A few weeks ago, I was asked to give a talk to a local varsity sports team before the start of their tournament. I thought about what I wanted to say to this group of young people and how to relate it to my experience in business. Here are the three things I came up with:
Keep It in Perspective
I always keep perspective in mind when I talk to my kids or other people in the company. When we are facing a big decision, I like to put it into perspective. For example, “what if this doesn’t go our way? What is the big picture that we are working toward?” If we lose a deal, will it keep us from achieving our goals in the next year or two? No. That’s why I always remind myself to keep things in perspective.
A few years ago, we were meeting with outside investors, and I stopped to grab lunch before a meeting in times square. I had a moment when I asked myself how I got there? I was a kid from Central Michigan University with a degree in teaching and I was about to pitch our company to investors in NYC. I remember thinking to myself, “do your best and see how it all plays out. If they are not interested, someone else will be.” This helped me relax and, as it turned out, this is almost exactly what happened. They were interested, but we selected another team and had a great outcome with them!
You can’t go through life running an organization, playing sports, etc., and expecting everything is going to go your way all the time. Those who handle advertise the best and respond to it positively have a leg up on their competition. A popular saying we have at Service Express is, “fail forward” which is a book by John Maxwell. We always strive to learn from our mistakes and apply the lessons we learned to get better. Fail Fast, Fail Often is another great saying about not being afraid of failure. Don’t hang your head and dwell on mistakes, learn from them and move on. A lot of times, those who make the most mistakes win!
Embrace The Opportunity
Life will present amazing opportunities for you – go for it and take advantage of them. Sometimes people don’t seize the opportunities that are in front of them. Your failures turn into the stories about lesions you learned and what you can do better next time. Focus on the learning, outcomes and successes you’ve had. Seize every opportunity.
Do those three things and watch how life opens for you.