Growing your small business is a challenge! Along the path of growth, there are pitfalls that are avoidable. Last time we discussed the first principle of the proper growth mindset – Trajectory. In this post, I will explain the second principle – Alignment.
In working with hundreds of small business owners over the years, I’ve often heard complaints. Some small business owners say, “My taxes are too high, I don’t want to pay that much.”. Others tell me, “There are too many government regulations, and compliance is too difficult.”. I have also heard, “The economy is bad right now”, or, “Kids today (their employees) don’t want to work hard!”
Alignment of Attitude
Complaining is the opposite of what you should do! Instead of complaining, learn to develop an attitude of gratitude. That’s right! I’m saying be thankful! Choosing a positive mental attitude will serve you better as you grow your small business.
Instead of complaining that taxes are too high, be thankful for the things we enjoy that these taxes pay for like roads, parks, and first responders. As an alternative to grumbling about government regulations, be grateful that we don’t live in a world of chaos. Focus on creating a company culture in which the “kids these days” can thrive and produce great things as opposed to griping about their lack of drive.
My point is this: When we complain we are out of alignment. We need to get in alignment with a definitive set of core values that allow us to reach our highest potential.
- arrangement in a straight line, or in correct or appropriate relative positions.
- a position of agreement or alliance.
In the examples above, when we have a victim attitude, we are stuck in the ditch of blaming and complaining. A positive mental attitude is one that takes responsibility for our thoughts. This will often result in gratitude. This is a shift in perception and a change in attitude based on alignment with our values. This is alignment with a higher value that can contribute to our success! After all, it is a personal choice that you must make. Otherwise, you are getting pushed around by the world. What I’m talking about here, is the maturation of your internal attitude compass that directs your thoughts, decisions, and actions.
This is really a big deal! Until you work out your values in each area of your life you will drift aimlessly. You will wonder, “Why me?”, or think, “Life is not fair!”, or whatever other excuses you make up.
You must be intentional and be the director of your life. Be 100% responsible! Decide who you want to become in your character, in your health, in your relationships, and in your business.
Have you ever driven a car that is not in good alignment? You can feel the wheels on the pavement pulling against each other.
The problems with misalignment are:
- Your car is inefficient, using more energy than necessary to move.
- Your tires will wear out much faster.
- Your car will swerve or pull in the wrong direction on the road.
Like the car in the example above, your attitude ends up in the ditch. My suggestion is to select 3 to 5 core values. The values you select will embody your character and define your reputation.
- Mental or moral qualities that lead to behavior showing moral standards.
- One’s judgment of what is important, worth, held to deserve.
Simply put, our values guide our behavior, our decisions, and our actions. They direct us toward the best path! We should have a clearly defined set of values. When we make a mistake, our values speak to us and influence us to “get out of the ditch”.
Some examples of values are:
Integrity – A quality of being honest and morally upright.
Courage – The strength of will to overcome the instinct of fear.
Compassion – Warmth, understanding, and empathy.
Gratitude – Thankfulness, ready to show appreciation and return kindness.
You are the creator of your own destiny! You are the creator of your character! Decide now to begin building a character that unleashes your highest potential. Make a firm commitment, a decision, that these are my guideposts and “This is how I roll!”. By aligning with our clearly defined values we move toward our maximum potential and release personal growth.
My personal set of chosen core virtues are: P.E.A.K
P – Patience
E – Equanimity
A – Affection
K – Kindness
For me, the P.E.A.K. acronym represents a path toward the peak of the mountain top of excellent character. I chose these as my focus virtues because I felt I was weak in these areas and I needed improvement.
I also adopted a personal mantra: “Do the next right thing”. This mantra represents integrity, honesty, and courage. I remind myself daily of my P.E.A.K. values and I repeat my mantra daily. That’s right! I wake up each day and I remind myself of my values.
When difficult decisions and temptations come, I’m equipped to make the right decision because I have rooted myself in this philosophy. I am prepared mentally, and I have determined in advance what course of action I will take. My path is defined and marked by these guideposts. I have defined who I am clearly and, over time, I have identified with this creation. I have created my identity in advance, and my identity is aligned with my core virtues. I’m in alignment!
Now, let’s get real. I have weak moments when I make mistakes, occasions of bad judgment, or I get lazy. What happens when I’m out of alignment? I know it deep inside and I can feel it. I know deep down, that I’m in a ditch and need to get back in alignment!
How to define your personal “core values”:
- Thoughtfully examine who you are now.
- Know your weaknesses
- Be honest with yourself first.
- Be willing to admit where you are “missing the mark”.
- Identify what virtue needs strengthening.
- Know your strengths
- What do you do well?
- How could you enhance this trait?
- How can you use this for good?
- Know your weaknesses
- Decide who do you want to become.
- 5 years from now
- At the end your of life
- Make a list from your new awareness that your chosen virtues will embody.
- Write them down and repeat them every day! Yes, every day! I will show you how to do this daily as a part of your morning routine later.
As you focus on building a specific value, such as patience, you will find that your ability to show understanding and compassion will improve as a result of being more patient. This is your process of personal growth, aligning with your highest-potential, improving your character and in alignment.
This is your road to truth, power, and love!
Thank you for taking time to explore this subject with me! Reach out to us to learn more about our company and how we can help you reach your greatest potential. Be sure and subscribe to our blog and stay tuned as next time we discuss …
Forward Thinking. Future Progress!
G. David Chappell, CPA, PFS