“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’” — Brian Tracy
SME’S CHAT BY PHILLIP CHICHONI
There was once an old widow who lived alone in a small town. One day she started suffering from severe headaches. She tried all sorts of tablets and medicines; some gave her some relief but the headache would return the next morning. Sometimes she would just sit and cry when the pain would not go away.
One day, the old lady decided to visit her neighbours and find out if they knew of a better cure for her headaches. She knocked on the first neighbour’s door but there was no answer. As the door appeared to be half-open, she knocked again a few more times. Finally, a feeble voice answered and as she went in, she saw a sad sight. Her neighbour was lying in bed, with her three young children beside her. They all looked very sick, dirty and frail.
She knew they were suffering from some ailment and had likely been so for some days. She felt sorry for them and immediately helped them clean up. She prepared a meal for them. Once they had eaten and gained some strength, the mother began explaining to the old widow how they suddenly took ill and how the illness made them all too weak to get up from bed or even call for help. They talked for hours until the old widow had to return home at sunset.
As she got into her own house, the old widow realised she had forgotten to ask for the medicine for her own headache. She then realised something else: she was not feeling any pain!
From then on, each time she felt a slight headache, she would go around the neighbourhood talking to and helping other people. As long as she was busy, she did not feel any pain.
The times we are living in are some of the most challenging ever. Uncertainty, rapid change and a tough business environment all put a strain on our minds, causing endless anxiety and stress. It is difficult to function at our best when we have so many things to worry about. Further, there are very few sources of inspiration, as everyone else seems absorbed with their own challenges.
The only solution is to inspire yourself.
The problem with worry is that it consumes our energy and robs us of strength to think and work hard. One secret to stop worrying is to keep busy. The old widow discovered that keeping busy by helping other people suppressed her headache. Try it. When you feel overwhelmed and stressed, get yourself busy. After all, entrepreneurs are hard workers. In fact, they are so busy thinking of new ideas, innovating, marketing, networking, developing new products and growing their businesses that they have no time to worry about things they cannot control. They do not cry over spilt milk. They do not waste time thinking of how things went wrong or laying blame. Instead, they move forward quickly and strive to improve continuously and do things better. They focus on growth, solutions, and not on problems.
Inspire yourself by focusing on the future. Develop a great vision of where you want to go. See yourself already there. There were times at school when the lessons became very boring. This happened often in the summer months of October and November when we had classes in the hot afternoon with uninspiring teachers. To go through all that, I used to tell myself that school would be closing soon. I would start picturing visions of what I planned to do during the holidays. Visions of playing, swimming, going to the park with friends and watching television were a motivator at that time — although the daydreaming got me into trouble sometimes when the teacher called my name to answer a question I did not hear.
Now, as an entrepreneur, the more powerful your vision is, the less you will worry about temporary challenges. You know the future is going to be great and you are going to win. All winners, in sports or in business, make conscious decisions that they want to win. They also walk the talk by focusing their energy on doing things that will help them win. Professional athletes spend most of their time exercising and practising. They only eat foods that will improve their health and fitness. They sacrifice present leisure and pleasures to focus on their game.
What are you doing to increase your chances of winning? Are you improving your skills and increasing your knowledge? Are you interacting with inspirational and successful people? Are you reading books on business and personal development?
These are just some of the things you should busy yourself with in order to inspire yourself and others.
Inspiration is contagious. Be positive-minded and cheerful all the time and you will attract similar-minded people.
Please send me your thoughts by email. Until next time, keep on accelerating your growth.
Phillip Chichoni is a consultant who helps SMEs and entrepreneurs build sustainable businesses. You may contact him by email, firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit http://smebusinesslink.com