Yesterday I talked with a good friend who had just received bad news. One of her big clients decided to pull a contract they had just approved and her work and cash flow for the next few months was going to be deeply affected.
So while we were talking about all the possible good things that could come of the situation, I suggested that she try something that I heard about on a business show (that has sadly been cancelled), during the early part of the recession in 2008.
In the show, a wise man (can’t remember who) said that business owners should all write an article from the perspective of 2012 about how we became huge successes in our industries.
Doing this exercise, he said, would help us step out of our self-pity about the challenges we faced with the economy. It forced us to look at what we could do during the next four years that would positively impact our businesses and could lead to success despite the difficult circumstances.
So yesterday, I offered up the same advice to my friend. I asked her to take some time to write a letter to herself from the perspective of December, 2012 about how this year was a huge success because this client dropped the contract.
I asked her to share in the article what steps she took to find new clients that were also her ideal clients, and how she used this new free time to direct her business to even more fulfilling success.
Basically, I wanted to see if we could find a way to look at this “no” as something that was actually really good news in the long run.
And of course it goes without saying that we can all do this kind of exercise in any aspect of our career or personal life. Because no matter how tough things may seem at the time, the way to get out of the ditch is to imagine a better future outcome and then determine the steps that we need to take to get there.
It won’t always be easy to implement, but it will get us “off our buts” and start moving forward.
** Why the pig photo, you ask? It’s Chorizo, a mini three-legged good luck pig that sits on Mr. Lively’s desk at work.