This weeks article is going to be a little different…
You see, in addition to being your dauntless columnist, I am the wife of a somewhat known, notorious marketing “big name.”
This big name of mine went through what I believe to be a life and death struggle this past week and I think the story might can help you and your business.
The struggle? A nasty addiction to prescription painkillers. No it’s not pretty or even what you would call a “white collar” addiction but it was real and does effect a great more many people than the “masses” would like to believe.
How did it happen?
He injured his back in an unknown “non-event,” meaning we haven’t a clue as to when and why the injury actually happened, 3 years ago and had to take them for SUPER bad back pain. Over time though they became more and more debilitating. Until after the last of several cross country trips to his pain doctor and then to FIVE different pharmacies to fill the pain medicine we both (even though I’ve personally been pushing for this day for much longer) decided that enough was enough.
We sat down and collected all the reasons NOT to continue using these pain killers. The $2000 trips to the specialists, the 30% loss of his brain, the irritability, and the NEED to do them. Not to mention the sheer aggravation of actually getting them filled every month.
And decided that it was time. Finito, close the curtain.
The decision though put me into yet another set of roles besides my normal wife, mother, homemaker, writer, graphic designer, and chef. The new ones last week were chief prison guard, nurse, and warden.
I’ll spare you all the unpleasant details but just know that this stuff is uglier than heroin when it comes to coming off of it cold turkey. Just use your imagination and its probably like that or even a bit worse…
Was it easy?
But one day after another, he stayed the course. Once in a while he asked me for a pill (we still have a few for ACTUAL pain pills for emergencies) and I had to tell my loving husband no, despite his suffering.
Around day three he started writing about it himself on the social media platforms which resulted in his Facebook friends showing up in droves to wish him well and give their support. Driving him to tears.
What does this have to do with your business?
Launching your business requires change, it requires you to think new things and take new actions. It will cause you to face people who will be SURE you are about to make a big mistake.
You are almost certainly not…
Listen: No one EVER made it good following all the rules and playing it safe. That’s how to put in your 40 years and maybe jjust maybe get a plated watch and a retirement party with a cake.
But sunshine, I must tell you what you already know, the odds are against it…
So do something scary, seriously. Today. Do that one thing. Climb the ladder and fix that damn light bulb. Tell that problem employee or boss or supposed friend what you need to tell them.
You WILL feel better after.
My husband has a story (the diving board story) that goes a bit like this:
He was 12 and at the local lake where there was a diving board. Nothing special about the board, just about high enough to do a flip off of if you wanted to…
So of course, he wanted to. Kinda…
For hours one summer day he would run to the end of the board, take a jump but right there in mid air, decide he COULDN’T do that flip. One can probably assume what happened next…
He would land flat on his belly or back.
Later that day, after about 100 belly and back flops he says to himself, “Ok, im going to run down the board, jump, and do one of three things: A Flip, a belly or back flop. Two of those will likely hurt but one will not. So I may as well at least try.”
He has been doing flips off diving boards ever since!
What if your spark is gone?
However, somewhere along the way with the use of the pain pills he lost what he calls his “spark.” Now to hear him talk about it, the “spark” is something more valuable than even being pain-free. It’s that umpff that not only gets you out of bed in the morning, but has you beating down the doors of people you know you can personally help.
How will he get it back?
Probably with just as much work as kicking the pain pills. Finding one’s motivation to keep going or to even start that project you’ve been putting off is hard, but doable with some discipline and courage.
Use these helpful tips to give yourself a mental kick in umppff:
1. Write out a list of your immediate and long term goals, making sure you are specific with each.
2. Put the list somewhere or several places that you can clearly see it every day.
3. Enlist the help of a close friend or colleague to help you stay accountable for these goals.
4. Box up your fear and put it in the attic – or better yet throw it out with the trash. (I’ve found that it actually helps to write down your fears and put them in a box that you pack away or throw away.) Don’t let your fear of the unknown outweigh your desire to succeed.
5. Join focus groups that are geared towards helping you obtain your goals.
6. Get in the habit of making daily to-do lists so that you are accountable for each day.
7. Soak up knowledge like a sponge. Learn learn learn! I can’t stress this enough. Fear is often fueled by the unknown – so what better way to convert the unknown to the known is with knowledge.
8. Be your own cheerleader. When you complete a task, no matter how small, give yourself that simple pat on the back. You earned it.
9. Surround yourself with greatness. Avoid naysayers and those with negative energy. You know that one person (or persons) that always seems to have a pin handy to burst your bubble each and every time you discuss your passion with them.
10. Watch what you feed your mind. You want to stay current on the local and national events and new, just be careful not to fill your thoughts with what the media deems real or newsworthy. Skim the headlines, but limit your news intake to once a day. Read something inspiring instead, ideally just before bed and right when you wake up. The last thing you put into your mind before you go to sleep is what you are going to focus on.
The video clip below gives me goosebumps EVERY TIME I watch it! Take a few minutes out of your life to give yourself that mental push.
Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!
What are you going to do today to work towards your personal or professional goals?