We’ve all been in one, right? You might even be in one right now?
I was in a slump not too long ago. Work was slow. Projects had hit a brick wall and I was, quite simply, demotivated. Then a friend of mine recommended I watch some motivational videos; in particular, a renowned speaker called Les Brown.
But I’ve always been skeptical of giving these speakers my time as I felt they were just telling me things I already know. But sometimes we need to hear what we know, from somebody else who knows how to tell you what you already know… you know?
I began working, doing things I had procrastinated on for years, working toward my goal and feeling good! I hadn’t felt this adrenaline for a very long time, and thanks to some much needed motivation (thank you hindsight), I began pushing myself again. Sure, this may have just been the instant effect of listening to an emotion-engaging motivational talk, but from then on, whenever I had bad work days, I knew where to get my ‘motivational fix’ from.
If you have a new business idea that you truly believe in but you’re afraid of your partners’ doubts, coupled with a fear of failure, then relax. Take a deep breath. Believe in your vision and repeat:
It’s Been Done Before
Brown explains, the problem most people have is that when they experience failure they believe that’s the way it always will be: “If success breeds success, then failure will breed failure.” That’s a defeatist mentality that you need to quash quickly if you want to live your business dream. Brown gives a fine analogy of realizing the possibility in reaching a goal:
Before April 1954, the common belief was that a person could not run a mile in less than four minutes, simply because the four minute barrier had not been broken.
Then along came Roger Bannister.
He was the first person to break the four minute barrier and became an instant hero. Rightly so. But it’s not the glorious triumph of Bannister’s record-breaking feat that’s significant here. It’s what occurred after.
Since Bannister’s accomplishment, 20,000 people have broken that record; including high-school kids! “What changed?” asks Brown. “They knew it had been done. They knew it was possible!” Brown says:
“Don’t operate out of memory, operate out of imagination.”
You’ve already imagined your new business or business idea. Don’t let any memory of failure hold you back. Just take that first step of reaching that goal. Whether it’s a simple phone call you have to make or an important email you need to send: Take. That. First. Step.
Brown strongly emphasizes conviction; not only conviction in your dream, but importantly, conviction in your motivation. When you visualize your goal, take a deep breath and, as already mentioned, repeat, “It’s possible”, advises Brown. Do this with a conscious effort and belief.
You should have enough conviction in achieving your business goals because, as in the Bannister example, it’s been done before. Controversy aside, if a 19-year-old Harvard sophomore did not launch his creation in 2004, then one of the most lucrative companies in the world would not have existed – Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook! There’s your precedence.
Sure, your start-up or new business idea might not reach such levels of global success, but remember…
Wait for it…
Success is not a new thing. Every company was once a start-up and every successful product was once just an idea.
Overcome The Obstacles
‘It’s possible’ does not mean ‘no problems’. You’ll have problems in all forms; bad advisors, production pains, monetary downfalls. The lot! But that’s all normal. If your conviction is strong enough, you’ll easily obliterate these obstacles. Brown shares an interesting anecdote to exemplify the importance of overcoming life’s many problems in order to succeed:
He used to be a known, vociferous disc jockey because he felt that the occupation gave him a ‘voice’ to communicate to the masses. However, after becoming a controversial figure due to his forthrightness, Brown was fired. Uncertain about his future, a friend advised him to run for office, to use that ‘voice’ for good. But unfortunately, Brown had no money, no support and no real chance of competing against his opposition, who had all that Brown lacked. And then some. Brown’s rival had newspaper support and a rallying campaign behind him. But Brown stuck with his principles and his desire to win, as he expresses:
“I believe you should stand up for what you believe in, because you could fall for anything.”
So Brown went door to door with children behind him, manifesting a righteous campaign about how he’s “still standing” amidst the adversity.
And then along comes another devastating blow for Brown.
The people that Brown thought would support him, surprisingly decided to go against him, including powerful community leaders. They endorsed his opponent, leaving Brown devastated. With only $800 to his name, compared to his opponent’s $20,000, Brown went off to the radio station to record a commercial. “That’s not enough money”, warned the station owners.
So there he sat in the station where he once spoke so loud and proudly; now just a silent ponderous figure. “And then…” said Brown, “when you least expect it and in you’re in your own thoughts, an idea comes to you.” He decided to call his mother (somebody he spoke of frequently during his radio shows). With a gospel record playing in the background, his mother’s voice was recorded: “This is Mrs Brown. When I raised my sons I raised ‘em to be good children. When they got outta hand, I beat their behind and made ‘em go right. Please vote for my son. He’s a good boy.”
The campaign result: Brown won.
He believed that although things will happen to you when you’re working on your dream, you’ve got to stay, “focused, relentless and creative.”
If you are sitting on an idea right now, stay focused and persevere with conviction. Ignore the naysayers and just believe.
And always remember…
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