Wednesday, November 4, 2009

#10 Gimme a Break

August 6th, 2009

Gimme a Break

Timing can be everything in business. A well timed call can lead to a meeting and new business. A timely meeting with your staff can lead to increased production. Just by speaking to people on a Friday, I find that I am more successful in whatever I am trying to achieve. Timing really can make or break. The timing that I am talking about is exactly that. The big, or even sometimes small, break. If I had caught certain breaks earlier in the year, would I be on the path I am now? Would some people still be with me that are not here now?

I am a big believer in cycles. What goes up must come down. If I have a run of “bad luck” then I know that I am due good luck and that my break is just around the corner. However, this theory has not really applied over the past year. Nor do I see it applying in the next 12 months. We are now in a place in business time, where we are going longer and longer in the down turn and the upturns are now more like blips rather than the mountains we used to have. We are working 3 times as hard for about half of what we used to get. This means that the impact of getting any kind of break gives you, is huge. I find myself practically jumping in the air every time I get a small win. Medium wins, I am fist pumping , and while I have not had a big win in awhile, I do have a bottle of champagne in the refrigerator just in case.

It’s as though things have got so tough that I forgot what it feels like to be successful. Now, we are still very far off of where we need to be but I can finally see that we are on the right track. Which means that this break is not a break, but is actually the start of a pattern. It also means that my “unlucky phase” or down turn, had nothing to do with luck. While it’s difficult to admit, the down turn is nothing more than a mixture of lacking things. These things tend to be foresight, discipline, hard work, resiliency, and organisation. Successful people are never lucky. They are usually a mixture of the hardest working and smartest working.

Getting a small break has reminded me of how I got here in the first place. The taste of success never leaves your mouth once you’ve had it. For me it’s like a drug. I am willing to struggle through months of hard work, pain, and crap, just to put myself back in the place where I can get my hits of success on a regular basis again. I love everything about it. When you are down, it’s very easy to forget how good it feels. The self-perpetuating cycle is one where you become used to ‘losing’. But, if you have been through the good times, like many of us who have been in the business world for the past 5+ years have, then we can remember what to be successful feels like. It wasn’t that long ago. So by getting just a tiny but timely break, it takes me back to the good days and I am now willing to do whatever it takes to get more. I have learned that I must not forget why I am doing this in the first place. Just because the past year has been one of the toughest I have ever had, does not change the fact that I love being good at what I do and I love winning and success. The break is just the beginning.

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