By Kay Cross, MEd
Show your true colors by creating a positive attitude, simplifying your life and carving out enough “me time” to stay on track with your goals. I like to compare the process of building a business and personal life to the construction of a new home. First you have to examine your needs, values and boundaries. How big do you want your home? What do you consider the essential elements? Where should it be? Plans have to be drawn up; land has to be leveled and cleared; forms have to be laid; and a foundation must be poured. Then you have to define and protect your space by putting up walls, installing insulation and completing the basic construction. It’s also important to add the personal touches that put your “stamp” on your home. What colors do you like? What do you want visitors to feel? What features will make your home easy to maintain and comfortable to live in? In the first two installments of this series, you learned to prepare for building a strong personal and business identity by defining your needs, core values and boundaries; you discovered how to create a structure that was in sync with your values and to eliminate anything that was interfering with them. In this issue, you will learn to express yourself by creating the atmosphere you most want in your business and personal life. This process requires that you weave together four important elements: knowledge, wisdom, experience and application. Knowledge is the possession of facts and data; wisdom is the right use of that knowledge. When you combine your personal experience with wise use of the facts, you can transform your knowledge into application. To fully express yourself, you move thoughtfully from experience to action by I examining your attitude; I striving for simplicity; and I creating time to meet your needs and work on your goals. What do you want your business to look like and project to the world around you? How are you going to be different? How will you leave your mark? front porch with an aging hound dog lying lazily nearby. The oldsters would sadly evaluate their situation–speaking about one word every 30 seconds–and then would mournfully sing (with the dog yowling at the proper times): “Gloom, despair and agony on me, deep dark depression, excessive misery. If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. Gloom, despair and agony on me!” I remember that song whenever I am tempted to wallow in self-pity for long. This sad bunch of folks obviously adopted attitude number four! Attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy: You attract what you expect. The type of energy you emanate, positive or negative, attracts like energy. The attitude your business and employees project affects your ability to draw and retain customers. How would your attitude be described by the people who know you best? What attitude is projected by your company? Application. In one sentence, give a detailed description of the attitude and atmosphere you want your business to project. Evaluate how well your business is meeting your expectations, and make alterations if necessary.
Examine Your Attitude
Your attitude toward your life and the people in it determines your journey. When it comes to attitude, you have basically four options from which to choose: 1. I’m okay, you’re okay. (I have skills to offer and so do others.) 2. I’m okay, you’re not okay. (Everyone else is stupid, so I might as well do everything myself.) 3. I’m not okay, you’re okay. (I’m stupid and can’t make good choices. I’ll just follow what everyone else says.) 4. I’m not okay, you’re not okay. (Life is the pits for me and everyone else. I can see nothing good.) As a child growing up in Texas, I used to watch the old country music show Hee Haw on Saturday nights at my grandparents’ house. I can still see the rundown setting for my favorite song. Some old coots would be sitting on a dilapidated
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