I was in Ed Foremanâs office the other day and during the course of the conversation he turned to me and said âWhatâs the best good thing thatâs been going on with you?â
Iâm sorry to say that I had to stop and think about the answer. Knowing Ed, I should not have been surprised by the question. You see, Ed teaches this in the Successful Life Course and in many of the CDs.
Most people ask âHow are you?â or âHow are things going?â
There are two types of answers to this question. The most common answer is âFine, how are you?â, which really conveys no information at all. The other type of answer usually involves some long explanation of how bad things are going.
When you are asked âWhatâs the best good thing thatâs been going on?â you first have to think of the GOOD things that are happening. Sadly, thatâs not what we spend most of our time thinking about. Thinking about the good things in your life makes you feel better, and talking about good things makes for a positive conversation that lifts everybodyâs spirits.
Ed even suggests that a weekly staff meeting begin with a âGood Things Reportâ where each attendee takes a minute or two to talk about the positive things, either personally or professionally, happening in that personâs life. This makes for a much more positive and productive meeting.
Aside from making you feel better at the time, this question makes you want to look for the good things as you go through your day to day life. I know that Iâll be talking with Ed again, and you can bet I will have good things to talk about.
Now I ask you the question…
Whatâs the best GOOD thing thatâs been going on with you?
I just got a call from a friend of mine. She is president of a company involved in construction and remodeling.
Thinking I already knew the answer, I asked her how her business was doing. Surprisingly, she said “Great! We almost have more business than we can handle! Our challenge is getting enough good people to do the work.”
When I mentioned that a lot of businesses, especially housing related businesses, are experiencing a recession, she simply said “Not over here!”.
What do you think would happen if she started thinking, “Oh no. The economy is falling apart. And the housing market is the worst. I better pull in the reins, cut costs, not take on so many jobs in this risky environment, and start a hiring freeze.” ?
Exactly. It would be a self fulfilling prophecy.
So, does that mean we should just stick our head in the sand and ignore what we see? Of course not. But in every situation, there are opportunities for people that look for them.
If some of your customers are buying less from you now, think of ways you can provide more value to help them through difficult times. Not only will your business grow, but youâll gain some very loyal customers.
Be like the late Sam Walton. When asked for his opinion of the 1991 recession, he said, âIâve thought about it, and decided not to participate.â Within only two years Wal-Martâs share price was up 200% !
If you are a huge multi-national bank or investment company, then ok, maybe youâve got a steep hill to climb. But, if not, then ignore the exaggerations of the media, and just take care of business.
Like Earlene Vining says, “If it is to be, itâs up to me.“
by Tony Yost
Tim was a very positive and successful project/client manager that I used to work with. (His actual title was Solution Manager. Then he became the Solution Manager ManagerâŠ). Anyway, Tim developed a reputation for successful projects. He had a few guiding principles that I called âThe Book of Timâ.
One of these principles, as Tim would phrase it, âIf you find out that a âbad thingâ could happen, and you plan a solution to that âbad thingâ, then the âbad thingâ wonât happen.â
He was right about that a lot more than he was wrong. And, of course, if the âbad thingâ did somehow materialize, we were prepared, so it wasnât so bad.
This applies to every step of a project. As programmers, you anticipate what errors might happen and you write code to handle them. As presenters, you anticipate what might go wrongâŠsay your laptop with the PowerPoint presentation gets misplaced/stolen…so you have another copy on disk with you. As the product launches, you anticipate where users might have trouble and you go over it with the Support group.
This does not imply that you should think negatively about your project. Quite the opposite. You plan for success, and part of that success is dealing with the âbad thingsâ.
It seems like I remember the Boy Scouts had a similar mottoâŠ đ
by Tony Yost
Speaking of quotes… here are some of my favorite quotations from Ed Foreman:
“Winners develop the habit of doing the things losers don’t like to do.”
“GIGO… Garbage In, Garbage Out… Good In, Good Out.”
“Worry is nothing more or less than negative goal setting.”
“The mind is never blank. If it were… how would you know?”
“The tragedy of life is not that it ends too soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.”
“Life is primarily for laughing, loving, and living. It ain’t just for whining, worrying, and working!”
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.”
“We change when the pain to change is less than the pain to remain as we are.”
Do you know of some more? If you have a good quote, please leave it in a comment.
by Tony Yost
Yesterday, Buz McGuire had in his blog a link to “12 Lessons from Top Business Masters”.
For me, one quote really stands out.
“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”
by Ayn Rand.
Isn’t that powerful? That should be the motto of everyone who wants to succeed.
I have been a huge fan of Ayn Rand ever since I read the book Atlas Shrugged.
It absolutely changed the way I think about business and money. I highly recommend this book. I won’t spoil the plot for you, but you will also find the answer to “Who Is John Galt?”.