Yesterday was one of those days where I attended a lot of meetings and had the opportunity to enjoy several conversations with a variety of different people.
Looking back at those those conversations at the end of the day, two of them stuck out in my mind because of the contrast between the two and what I perceive to be the attitudes underlying them.
In one of the conversations, I heard this:
“I don’t like to read marketing books because most of them tend to say the same thing over and over again.”
Later in the day, I heard this:
“I’ve been to that session before, but I always seem to learn something new to try every time I go.”
I’m paraphrasing of course, but that was the gist of how those conversations started.
Looking back, I remember thinking that I hope I have the attitude expressed in the second statement – what I interpreted as optimism, open mindedness and willingness to learn and try new things.
The sentiment of the first statement (I’ve heard it all before) seemed much more pessimistic and self-defeating to me.
One of the reasons I love working with small business owners is the majority of them seem to have this optimistic, what can I learn next, attitude. They not only want to improve, they assume that they will learn and find ways to apply what they learn to their business.
I would like to think that I spend most of my time having taking the optimistic point of view, but I know that doesn’t always happen. There have been plenty of times where I fall into the “same ole, same ole” thinking, but hearing the two conversations mentioned above has renewed my focus to stay in the optimistic zone as much as possible.
And this doesn’t just apply to books or classes. Giving presentations, making sales calls, attending meetings, going to networking events – all of these give us the opportunity to decide what type of self-talk we will engage in. Personally, whenever I can remember to take a “what can I learn” attitude, I always have a more enjoyable, productive, and profitable experience than the times I “just want to get through it”.
I’m a fan of using 3×5 cards as reminders. Yesterday’s conversations and writing this post today prompted me to create this card:
I keep one in my notebook and one in my car (for when I’m travelling to appointments). How about you? Do you have something you do to make sure you keep an open and learning mind? I’d love to hear it, drop me a note below.