When was the last time you heard any good news from Radio 4's
I used to drive along in the morning, listening to John
Humphries, hearing the news, how there'd been an earthquake here, a
bank had run out of money there, more soldiers killed overseas.
It got me thinking, 'I can't change any of that. So really
what's the point in knowing?'
If you think it through, loading your head up with negative
reports isn't really the best basis to start your day off. Mr
Kellogg would be spinning in his grave.
So I stopped listening to Radio 4 in the morning and guess what?
The world still turns and my life is better for it.
The last thing you need as a business person is too much
negativity, business is tough enough as it is. When I started my
business I thought it was going to be all private number plates,
fish tanks and spinny chairs.
Nobody prepared me in those early years for the low sales, no
sales, self-doubt, the whinging wife or the too much month at end
of the cash.
Running a business is akin to swimming the channel. You get
halfway across, it starts getting painful and the little voice in
your head nags you to turn back and swim back to the shore.
That, boys and girls, is the reason that most businesses fail
within the first two years. You need perseverance, tenacity and a
real belief in what you are doing. You need to hold your
nerve, and come out swinging. Big confidence when stepping into a
Surrounding yourself with negativity pushes you towards a
defeatist mindset before the first bell. I went out of my way
to stop hearing about the stuff I couldn't impact on. I didn't stop
caring, I just got real.
Instead I put my energy into the stuff I could make a difference
to. In all the businesses I'm involved in, I maintain the ethos to
'make a difference, before we make a profit'.
I can't stop earthquakes or murders, but I can make life better
for those within under my umbrella, my tribe.
You will also have a tribe. The people you care about. Those who
were there when you needed them and you know will be there in the
future. The people you just know need looking after as well. If you
take care of them, they'll take care of you.
The successful business people of this next decade are all set
to embrace two things: the internet and people. Corporate Social
Responsibility is being downsized to Personal And Business Social
Responsibility. I just made that up - PABSR - snappy, eh?
You've got one life, so live it. If you find yourselves having
more 'Can't Be Arsed Tuesdays' than 'Make It Happen Mondays', you
are in the wrong job, running the wrong business and part of the
The number of different ways I see real people paying their
mortgage these days is staggering and what used to be accepted as
safe jobs simply aren't safe anymore. You say 'a job for life', and
Live your passion, do what you actually enjoy and surround
yourself with talented and clever people who can help you keep on
Work out what bits of your business you're real good at and have
a real passion for, then sub-contract out the rest. Why the f**k
are you boring yourself shitless doing accounts that you are no
good at when there are bookkeepers up and down the country who will
do it for you? If their hourly rate is less than yours, then its
stupidity to carry on trying to do it all yourself. Hire them and
make them part of your tribe.
Keep pushing your business and life forward and you'll learn
this amazing lesson - a mistake is only a mistake AFTER the event,
up until that point it's the correct decision.
No one ever wakes up and says, I'm going to f**k-up today.
Embrace your dreams or abandon them for something you are
passionate about, but whatever you do, always look after your
Brad Burton is MD of the UK's largest joined up business
breakfast network, www.4networking.biz, a
top motivational speaker who quite likes the sound of his own
voice, buy his book Get Off Your Arse and watch him in action
Brad will be joining Smarta for a live webchat
this Friday at 3pm. We'll be posting a link for the chat here later