“The mind is everything. What you think you become.” – Buddha 

The last couple of years has been tough for many. Of late, the news seems to be full of bad news about the economy and the future prospects for the business community. It is easy to be pulled into this negative outlook and feel pessimistic about the future of your business. Yet, despite the unique challenges of 2020 adding to the normal challenges most business owners face already, many businesses are continuing to achieve their goals and are planning for an even more incredible fiscal year. How, you ask?

As a business coach, I have seen first hand the difference between positive and negative business owners. I have seen how their attitude towards the current economic climate impacts the performance of their business. If you are feeling negative, don’t worry as that attitude can be changed. It takes work, you can absolutely turn things around, but you must start immediately. Here is why attitude is everything – a successful business start to the new year begins today!

Definition of Attitude

“If you say you can or you can’t you are right either way.” – Henry Ford

Attitude is a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something that typically is reflected in a person’s behavior. Attitude influences a person’s choice of action, response to challenges, incentives, and rewards. One of the most important steps you can take as a business owner is to assess your attitude and become aware of how it impacts your work performance, relationship with your employees, and everyone else around you.  You often cannot control things that happen to you and your business, but your power is in your response and your attitude when things inevitably come up.

How a Positive Attitude Affects Business Success 

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” – Willie Nelson 

Attitude is everything. Entrepreneurs are usually highly energetic, self-motivated people with big dreams. As every entrepreneur will tell you, being a business owner is many times a roller coaster of highs and lows. Maintaining a positive entrepreneurial spirit is something that can be difficult as time goes on, especially if you find your business in a prolonged low period. If you do not watch your mind, negative thoughts will creep in and create a negative snowball effect bringing you and your business down. Envision a snowball rolling down a mountain picking up more snow and growing larger as it rolls down – that is your business imploding if you dwell in negativity.

Negative thoughts tend to limit thinking, undervalue achievements, and generate more negative feelings which turn into a lack of confidence and ultimately underperformance. A positive mental attitude on the other hand, helps us have a better outlook on life in general and of course business, and makes us more energetic, productive, and successful. Learning to keep a positive mental attitude (to choose positivity) when inevitable setbacks arise will help you and your business continue to make forward progress and push through the difficult times.  Cultivating a positive mindset will help turn a bad situation into a good one in a much shorter period of time because you will have more clarity in thinking and you will be a better problem solver.

How Attitude Reflects Leadership

“In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.” – Dalai Lama

As the business owner, you are the number one leader in your business. You set the tone for your entire company and your attitude will influence the motivation, productivity, and success of your employees and thus your entire business. A great leader is someone who is able to inspire at all times and the key to being able to do this is your attitude. Attitude reflects leadership because it has everything to do with behavior and a positive mindset. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you have the leadership behaviors needed to effectively influence your team?
  2. Do you have the positive attitude of a great leader?
  3. Do you inspire your team members to work hard for you?
  4. What is the attitude culture of your business from the top-down?

Leadership coaching can help you become more aware of your attitude and how that impacts your team members. It is often difficult for people to have the objectivity, introspection, and self-awareness needed to assess whether they are truly cultivating positive thoughts and an attitude of gratitude. Just like negativity is contagious, so too is positivity. The first step is assessing where you are on the attitude scale then working to maintain positivity and positively influence those around you.

S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting in the New Year

S.M.A.R.T. goal setting – have you heard of it? S.M.A.R.T stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. S.M.A.R.T goal setting is a tool you should use to plan and achieve your goals because it allows you to clarify your ideas, focus your efforts, and use your time and resources productively, all of which increases the likelihood of you achieving what you desire.

Executive coaching helps business owners and their team members set S.M.A.R.T goals by really digging in and examining whether the goal chosen fits that criteria. So many business owners have big dreams and goals yet they feel like they are working hard but not getting anywhere. You may be wondering what SMART goal examples for work look like. The answer is that it depends on your unique business and what your short and long term goals are.

One of the first things I like to do when I coach a business owner and their team is to sit down first with the business owner and have them list out all their short and long-term goals. Then we dig in and analyze whether they are S.M.A.R.T.  We then create a plan for how we are going to work towards achieving these goals with internal checkpoints along the way to make sure progress is being made towards achieving those goals.

Enter the New Year With a Strategic Plan for Your Business 

“The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.” – Winston Churchill 

You may be reading this thinking that in theory having a positive mindset is great but how do you actually cultivate and maintain a positive mental attitude in business. Here are six tips for how to shift to a positive mindset for your business

  1. Keep an open mind – challenges will present themselves but often they present you with an opportunity to transform your business for the better if you really allow yourself to be open to something new. 
  2. Be proactive – see change as part of growth and prepare by thinking ahead and planning instead of sitting back and reacting when things happen. 
  3. Go with the flow – be flexible yet persistent in the face of changes and adversity. Adaptability in business is key to long term success. 
  4. Think big – cultivate an attitude that pushes boundaries and explores possibilities. Think big and you will achieve big things.
  5. Be persuasive – use your experience and talents to inspire others. Your attitude as the owner influences those who work for you on your team.
  6. Be bold – when you make a decision do so with confidence. Take action and follow through with the plan you make. 

Ken Kilday is the CEO/founder of Leader’s Cut: The Ken Kilday Coaching Experience. Ken is an entrepreneur himself who designed, built, launched, and rejuvenated successful businesses and now he takes great joy in helping other businesses find success through Executive Business Coaching and as an EOS Implementer®. Ken works with owners of businesses of all sizes to implement actions, evaluate success, and adjust to new, improved habits and actions to produce repeatable and predictable outcomes independent of changing business cycles. Now is the time to start working towards your New Year business goals by hiring a business coach. Most profitable small businesses have a business coach they work with. Contact Ken to schedule a 15-minute Meet & Greet and discover how business coaching services can help you get a jump start on the new year NOW!


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