Survive or Thrive. ….It’s a Choice.

600_EA_GraphWe have choices. I am not the first person to offer that sage advice and certainly I will not be the last. I have just returned from a week of delivering keynotes for the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council or WBENC. This was my second time keynoting for them and everytime I visit with this organization, I am amazed at the positivity of the women entrepreneurs who make up the membership. Their stories of how they have started their businesses and grown them are all motivating examples of making a choice to thrive and not just survive.

How do you view your position in the business world? As a survivor or a thriver? Allow me to share a view observations from the WBENC world of people who have made a choice to thrive.

  1. Unbridled optimism. Every single person I encountered had a story of how they started their business and how the one constant was an unbroken sense and steadfast and unwavering belief that they would make it. Somehow, someway they would end up on top. That optimism is very contagious and they thrive because of their ability to imbue others with the same optimism.infusionsoft-thrive-365-small-business-300x257
  2. Solid Business Plans. These ladies all had business plans that were vetted and thought through. They had a incredible virtual teams that they relied on to help them make good decisions. Yes, of course their were many cases of winging it or flying by the seat of their pants. They all had stories of how their business plans had morphed and changed so many times that they lost count. Ther common thread was they had a belief in their idea and they made a choice not do it half way.
  3. Hubris out. Passion in. Arrogance and attitude are absent. Entitlement is absent. Passion for learning, contributing and sharing best practices was everywhere. An ease with each other that is not always easy to achieve. I love it.
  4. Willingness to Learn. The one thing that any speaker wants is an audience that is eager and capable of learning. There is no “you have nothing I haven’t heard already” attitude. Everyone is present and engaged. Taking notes and asking great questions. A willingness to admit that you don’t know it all. From my perspective, that attitude is profoundly refreshing and inspiring. I want to work harder and give more.
  5. Vulnerability is Cool. This one of my favorite topics on how to build a sales culture. I had a great chat with one lady who has won national awards and received accolades for her high growth business. She allowed herself to be vulnerable, open and humble. Approachable and smiling. She was never full of herself. “Vulnerability is money in the bank.”
  6. It’s the Journey. I think that great business people know that they never quite arrive – they are always investing, reinventing and demonstrating a desire to change and renew. That’s the journey and that is whats makes it fun! Surviving is being stuck and thriving is doing what you need to create a journey of successful interactions and experiences.

All of these qualities were on full display for the entire event. A willingness to share and help others and a spirit of cooperation. Every single person there had made a conscious decision to thrive and not just survive. In fact what was so remarkable was that many of reasons why these ladies started their business were out of a need to survive. Perhaps its a need to survive that fuels the choice to thrive.

About the Author:

Todd Cohen, CSP is an accomplished and sought after international keynote speaker, sales culture expert and author of “Everyone’s in Sales” and “STOP Apologizing and Start Selling”

Todd’s dynamic and motivational keynotes and workshops are based on the foundation that regardless of career path or position, everyone is a salesperson. Since 1984, Todd has led sales teams to deliver more than $950 million in revenue for leading companies including Xerox and Thomson-Reuters.

You can also see Todd’s articles on Sales Culture in many magazines, trade journals and the Huffington Post.  

For more information or to book Todd Cohen for your next meeting please

Follow Todd on Twitter @SalesLeaderTodd.

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