Christopher S. Nudo
Do you ever sit around and wonder why you’re not as smart as the competition, or why you didn’t have the brilliant idea first? How about why you’re not the best employee, boss, mentor, husband, father?
I was terrified at the idea that I could be a successful business owner.
I used to be my biggest critic, with thoughts of who would work for me and how could I be the boss. I would hide my fears from others and pretend everything was fine. But inside I was riddled with anxiety and doubt. All I wanted was reassurance and comfort to still my fears. If you know me, then you know that I hold myself as having a strong belief in what the Bible and God says about my life. And the Bible is clear, “not to be anxious about anything,” (Phil 4:6) and Jesus was clear about the same in Matthew 6:26. But there I was anxious, fearing, and not resting in the very faith I said I trusted in.
My self-talk included the voices in my head that proclaimed:
- "That could have been done better."
- “Why is my attention to the details failing?”
- "I’m not good enough to be successful like other brilliant lawyers."
- “People will see through my façade strength, and know my fears and not trust me.”
But something magical happened when I put my faith in the Lord. The Lord rewired my mindset and revealed to me:
- I don't have to be the smartest person in the room.
- What if success is not measured by my bank account, but rather the people I serve?
- I just need to take notes, pay attention to those who EXECUTE their business well, and learn.
- What if success isn't a specific achievement, but rather a life-long journey?
- My joy can be found not in focusing on my business, but focusing on people, every day!
- What if success isn't an end goal, but rather a journey, like a marathon that you run every day?
If we illustrate my life, my work, and my business using the running and marathon analogy, then injuries & setbacks will happen. Success and failure are just part of the story. My story!
Failure only happens when you quit trying. If you don’t quit, then there is no failure. So instead of quitting because of a setback, go back out and do it again! That could mean doing it again and again and again - don’t stop. Learn, pray, make adjustments, and execute and keep doing it until you succeed.
I believe this point is worth repeating. Failure is only a state of being once the existence of trying has ceased. As long as you put forth an effort to grow, mature, learn, change, and strive towards the goal, then there is no failure. You do not ever fail unless you cease to try.
It doesn't matter if you missed your goal or ran the wrong way. All that matters is that you run your race and be vigilant about working as if the successful outcome is in your control, BUT equally as important is to have FAITH to know that GOD is the one in control, and pray to HIM to show you the way.
This is how I now run the "race", and in the end, I’ll proclaim - "I RAN A MARATHON and finished!”
For you and me, the brilliance is not in how long or how hard the marathon is. NO ONE CARES!
You will define yourself as a winner when you finish the race.
Here are 7 things I think are ESSENTIAL to "running" your life, which will define a successful business:
- You care about your clients and their experience doing business with you.
- You listen to your clients and know that the details are important.
- You understand the importance of putting your own time and energy into each client relationship.
- You care about being authentic and doing right by people.
- You fight for the most beneficial outcome for your clients.
- You take responsibility to ensure no problem is left unsolved.
- You know that there is no failure - you either win or you learn.
Not every business owner will have the same mindset. Many times, I come across potential colleagues who are focused on immediate profit; instant gratification if you will. And they don't care who gets used or abused in the process.
I urge you to remember why you started your business in the first place. Many times, you'll look back and recall it was to "help people!"
Here are 4 things you can do to keep your perspective fresh and your "WHY" at the front of your mind:
- Invest in yourself - knowledge is power!
- Practice gratitude for your successes!
- Set goals for the things you want to do and/or do better!
- Seek help in your areas of weakness. You don’t know it all!
Start fresh each morning with gratitude and a remembrance of why you do what you do. Never stop running - it’s a marathon!