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The calls with my network and discussions with friends are taking a similar tone lately, and it’s not a positive one. “What if my business doesn’t improve? I don’t know what’s going to happen next….Can you believe how stupid my kids school is……I just hope I have a job next month…..Half my life’s savings is gone and….. The Patriots are going to be terrible this year.”

Lots of negativity, glass half empty, worst case scenarios, and whoa is me going on out there right now. And quite honestly, you can’t really blame anyone, it is a challenge right now, things aren’t normal. But you have to ask yourself a basic question – is thinking, talking and acting negative going to make anything better?

The answer to that question is simple and a bit of psychology – No it won’t make anything better. And a negative mindset breeds and searches for a negative outcome.

What if my business doesn’t improve?

  • Your thoughts become your reality. If you think your business won’t improve, it won’t. Your mind is a powerful weapon for good or evil. If you feel this way, I challenge you to sit back and write down 3 things that are going well in your business. Perhaps, one segment has not been impacted by the pandemic, yet another has. Or some of your customers and clients are doing well, and others aren’t. Or your revenue is off 20%, but not 50%. Now, turn those thoughts rightSIDE up with gratitude and thankfulness. “I am so thrilled that some of my clients are doing well, and I am going to figure out how to help the struggling ones. Considering all that has happened, I am pleased my business is running at 80% capacity. Thank goodness for segment A of my business, it is really holding it all together for us, and I am confident that segment B will be back on track come September.” Simply flipping your script, puts you in a positive outcome position, and dramatically increases your chances of success.

I don’t know what’s going to happen next……

  • Who does? But if you think something bad is coming your way, you are providing it GPS coordinates to find you. You are enabling your fear. We are in the middle of a once-in-a-lifetime event that has healthcare professionals perplexed, government officials scrambling and the public a bit confused. So, what is going to happen next. Things are going to get better! Period. Healthcare professionals are learning more every day and are developing ways to keep us all safe. Government officials are doing their best to manage safety and commerce. The public has a responsible role to play, and we need to all improve. We will come out of this lifetime event stronger, just like we did after the 2008 financial meltdown and the 9.11 terrorist attacks. We will not give uncertainty and doubt an inch. We are resilient. We are strong. We are smart. Good things are coming our way.

Can you believe how stupid my kids school is……

  • I have stated publicly in a number of meetings with both business colleagues and friends, the toughest jobs in America right now are school principals. On the best day possible, 10% of parents aren’t happy for some reason with their kids’ school. That’s a fact, talk to any school administrator. When it comes to kids, most parents truly believe they know best, just ask them ;-). But with schools scrambling to determine if they are coming back or staying remote, I truly don’t think we all appreciate all the considerations that have to be thought through. If there are 500 kids in a school, there are 500 different situations. Kids academic needs are different, learning pathways, sensitivities, physical abilities, socioeconomic backgrounds and almost anything you can list. So how does a school principal make their decisions right now? By doing the best they can to ensure healthy learning. And healthy learning equally means something different in nearly every city across the country. And just like in example one and two above, we should all be thankful our schools are focusing on health first. That the teachers are safe. That our kids are healthy. And that school will go on, just differently. We also must embrace this time with our kids to help them through it with a positive outlook. We all know our kids can take on our energy. If we think and talk negatively, they will as well, and that is setting them up for less than success. So, let’s get behind our school principals, faculty and administrators and thank them for what they are making possible.

Half of my life’s savings are gone……

  • I literally heard someone say this the other day when I was walking down the hall. I turned around and engaged them in conversation, as I have a pretty good relationship with them. I asked how that was possible, what were they invested in, had they checked in a while. Their answer was indicative of a person living in fear. They told me they last looked the end of March and were afraid to look again. They told me they were invested in what they thought was safe 401k investments and other relatively conservative portfolios. I explained to them that the market dropped nearly 30% in March but had basically rebounded, the interest rate drops were fueling reinvestment and the largest stimulus package in history had been launched. I asked them to check their savings sometime that day and stop back by. Well they did, and they were down 2.3%! Yes, negative two-point-three percent, not “nearly half”. When the market dropped nearly 30%, the last time this person checked, they thought negative thoughts for days, weeks and even months, and overtime 30% became “nearly half” and stayed there, even when the markets were rebounding. But negativity breeds negativity, and this is a shining example of that. We need to find ways to not let our fear live inside of us and play games, we need to refocus on actual outcomes.

The Patriots are going to be terrible this year…..

  • I live in New England, and the region’s sports fans are either the best or the worst, it depends on your perspective. I am going to stay silent on that point and not comment, as I said, I do live in New England. The New England Patriots lost their future hall of fame quarterback Tom Brady and most of their linebacking crew – Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Elandon Roberts. They lost Danny Shelton on the defensive line and Ted Karras on the offensive line. The Miami Dolphins spent $200M in free agency and had three 1st round picks. The Buffalo Bills have been getting better each year for the past few. And at some point, in my lifetime the NY Jets have to get better. The 2020 NFL football season is going to be like no other – challenging. And there is no greater leader at facing fear, uncertainty and doubt than the greatest football coach of all time, Bill Belichick. I don’t know how, but Coach Belichick will find ways to make this a 10-6 team and win the AFC East. He will adapt his offense to be a two-headed monster with near-rookie Jarred Stidham and oft-injured reclamation project Cam Newton. Defenses won’t know how to plan and his belief in a positive outcome will reign down on all 53 players and they too will believe in a double-digit winning season. Oh, and to stay positive I wish TB12 and Gronk the best in Tampa, I really do, those two playing together again will make Buccaneer games “must watch TV” for the first time eva’!

By now, I hope I have made you think of how YOU are looking at life today, at how you are leading today, at how you are leaning into your fears and truly believing in a POSITIVE OUTCOME.

For me, my business will be stronger today than it was yesterday, good things are around the corner, I am thankful for the bright minds leading my kids’ school, my life savings will be fine and I am playing the long game and the Patriots will be the Patriots.

Life is good, stay positive, focus on awesome outcomes.




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