Ask Different Questions: How Can I do That?

November 14, 2011Vincent Byrne

There is a tendency in the current climate for people running businesses to bemoan the fact that the government and their respective agencies are not supportive, either in terms of tax rates, grants, incentives and other such forms of assistance. The reality is that this will and always has been the case, primarily because the people involved, politicians and civil servants, don’t understand business and have totally different agendas to those of us creating and operating businesses.

And in our heart of hearts, we already know all of this but we hope that in our complaining and voicing of our dissatisfaction that something will change. But has it ever changed? Honestly? No. So what is the point in focussing on that stuff and bringing on an air of despondency and frustration into our thinking?

For me government and the slow turning wheels of the civil service, frontline and emergency services excepted, are the way they always are – just part of the environment that we must operate in. That environment changes, for better and worse, from country to country and continent to continent, and yet people still start up and create businesses! In fact on Friday, I learned that in China the state holds a stake in every business that is set up – how restrictive might that be?

These things are just part of the playing field that we must play on and we can no more control them than we can the weather, the stock market or even gravity!

So what’s to be done?

Well, focussing on what you can control is all you can do but most importantly it’s all you should be doing. Wasting time on talking about what the government is or is not doing or engaging in pre-budget speculation is irrelevant, negative and ultimately detrimental to your business. The best thing that you can do is change your questioning from ‘Why are they not doing stuff to help my business?’ to ‘How can I turn my business into something great in this current environment?’ and ’Who do I know who might have the skills and experience to help me even if I am not sure myself?’

Changing your thought process from ‘Why me…?’ to ‘How can I…?’ whether it be in business or life generally creates a completely different set of challenges to the mind, but they are positive, invigorating challenges which lead to a creative and constructive mindset. And Yes, in any environment.

So if you compare that kind of mindset, one that is programmed to set and take on challenges, versus the one which complains about ‘the government and the environment’, which do you think is more likely to bring you to the goal and outcome that you intend and desire?

It’s your choice!

PS: It also doesn’t help the mindset if you immerse yourself in absorbing negative and downbeat information on radio, TV and in the print media – try listening to music, audiobooks and challenging information instead. It’s much better for you!

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