We create frames for every situation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In business, problems are a fact of life. Entrepreneurs especially are subjected to major challenges on a daily basis, which stems from the fact that running a business puts you in contact with as much opportunity for mishap as being in an active war zone. On any given day, entrepreneurs are fighting aggressive competitors, hiring and maintaining a staff, satisfying unruly customers, tracking government regulations–the list of tasks is long indeed. One would reason that successful entrepreneurs must have a strategy for navigating these inevitable difficulties. They do.
The good news here is that the most powerful tool for success in dealing with adversity is both free for the taking, and easy to explain: It is called the “Positive Frame“, and as and entrepreneur, you should always carry it with you in your back pocket.
When something happens that feels like it is going to de-rail your business or cause you difficulty, I recommend taking a moment and reframing it as an advantage. This is called the “Positive Frame” and it can revolutionize your relationship with your team members, and enhance your business outcomes in powerful ways. This reflex strategy comes from the simple realization that the actual impact of problems is largely determined by how we choose to respond to them.
The entrepreneur mindset of the Positive Frame begins with the unshakable belief that things will actually be better no matter what happens –and making an active choice to look at everything as an opportunity. This is a type of ‘Reality Distortion Field’ that serves as a powerful mechanism to surface your natural resourcefulness. By having the default reaction that every ‘problem’ is actually an opportunity, you maintain your clearest level of thinking and position yourself for success despite adversity. Beyond any simple recitation of words, living in the Positive Frame opens you to the field of best available outcomesin every circumstance. Here are some examples of the Positive Frame at work:
Our largest client is going out of business – ”This is a long-awaited opportunity to diversify our revenue base. This might be hard for a few months, but it is just what we need to get to the next level.”
Our sales numbers are down 10% – ”This is a great opportunity to really get into the mind of our customers and refine our product and messaging to come back stronger than ever.”
The opposite of the Positive Frame is to view everything as problematic — the “Negative Frame.” I know very smart people who live within a Negative Frame, and it hangs around their necks like a 500 lb. yoke of rusted iron. The sheer weight and drag of the Negative Frame can make even getting up from their desk a difficult task. People suffer greatly when they choose a problem-based world view, though this frame of their own creation seems natural and correct to them. Undeniable even. The Negative Frame is a very successful-feeling model because everywhere you look you will find problems if you expect to see them. In fact, we are such active participants in the creation of our worlds that if you expect opportunity, discrimination, or even communist conspiracies as you go through your life you will find evidence to support those biases as well. The problem-based world view is a common one in which the observer will often end up end up physically manifesting their actively-created problematic reality as knotted muscles, indigestion, headaches, and a pinched expression on the face. Ouch. (Fair disclosure: I used to be that person.) The irony is that if you take the same situations and choose to view them as opportunities, you are also right!
Choosing the opportunity-based worldview of the Positive Frame, feels oh-so-much more fun, engaging and productive than the problem-based one. The Positive Frame also allows you to stay creative, engaged and effective when those around you need it the most. This clarity and direction in crisis is at the core of effective leadership, and is an essential tool that you can start using today.
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