Problem: How do you adopt a mindset that can turn every situation into an opportunity?
There’s a famous study that says the magic number of building a habit is 21 days. But research done by University College London concluded that the median amount of time necessary to build a new habit is 66 days. Creating a mindset that looks at challenges as opportunities takes a while to build. But, this is an intentional change. Usually, you want to rush things, get it done right away. You have to realize that to build this habit; you need to step back. Know that there’s enough time to achieve this, even though there’s this tendency to dive into it immediately. It’s also good to anticipate that habit formation will sometimes take a detour. How do you get and keep a mindset of turning challenges into opportunities?
I had all these to-do lists, these critical tasks, all these things that needed to be done. And they were just mounting. I remember driving to the office with my wife. I’m tired of these critical tasks and tired of these to-do lists. I’m tired of all these fires, and what I need is more opportunities. And I jokingly said, ‘You know what? I need everything to be an opportunity.’ I was cynical. I was being funny. I said, ‘You know, that person needs me to pay them X amount of money. That’s an opportunity. Oh, this client’s unhappy. That’s an opportunity. I need everything to be an opportunity if I’m tired. I wasn’t building today. I was building towards healing because I was just fed up. By the time we get to the parking garage, I feel oddly good. I didn’t set out to do that. I just set out to vent, but I feel pretty good. And so, the first thing I think people need to do Is to realize that gratitude does play a huge part.
The Grateful Mindset
With a gratitude mindset, you focus on the endless possibilities in business and life because you already appreciate what you have. When you cultivate gratitude, you begin to focus less on yourself and more on others. Taking your time to reflect on the unique position you’re in and being thankful makes it easier to focus on the reasons you’re doing what you’re doing.
That’s one of the things that I always tell people. Learn to be grateful because it’s challenging to be grateful and not to see the goodness and the possibilities that could be in your life.
Step # 1: Shift your mindset from victim to being in control
Life will always have ups and downs. There are times when things won’t go according to plan. Turning these challenges into opportunities means being accountable for the things that you do. Shifting to the driver’s seat mindset means taking responsibility even for the failures.
In a way to help me heal and to help me pay people off, I had to learn that I had the power. I was at the bank. I had the money that they wanted. And so, they were beholden to me. I wasn’t beholden to them. And once I started to make mental shifts like that, I started to have these just huge advancements. Now, some of them were much easier to appease to what I wanted to do. And some of them were not. We had a hard money lender that did everything but physically break my legs. They were brutal, to say the least, and they were the last ones I paid off. And it was hard to go with this mental shift. If you’re making this shift from the victim to being in control, you can act. Otherwise, it’s like a victim mindset. You will never be able to go anywhere. That’s really an important shift.
Step #2: Take care of yourself first
To take care of your affairs, you must take care of yourself. You will not find rest if you don’t give yourself a break. No matter how hard you work, you can’t keep on grinding forever. Without energy, you can’t solve problems, untangle knots, or run things.
I show up to $750,000 in debt. I was over a hundred pounds more than I weigh right now. It wasn’t until I finally. I was like, ‘You know what, I’ve got to start doing stuff like taking care of myself. And I have to do that. And you’re right. You get these thoughts and ideas. And when you allow yourself to do that, the irony is, my business is going better. My life is going better. My marriage is better. Everything goes better when I take care of myself.
Step # 3: Think of it as an opportunity pipeline
Don’t think of it as a resolution when changing your mindset and shifting to an opportunity mindset. It’s hard to turn a resolution into an opportunity. That’s because all you’ll see are the obstacles that you’ll encounter with this resolution. Instead, systematically turn your dreams into reality. Tab Pierce advises us to break down our goals into six parts. These parts are as follows:
- Identify six opportunities that will impact the year
- Choose major opportunities per week that will impact the month
- Set six things to do each day that will impact your week
I call them opportunities, six major opportunities a year. I have six major opportunities a month that happened to impact the year. I have six major opportunities a week that impact the month. And of course, then impact the year. And then I set six major opportunities a day or goals that impact and flow down into those. I chose six because that’s what’s meaningful to me. I mean, I thought four was too little. Seven automatically tips the scale, and it’s too much. So six, that’s my magic number
Step # 4: Let your ideas and thoughts percolate
While it’s good to act and achieve your plans, it also helps to let your thoughts brew for a while. Taking the time to think hard about your thoughts lets you refine your ideas. It gives you a fresh perspective on how to attack the problem.
So I give myself about 90 days to really think about it. To really percolate on it. To really come up with some great things. If they’re really good, then why should I change them? Now, as I said, with refiners, it was like, ‘I am trying to build a community. So if I can’t reach it this way, maybe I could reach the real objective another way. And I’m willing to do that.
Step # 5 Say them out loud
Verbalize your goals. Sometimes, people tend not to share or talk about their opportunity pipelines. That’s because they become vulnerable. They’re scared of letting people see them vulnerable. By acknowledging your inadequacies in front of others, you’re pushed to realize that you’re not perfect and there are things you can improve.
They don’t want to tell you their goals. They don’t want to tell you what they’re doing because they don’t want to be accountable. If they open up, they see it. Then they’re going to be vulnerable. Women are great because they’re like, ‘I’m going to do this.’ And they open up, and they talk. Men are like, ‘I don’t want to do that. And when I wrote the book Upsurge, I was completely vulnerable. You’re letting all these people know your inadequacies. And what I learned was that my inadequacies were actually my strength. I think the fact that I’m willing to go out and see. That I’m not perfect. That I’ve got all these things that I’m working on. It makes me stronger than the average person that just wants to internalize it and make people think that they’re great.
Step # 6 Anticipate detours; be prepared
Not all destinations follow a straight line. Occasionally, there are twists and turns. When you have everything planned out, it’s hard to accept that what you initially planned out didn’t work.
How should the team look at challenges?
(00:28:17) “But what we noticed is any client that really thinks about it profoundly and maybe does some pre-planning, we’re seeing them be able to keep another 15 to 20% of their profit back in their pocket. But for someone who is working so hard doing e-commerce, I think that’s a pretty big deal to add to the bottom line to the margins.”
This interview is part of the How We Solve podcast. To hear more from industry experts who are solving everyday business problems, check us out on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and on our website.
About the guest
When his business faltered, his mindset did too, and he fell into a deep depression. Everyone he turned to for advice told him to “Shut your doors and walk away”. Over the next three years, he dedicated his time and strength to save the business and improve his personal decisions, allowing him to rebuild and strengthen his business and regain control of his mindset. Out of necessity, he developed what is called the Opportunity Pipeline, the systematic approach that allowed him to turn Caliber around quicker. Currently, he teaches people how to take their vision to something measurable. Through his personal coaching community, the “Refiners” and his book “UPSURGE: Wreckage to Triumph, Rebuilding Your Personal and Business Life”, he brings all of his experiences from overcoming his personal obstacles to help other entrepreneurs build the business and life that they see for themselves.
How people can people reach the guest:
Tab Pierce’s Personal Website
LinkedIn: Tab Pierce