You’ve probably heard motivational speakers talk about the need to have a positive attitude.
With all due respect to Norman Vincent Peale, a positive attitude for independent business owners isn’t enough.
Today’s entrepreneurs need a New Attitude.
When business owners tell me they are dissatisfied with their business performance and they want more customer traffic and higher sales, I tell them this:
When you step into your business this morning, take a look around and realize that the business you occupy is entirely your own creation. Sure, maybe someone passed it down to you through the family, or you bought someone else’s business, or you’re running a franchise that has limits not of your own design, but the bottom line is: The business that surrounds you is what you’ve built, with your money, hard work, and vision.
You, as the owner, are the only one capable of changing your business in any significant way, and it begins with singular NEW moments of vision. These moments will only happen if you are willing to question what you have in front of you, and come up with something better. Something totally NEW.
As the owner, you cannot focus on all the reasons you feel your business hasn’t succeeded. You must focus on what you can control. It might be absolutely true that your city isn’t as business friendly as somewhere else, or that your Mayor has never spent a dime in your business, or that your downtown doesn’t have the parking garage that you feel it should have. But you must ignore these things! You are going to focus on what you can do right now that will increase your business performance and you are going to quit focusing your energy on areas that are out of your control. Doing so is a waste of time, and when a business needs help, time is a critical commodity.
Let me take a step back for those of you reading this who don’t know me: For the last 12 years, I’ve conducted a Destination Business BootCamp where business owners spend over two straight days with me, learning techniques to reinvent their businesses. And while the owners in that BootCamp class are as diverse a group as you’ll ever find sitting together for two days, there are two things these owners have in common:
#1: A willingness to learn, and
#2: A nagging dissatisfaction with their businesses.
And #2 is critical: For owners to move forward, they must reach a point of discontent where they want change to happen now, not sometime in the future.
If you’re a business owner, developing a NEW attitude is easy. Just look at those concrete components of your business that make you unhappy. Your store interior. Your front windows. Your advertising. Your marketing message. Your website. Your energy-sucking, waiting-to-be-told-what-to-do employees (I’ve heard some owners have these). You name it. Look at these tangible components and decide how you would like them to be. See them NEW and don’t compromise with your NEW vision. Be demanding! Be unreasonable! Be unrealistic! See it in your mind like you want it to be, and don’t settle for what you have.
Notice that I said look at those concrete components that you want to change. Don’t look at your sales growth and say, “I’m dissatisfied with my business sales and I want more revenue.” Wrong! Sales are a function of the concrete components you’ve created that aren’t operating effectively, and a reflection of the strategy you’re using to draw customers to you.
When owners change their components and change their strategy, guess what happens? Owners start walking in their doors every morning with a positive attitude.
But seeing your business NEW is the first key and this demands you bring some creative thinking to the table, taking a step back, and not settling for the business that’s in front of you.
You brought this business into the world. If you’re unhappy with the results, reimagine it as the business you’ve always wanted.