TJ McCue is a contributor to Forbes Magazine and in his column highlighted a book by Laurence Gonzales…Deep Survival, where Gonzales offers a list of "12 Rules of Adventure” I think it is an outstanding list to take to heart when working on your business development. First of all think of business development as an adventure… not something to endure but something to enjoy.
Here are Gonzales’s 12 Rules of Adventure and McCue’s comments on each…
1. Perceive, believe (look, see, believe).
Accept the reality of your situation, whatever it is. Then keep moving toward the outcome you desire. Stop seeing obstacles.
2. Stay calm (use humor, fear to focus).
Don’t be ruled by fear. Keeping calm in the face of slow sales or lost accounts is possible. Not easy, but possible.
3. Think/analyze/plan (get organized).
Set up routines where you can exercise discipline. Even if those routines are small and basic. One foot in front of the other.
4. Take correct, decisive action (be bold and cautious while carrying out tasks).
This includes risks to save yourself and others. Make a decision and stick with it. Anita Campbell at Small Business Trends shared a post recently that suggested you could be the problem in your business if you are innovating too often.
5. Celebrate your successes (take joy in completing tasks).
Even the smallest victories can bring satisfaction.
6. Count your blessings (be grateful – you’re alive).
Gratitude is often cited as one of the healthiest attitudes you can maintain.
7. Play (sing, play mind games, recite poetry, count anything, do mathematical problems in your head).
This keeps your brain engaged and why affirmations, repeating a favorite motivational quote repeatedly can often help you through a tough time. It is why many people talk about the power of prayer.
8. See the beauty (remember: it’s a vision quest).
Allowing the beauty of life to enter your mind and heart will relieve stress. You have to see the beauty in small wins, tiny details, things that are going right.
9. Believe that you will succeed (develop a deep conviction that you’ll live).
Stay determined and focused.
10. Surrender (let go of your fear of dying; “put away the pain”).
This is a tricky one for a small business owner, but my takeaway is that you have to ease up a bit, release your grip, or stop the control freak tendency. One survivor said it is “resignation without giving up.”
11. Do whatever is necessary (be determined; have the will and the skill).
I read this as a combination of facing reality and having an inventor, MacGyver-like approach that you can figure out how to fix anything.
12. Never give up (let nothing break your spirit).
You can always make one more call, take one more step. Business is constantly changing and you change with it. There may be a second recession, incomes may go down, unemployment may go up, but you’ll keep moving toward keeping your business alive, and successful.
I agree with McCue’s comments and would encourage you to print this list and keep it on your desk to remind you that YOU can do this… this initiative of developing a book of business. Are you up for the task? Then get started on Gonzales’s list and remember to make it an adventure!