The moral of Earl Nightingale’s greener pastures story is, nobody’s business or life is perfect, and the most perfect of another’s situations is rarely as good as it seems from afar.
It would be dangerous to trade, even with the person you might envy most, based only on observations from a distance. It’s usually better to work at making your own “house” better and more to your liking than to envy or swap for another.
Lately, most of my clients, coaching members and I have had most things going our way. We’re all pretty fat ‘n happy. Some of us are deluged with business, using shovel and wheelbarrow to handle the money.
For me, horseracing is the constant reminder that things don’t always go as planned. Actually, with horseracing, they rarely go as planned. Owning ‘em isn’t a business for anybody who can’t handle disappointment. Driving ‘em in races is at least as frustrating as golf, with the added virtues of rain, sleet, hail, mud, snow, ice and physical danger.
I’ve had about 70 drives so far this year, only 4 worth bragging about, another 10 or so satisfactory and satisfying. Oh, we own the fastest pacer at the track, who is racing well, and has made $30,000.00 so far. We own a solid 3-year old trotter. But we also have a 3-year-old we thought would burn up the track, and that we paid to stake to special races, who has stopped his improvement dead.
This morning, I took a call from my trainer in which we decided to sell two woefully under-performing, disappointing horses I drive personally for thousands of dollars less than we paid for them, putting fewer dollars into the kitty than had come out, and leaving me in need of two good horses to drive.
When you sell something you paid $8,000.00 for and had high hopes for, for $1,500.00, it’s not a good day. But by comparison to lots of people with serious troubles, it’s not much more than a mosquito bite, either. Of course, perspective’s never easy when you’re being bitten.
The ways most people react to disappointment, frustration, loss, to things not going as planned are (a) moping around, (b) poor-me’ing, (c) sympathy-seeking, or (d) being mad at other people, God, or the world. As far as I know, none of those responses will cure or treat whatever disease you’ve been diagnosed with, fix whatever business problem has presented itself, or replace those two horses.
Successful small business owners usually respond differently. They may indulge briefly in (a)+(b)+(c)+(d), but then they “re-calibrate” to either doing something constructive and productive to repair or improve the offending situation, or to working on something else they can affect positively. Really successful people “re-calibrate” quickly and automatically. Pigs wallow in mud and shit. Successful people do not permit themselves to wallow, no matter what.
Successful RENEGADE MILLIONAIRES respond even more differently. They too may ever-so-briefly indulge in (a)-(d), but then they start the diligent, determined hunt for the opportunity in the adversity.
We don’t just mouth the platitude of every cloud has a silver lining; we believe Hill’s “in EVERY adversity lies the seed of equal or greater achievement” as religion. And we understand the key word is ‘achievement.’ The silver lining may not already be woven, lying there to be found; it has to be made.