My most awesome reader,
While I believe every single one of my posts are important, today’s is ultra- super-duper bionically important. It’s a reminder, actually, but I’ll be framing it in the context of your success as a business owner and entrepreneur.
It’s a fact: Being an entrepreneur is the harder road to choose. Just like any other thing in life that demands passion, sweat and grit into, it’s also the far better road (sure, I’m biased). I don’t need to count the ways regarding how the entrepreneurial road is tough. You’ve likely already experienced it in your own way.
I’m working with a lot of clients at both of my companies (www.verdepr.com and www.intrepidentrepreneur.net) who are just plain stuck because things keep changing so fast. It’s like the second they get something in line, something else veers off the tracks. That’s business today.
The reason I wanted to create this post for you today is because I’m seeing normally really positive and happy clients turn pretty grumpy and grim lately.
Yes, we need to embrace change. Sometimes that’s super hard to do. But today, I wanted to remind us all of something we can completely control.
In fact, you can have this competitive advantage every day just by creating an intention.
What is it, you ask?
It’s called being happy and positive! (Give this groundhog a HI-5 people! Don’t leave him hanging!)
Contrary to belief, our circumstances and genes do not dictate our propensity to be happy or positive. It’s a matter of choice and prioritization. It’s something we can ALL do.
Before I go into the really cool ways that happiness has been proven to be a competitive advantage, I’m going to take it one giant step further. I want to point out that we are in the active outdoor lifestyle markets for a reason; because we love the outdoors and introducing more people to our passion for it.
So, let’s get back to our true roots: Being happy and stoked! Choosing this route will make you a more kick-ass entrepreneur.
This weekend I was on my indoor trainer listening to podcasts and I came across John Bowen’s Accelerating Entrepreneuerial Success (AES Nation) podcast and found an episode in which he interviewed Shawn Achor. (The link to the episode is at the end of this article.)
Shawn is a happiness expert. Now, before you lean over and gag into the nearest trashcan, know that Shawn has some serious business chops. He’s spent 12 years teaching at Harvard University, where his research connected happiness with success took form. He also was the lead author in this Harvard Business Review article: The Value of Happiness: How Employee Well-Being Drives Profits. He’s also the author of The Happiness Advantage.
The main point Shawn’s trying to make? Choose to be happy, choose to look through a positive lens as you go through your days at work and at home. You’ll be surprised at the immediate benefits you’ll get from doing this.
Here are some of the strongest stats from the body of work Shawn’s put together over the recent years (I grabbed these stats from the AES Nation podcast, again, link is at the close of this post).
Choosing to make your brain positive and choosing to be happy results in:
- A 31% increase in productivity when the human brain goes from neutral to positive
- A 40% higher likelihood of a promotion
- A three-times stronger focus for your brain when it comes to seeing creative solutions to problems you’re dealing with (this one will come in very handy as we’re all embracing change)
- An average rise in sales of 37%
- A 39% higher chance to live to age 94
- The same level of stress having a 23% lower negative effect on your body if your brain is positive
The list goes on and on. …. You can read more about Shawn’s work at his website.
Happiness and gratitude are highly complimentary. Shawn advocates that if you’re having a tough time getting your happy face on, try keeping a gratitude journal for three weeks. Write down three new things every day that you notice that you’re grateful for.
What this does is train your brain to find the positive and not focus on the negative so easily.
Another thing you can try is to NOT “consume” bad news through the media and stop hanging out with your negative friends. Surround yourself with positive people and positive news and information through this 21-day period.
Personally, I believe that being positive and happy anchors success. It draws the good to you instead of the negative – and that includes people and opportunities. Plus, it’s just more awesome to be happy, isn’t it?ul.
Here are more resources to support the happier and more positive you!
John Bowen’s podcast featuring Shawn Achor: http://goo.gl/gkU4PU
Shawn’s Ted Talk: http://goodthinkinc.com/resources/videos/