One evening, a Chief was telling his tribe a story about two dogs that live in his mind. One of the dogs he described as fearful and pessimistic, the other confident and optimistic.
“These dogs are involved in a constant struggle,” he told them. One of the members of the tribe asked, “Which dog wins?”
The Chief answered,“The one I feed.”
And so it is with each of us. Every day we have a choice. We can choose to focus on all the things that are wrong with the economy and our business or we can choose to focus on the infinite possibilities available to us and the power we have to affect positive change. It’s our choice.
Consider two separate conversations I had with two small business owners.
To each of them I asked, “How are things going?”
The first answered, “Things are really tough. This is the slowest our business has ever been. We’re just trying to keep from going under.”
The second answered: We’re a little slower than usual but we’re using this time to do all the things we’re not able to do when business is booming.”
“Like what?” I asked.
“We’re brainstorming clever ways to cut costs, improve quality and serve our customers better. We’ve also added new services, updated our website and started a newsletter. While our competitors are cutting corners and services, we’re innovating. We’ll come out of this slow time a stronger and better company – we always do.”
Same economy. Two different ways of looking at it.
If you have completely bought into the idea that the economy is bad and the source of your faltering business, of course you won’t believe in your power to affect change and, therefore, you’ll most likely take no action to innovate and you’ll be stuck with the same old ideas you’ve always had.
If, the other hand, you believe that every economy presents new opportunities to serve and make money, you will go about every day with a hopeful, optimistic attitude as you seek and respond to the opportunities that present themselves.
It’s your choice but if you’re looking for innovation, all you have to do is change your mindset.
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