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Accentuate The Positive

Who does not love an underdog story where grit, determination and heart propel the challenger to the status of a champion? For many, athletic figures and sports stories immediately come to mind when discussing such but I believe there are many more, though lesser known, examples in the world of business.

I personally know several business owners who, against huge odds, have stuck out their necks, took the road less traveled and succeeded in ways above and beyond even their own initial expectations. Of course, this is not limited to just business owners but employees as well…such as the person wanting to move from operations with a career path ‘safe and secure’ into the tumultuous world of sales. There was plenty of doubt from others he would have a successful transition but he never doubted for a second.

A ship is safest in the harbor, but that is not what ships are for. – William Shedd

As we begin a New Year, if one was to pay too much attention to the headlines, it would be easy to start each day with a less than positive attitude. Do we ignore the headlines? No way. Just give them enough consideration to help you realize that in these times you may have to work both smarter and harder.

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. – Jimmy Dean

One of my main sources of inspiration is Og Mandino’s wonderful book, ‘The Greatest Salesman In The World’ and more specifically, for times like these, ‘Chapter Ten – The Scroll Marked III” where we learn to persist until we succeed. (More on this book at the very end*.)

Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult.

I will persist until I succeed. – Og Mandino

In many ways, a new year is a new beginning. We are pushed to make resolutions to do this and that which is all fine and well but in business, each January carries with it each December’s cash flow and while we may make new resolutions, they must incorporate yesterday’s reality.

Plan your work and work your plan. – Unknown

There are many reasons to be concerned about 2009 but I believe there are many more reasons to be excited. I am not talking about walking blindly into tomorrow with nothing but a smile and some ‘bumper sticker’ sayings but more of an excitement born from an attitude of overcoming and achieving.

As I a child, I would often fall asleep to the sound of my parent’s music, a stack of vinyl LPs on the Motorola dispensing the wonderful tunes of Eddy Arnold, Nat King Cole, Perry Como and others. It was at that early age when I began to become a fan of lyrics and, in closing, I will take this opportunity to quote Mr. Como:

You better accentuate the positive,
Eliminate the negative,
An’ latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-between!

Happy New Year everyone! Let’s go make some money.

About the Author

Bobby Darnell is the founder and Principal of Construction Market Consultants, Inc., An Atlanta based management consulting group specializing in business development, sales, marketing and profitability as well as executive placement for the Architectural, Engineering and Construction industry.

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