Don’t Always Believe What You Think

IMG_3193Have you ever met someone for the very first time and thought “what a dink”? And I don’t mean Double Income No Kids. There was just something about them that you didn’t like. I thought that when I first met Morris – Laura’s cat. As a kid growing up I never hung around with cats. We were dog people. All of my friends were dog people. So I never had much use for cats. We all have built-in biases based on our own experiences. We are influenced by what we read, hear and see. So it’s no wonder I never got to know cats. After taking the time to get to know someone have you ever changed your opinion about them? Meeting and getting to know Morris helped me change my opinion about cats.

Worth Remembering … There are things known and there are things unknown. And in between are the doors of perception. – Aldous Huxley.

Perception is your reality. It is whatever you think it is. What you know won’t hurt you. However, the elephant in the room are the things you don’t know. Don’t let your preconceived notions get in the way of the decisions you make. Don’t believe everything you think. Question the status quo. Continue to seek out others who have a different point of view. Empathy, trying to see things from someone else’s point of view will never go out of style. Ask the right questions and really listen to the answers before you act. Have you ever made a decision only to find out that you didn’t have all the facts? Had you had all the facts, you would have made a different decision.

Worth Remembering … One of the biggest problems with the world today is that we have large groups of people who will accept whatever they hear on the grapevine, just because it suits their worldview – not because it is actually true or because they have evidence to support it. – Neil deGrasse Tyson

I’m a huge fan of the hit musical TV show “The Voice”. I think there is a lesson here that you could use the next time you hire or promote someone. They pick singers from a blind audition. They don’t pick a singer based on their perception of what they think a singer should look like, they pick a singer based on the quality of their voice. The next time you need to hire or promote someone, hire or promote them based on their qualifications not by the colour of their skin or gender. We like what we like and we are more than likely to hire or promote someone who has the same qualities as the kind of person we like. But we know from experience that they don’t always turn out to be the right person for the job we hired them for. The next time you have to make a decision don’t believe everything you think.

Copyright (c) 2018. Brian Smith-PLD. Not to be reproduced without permission. Are you looking for a keynote speaker or seminar leader who can deliver an informative and entertaining session on a variety of soft skills topics? Give Brian a call. You won’t be disappointed. To find out more about Brian visit https://briansmithpld.com 

Being a Passionatepreneur is Never Enough

entrepreneurshipBeing passionate about becoming an Entrepreneur is only the beginning. It’s going to take a great deal more than just being passionate about your small business to be successful. Being passionate is a good start – It will get you out of the starting blocks but it won’t get you to the finish line. The majority of small businesses fail. A study conducted by Eileen Fisher, Schulich School of Business concluded that thirty percent of all new small businesses fail within the first two years, and only half make it to year five. Some of those failures are out of their control. It wasn’t because they weren’t passionate. They failed because they lacked the management or financial skills they needed to succeed.

#Worth Remembering … I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it. – Thomas Jefferson. 

Being an Entrepreneur and starting your own small business is not for the faint of heart. You have to be comfortable flying without a net. You have to be comfortable with not knowing where your next pay cheque is going to come from. You have to be comfortable with not having all the answers all of the time. You have to decide what you are willing to give up to succeed. Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky or Tiger Woods didn’t succeed by being lucky. Luck had nothing to do with it. Did they catch a break now and again? Absolutely. However, the truth of the matter is, they became the best at their sport because they were willing to put in the time and effort needed to succeed.   How much time and effort are you willing to put in?

#Worth Remembering … Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can live the rest of your life like most people can’tUnknown 

You aren’t going to be great at everything but I believe you must be good at most things. If you study successful entrepreneurs you’ll discover they have some common characteristics. If you had to put a list together what would be your top five? Here are my top five.  I’ve listed them here in no particular order.

  1. Time Management: Be able to manage your time well. Learn to prioritize what needs to be done, so that you do the most important things first. Sometimes that will mean doing things that you don’t like to do. Don’t waste your valuable time on things that won’t help you succeed.
  2. Open-Mindedness: You only know what you know – you don’t know what you don’t know – and it’s what you don’t know that could sink you. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, and be smart enough to use it.
  3. Patience: However long you think it’s going to take you to accomplish a task, times that by two. Rarely does anything happen just the way you thought it would. Learn to take a deep breath and count to ten. All good things happen to those who wait.
  4. Communicate: You must be able to communicate in a way that others will understand. If you can’t communicate both verbally and by the written word, then you stand little chance of being understood.
  5. Goal Setting: Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and then put a plan together to get there. However, you need to be flexible enough to change or adjust your plan if it’s not going to help you achieve your goal.

I taught Entrepreneurship for over a dozen years at Algonquin College’s School of Business. On the first day of class, I would give the students my “Dorothy doesn’t live here anymore” speech.  I’d tell them if I haven’t talked you out of being an Entrepreneur by the end of the semester than chances are you might succeed. If I have talked you out of being an Entrepreneur than I have saved you from yourself. Either way, it would be a win-win. I would have done my job and you would have learned a thing or two. Being a Passionpreneur is never enough.

Copyright (c) 2018. Brian Smith – PLD. Not to be reproduced without permission. Are you looking for a keynote speaker or seminar leader who can deliver an entertaining and informative presentation on a variety of soft-skills topics? To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit https://briansmithpld.com