestion. But maybe you're thinking, "It's not that easy to focus my thoughts, especially when it comes to my company."
Actually it is. Your mind was made to focus. Your mind focuses on something every minute of every day. The question is not if you focus your mind, but on what? There is no denying that the world contains negative mental energy. You can't just deny the existence of negativity and expect positivity to show up. But you can decide how to focus your own energies.
Think about your choice to perceive this way. Vultures fly over the desert, looking for dead animals. Hummingbirds fly over the same desert, looking for flowers growing from a cactus or near a pond. Vultures and hummingbirds fly over the same desert, but one bird looks for death and the other looks for life.
As it is with the vulture and hummingbird, so it is with you and me. As we fly over the business landscape that surrounds us, we're looking for something. We choose what we're looking for – death or life, failures or successes, losses or leverage; the negative or the positive. Then we live our choices.
You can choose to think about your business's best qualities, not the worst; things to praise your employees about, not things to curse them for; the beautiful way in which your customers buy your products and use your services, not the ugly few who demand a refund.
For example, it is so easy for us to fill our minds with what we can't do. That's a never-ending list for me. Right now, I could say to myself, "There's always something I can't do. Now that I think about it, there's no reason in the world I should ever think that anyone anywhere on this planet would want to read a book about working positively.
I don't know why I wrote it. I wasted all this time, energy and money on a book that was supposed to bring me speaking engagements and coaching opportunities so I can transform business people's negative lives into work positive lifestyles."
See what I mean? Of course it's not just you and me who choose to focus on that "can't do" list. We all do at times. Since your mind focuses on something, anything, it will go to that never-ending list, especially in times of frustration or perceived failure.
It's so much more empowering to focus your mind on what you can do. No, you might not be able to do correctly what you're attempting on the first try. However, finding something you can do related to the task and focusing on that accomplishment creates a positive perception in your mind.
That positive perception then becomes the jet fuel that releases your imagination to work on the rest of the task that presents such a challenge. With that high-octane fuel, your imagination soars to new heights of accomplishment in your business.
By exercising the positive muscle group of your mind and focusing on profit-enriching activities, pretty soon that which seemed impossible about your business becomes not only doable, but you say to yourself, "I can see my business this way all the time!" And most importantly, you will have an infallible sense of positivity, which gives you a competitive advantage.