Is your attitude limiting your business?

As a business leader, what is the story that you are telling yourself inside your head? What is the story that you are telling others? Are they consistent? Is the outward story reflective of your underlying attitude? Is that story quietly derailing opportunities for your business?

I recall having coffee about five years ago with an acquaintance whose common refrain was, “You know Jim, things are tough in my world, and sales cycles are long.”

Or ”It just takes time, Jim…. Our business is different….”

Of course, he and his company were a prospect several years ago, but we agreed to close the file. For me, it was because of the story that his business was and still is telling themselves about the way things have to be. They can’t get beyond their perceived limitations. They have a mindset of scarcity, and it keeps them from seeing opportunities to re-write their own script.

Today, I still talk to this business owner, and five years later, his story is largely the same. As a result, so is his business. But here’s what’s interesting: During this stagnant five-year relationship, I brought one of this business owner’s major competitors in his industry as a new client, and while their circumstances are largely similar, their story is much different.

Even when faced with challenges, my new client often says to me, “You know Jim, there is a lot of opportunity out there, and we are extremely optimistic.”

I hear these words frequently from them. I heard them this past week in the midst of a global pandemic that is challenging even the most secure business models. Amidst disruption, they are working to address challenges in their industry with creative thinking, and in doing so, they are becoming a model for success.

In coaching business leaders at the Sandler Performance Center of Northern Indiana, the biggest difference I see between these two leaders is the attitude they present. They are both very good at what they do, but the difference is in their mindset.

One is based in scarcity; the other is based in abundance. And here’s the good news: In business and in life, our attitude is a choice; it is not something that happens to us. We are not subject to it. Rather, we have the power to change it.

What I find in talking to business leaders is that there are many who act as if they are being held hostage by their own attitude, as if they have no control over it or the destination to which they are heading. To be fair, there are many variables to our attitude and many things that can erode it over time, some obvious and sudden, some slow and insidious. To me, the hardest work in sales is the six inches of space between our ears, which is where our attitude lives.

When you think about your business, ask yourself: What is my attitude?

I’m not necessarily talking about whether you’re in a good mood or a bad mood, although that can definitely play a role. I’m talking about your overriding attitude towards yourself, your market, and your company?

How do you look at yourself? Do you believe in your capabilities? Your potential? Your worth as an individual?

What about your market? Do you believe that there is possibility out there or limitation? And how about your company? Do your values align with the organization? Do you believe in the mission?

If you think about it, nearly everything is a matter of perspective. So how do you view the disruptions that are happening in your industry right now? Can you change with the times and stay relevant?

As Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't–you're right.”

In the Sandler Performance training method, attitude is at the top of what we call the “success triangle” for a reason. It impacts how we think and work, and that’s one reason it’s important for business leaders to constantly keep our attitudes in check.

So ask yourself: Is my attitude shaping my story, or am I working on my attitude, day in and day out, to tell the story that I want to happen? Is my attitude truly in alignment with the outcome that I desire, or is that voice in my mind telling me a slightly different story?

If this resonates with you, and you want to learn more, call us at the Sandler Performance Center of Northeast Indiana. We are in the attitude adjustment business.

Read more articles by Jim Wilcox.

Jim Wilcox is Founder of the Sandler Performance Centers of Northern Indiana in Fort Wayne and South Bend. He is one of Input Fort Wayne's small business bloggers, sharing his experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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