What is the Fuel of Change?
by Kevin D. Crone
The other day I was coaching an executive who was a little down because he was behind in his business plan. His enterprise was losing talent and old customers weren’t calling. That’s not the worst thing that can happen in a marketplace that has been fairly flat for four years or so, but there is no doubt he was in a tough situation. And it could get worse, because markets are continually shifting; in conservative Ontario, customers become rather frugal and tend to put everything on hold during turbulent times.
I observed to him that most business people have been there at some time or another, and a person’s emotions can work for or against them. Emotions are the fuel of change. For example, fear is a pretty powerful emotion that can cause us to go in circles with little action resulting from our efforts. Don’t just go with the flow – focus on the emotions that fuel your desire.
Disgust: Occasionally we get to the point where pep talks can’t disguise what is going on. And when we can’t take it anymore, when we just can’t catch a break, disgust can work for us. During the recession in the early nineties, I got to this place a few times. “I have had it with the concern about going broke, with being so embarrassed. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!” There is nothing so life-altering as gut-wrenching disgust. After a conversation at Tim Hortons with Kathie Mather, the person who ran my company, we created a go-for-it plan that got us into immediate action. Were the results guaranteed and quick? No, but away we went, and we made things happen.
Fear of failing: it can be paralyzing, but there’s an answer. DIE BEFORE GOING INTO BATTLE. That is what samurais do. They mentally accept the worst that could happen, figure out how to survive it, then act on improving the situation. Face fears before you do battle. Be ready to die or win, and then decide what to do. Later, you won’t have to be standing at a fork in the road wondering what to do. Nothing is more liberating. It’s amazing how lucky you can get, how you can learn and discover new ways to succeed when you are in action on behalf of an all-out commitment to a decision and a plan. The next action, unknowingly, could turn your life or business around.
Resolve: I remember reading in the classic book, Think and Grow Rich, the story of a poor young girl who went up to the landlord and said, “My mommy needs fifty cents.” Eventually, because of her persistence, she got it. SO WILL YOU. With resolve, you promise to yourself that you will not give up. PERSISTENCE has genius in it. Nothing works like persistence. All successful people rate resolve and persistence as the fuel of their desire.
If your business or career is experiencing tough times, let yourself be pushed to the wall. Don’t hide and don’t wait. Let life touch you with all its battles and challenges. Don’t go to the ocean with a teaspoon. Ask for more. Asking is the beginning of receiving. Don’t expect government or anyone else to save the day. Let your disgust work for you. The genius in the marketplace comes from people who, with resolve and persistence, make things work for their clients and people.
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