101 – April 11
“As you go through life, brother, whatever be your goal; keep your eye upon the doughnut and not on the hole.”—Sign at Pig ’N Whistle Coffee Shop
Most people never even begin to achieve their goals. They defeat themselves before they start by listening to that inner voice that tells them they can’t do it. You have to learn to turn up the volume on the small inner voice that tells you that you’re worthy, you’re talented, and you can do anything you put your mind to.
When I was struggling to get work as an actress, the endless auditions, rejections, and the talent and sheer numbers of the competition sometimes overwhelmed me. One day when I was complaining to a friend about how hard it all was, he said, “Take out a piece of paper and write down all the reasons why you can’t succeed as an actress.” I agreed to do this and vented all my frustrations by making a very long list. Then he told me to write another list—all the reasons why I should succeed as an actress. I had a much more difficult time with this and didn’t come up with many entries. He pointed to the positive list and said, “Until this list is longer than your negative list, you aren’t going to succeed as an actress.”
Like a sudden drenching in ice water, insulting, shocking, humiliating—it was a cold, bare statement of fact. I saw immediately that he was right, jolted into an awareness that my own negative convictions were keeping me from success. I vowed in that moment to start changing my focus and beliefs.
What are your inner voices telling you? Make your own list of positives and negatives. Focusing on what’s wrong, what’s missing, or what’s not working will only produce more of that in your life. As I concentrated on my positive qualities instead of my limitations, I became more and more successful.
Madonna, in her movie Truth or Dare had a scene where she was talking with two young people. She told them that, “Sometimes I wonder who the hell do you think you are?…But I can’t let myself think like that or I’m gone.”
You can’t either.
“I have all the reasons I need to be a terrific success at everything I do!”
Did you know that studies show that people are twice as fearful of losing money as they are hopeful of gaining money?
That means most people hang on to money out of fear when they should be investing money in things that will pay off. Holding on to money doesn’t produce any more money, does it?
Years ago, I heard a woman speak who owned a $3 million per year manufacturing business. I never forgot what she said, “In order to expand a business successfully, you have to become more and more comfortable with bigger and bigger negative numbers.”
Oh, that was scary when I heard it! I didn’t want to be in debt!
But as she spoke, I began to understand. Bill Gates didn’t build Microsoft on his personal savings. Nor did Stephen Spielberg, Steve Jobs, or any other successful person who built a big company. They used OPM – Other People’s Money. That means borrowing from banks, investors, family, friends, credit cards. For all the bad press the banks and credit cards get for getting people in trouble, they still have made it possible for the small business owner to get easy access to capital to realize their dream.
If you want to start or build a business, you are going to need money to invest in it. One of the best investments you can make is in yourself! Yes, you could lose money – your first idea might not work. Walt Disney filed bankruptcy several times before he became wildly successful with Disneyland. (He loved his movies, but they were hit and miss financially.) There is always recovery after a downfall – human beings are amazingly resilient.
But there is no success without risk.