The “Eliminator” Entrepreneur

What do you think of when you hear the word “elimination?” Does it have a positive or negative connotation? What could “elimination” possibly have to do with entrepreneurship? Is it a sinister plot to get rid of the competition? Happily, “elimination” is a very positive concept for entrepreneurs. Let me explain.

Nature has installed a regular elimination process within our bodies. We eat and drink foods and liquids which provide nourishment. But not all of what we consume is useful and our system eliminates this as waste. If this elimination process did not exist, we would eventually become so bloated we would explode – or at least that’s my speculation!

I read a staggering statistic recently. Apparently, the National Science Foundation published a paper in 2005 stating that the average person has between 12,000 and 60,000 thoughts per day! The paper went on to say that 80% of our thoughts are negative and 95% of them are repetitive. If true, this is astounding. It’s no wonder that the older we get, the harder it seems to remember things – it’s probably because our minds are so cluttered with the cumulative effect of our thoughts.

So, what does this mean for us as entrepreneurs? Having a fresh mind that can think clearly is paramount to our success. And of course, mental clutter and negative thoughts impede our creativity. If 80% of our thoughts are truly negative, we are living in a danger zone when it comes to flourishing entrepreneurship. It’s one thing to acknowledge that we need to change our mindset. But that is easier said than done. After years of “practice,” negative thoughts may come naturally to us.

The answer is to embrace a process of elimination. The first step is to realize when negative thoughts have crept into our consciousness. Keeping a “thought journal” for a few days might be helpful in this regard. Every time we have a negative thought, we write it down in our journal. In a short period of time, we will become very mindful of our thought patterns and identify the triggers for negative thinking. The second step is to eliminate negative thoughts. This might be accomplished in a symbolic way by taking the negative thoughts we’ve transferred into our journal, then tearing out the page at the end of the day and burning or destroying it in some manner.

Because nature abhors a vacuum, the elimination of negative thoughts will create a void into which we can pour positive thoughts. A few that come to mind are gratitude, enthusiasm, optimism, exhilaration, confidence, and fulfillment. It’s these positive nuggets that will provide us with the “entrepreneurial energy” to reach the pinnacle of success. Just remember that the elimination process is just as important as the positive thoughts we think. Without elimination, the negative thoughts of fear, lack, limitation, envy, jealousy, hurt and unworthiness, continue to hang around and fester. They make it that much harder to usher in the positive energy that allows us to thrive. The bottom line is that we must be very intentional about the process of elimination.

There’s one more thing we can do that will physically reinforce the notion of elimination to make way for greater good in our lives. If you are like me, we have all sorts of “stuff” that has accumulated over the years – material things in our garages, attics, basements, storage sheds – you name it and it’s probably there. While cleaning out these areas may not be our idea of a fun Saturday project, it certainly can be therapeutic when we see it working in tandem with eliminating negative mindsets. And it never ceases to amaze me that I save some of the darnedest things. For example, I received a monthly financial publication for decades and saved every one of them. I guess I figured that I might go back and look at them at some point in the future. Except that I never have – not one single time. And now all that information and more is easily available on the Internet. So, I found it somewhat liberating to get rid of all these magazines (and my house is less of a firetrap to boot). The point is that eliminating unneeded physical possessions is an act that supports the elimination of unneeded and unwanted thoughts of the mind.

Entrepreneurial energy can be gained when we intentionally practice the process of eliminating negative thinking. Then the creativity and positivity that flows into the void will help propel our success like rocket fuel. 

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

Defaulting

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see these statements?

  • The dog ran away.
  • We didn’t get the Smith contract.
  • Our star salesperson just gave notice.
  • It may rain and keep us from teeing off at 4:00.
  • Your daughter just wrecked the car.

Your initial reaction to each of this less-than-stellar-pieces-of-news is your default thoughts. As humans, it’s natural for us to have an emotional response to many of the things we hear throughout the day. There may be moments of displeasure, irritation, dread, fear and even panic. We also have emotional responses to the positive things we are told or read. Many people experience highs and lows each day in this regard. And yet, it takes considerable energy to swing from one end of the spectrum to the other.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could re-pattern our default thinking on the downside? Well, we can but there are a couple of requisites. First, we must truly desire to change our default thinking, for without a compelling reason we’ll fall back into the default mode in short order. Second, we must be willing to take the steps necessary to make this change.

For me, the desire to change my default thinking centered on my understanding of positive and negative energy flows. I’ve written many times about the fact that negative energy creates a blockage for creativity and our ability to solve problems. Also, negative energy just plain doesn’t feel good. It’s kind of like burning the roof of my mouth on a piece of hot food – the sensation isn’t very pleasant. I realized that metaphorically burning the roof of my mouth several times each day just didn’t make any sense.

This led me to accept that I needed to take actionable steps to effect change. What worked for me was to intentionally spend a day taking inventory of the various negative reactions that I held. I wrote them down for further analysis at the end of the day. I didn’t try to change any of my thoughts during that day – I simply tried to be as normal with my thought process as possible. Upon review, I was able to see thought patterns emerging and could then identify alternative reactions for the future when faced with similar challenges.

I’m at the point now where I may still have a fleeting burst of negativity when I encounter a situation that’s not favorable. But I quickly recognize it and replace it with a much more positive reaction. For example, suppose I learned that a particular investor I was counting on had decided not to invest in one of our deals. The initial quick reaction might be, “Well, I certainly didn’t see that coming. We’re now under the gun to find the money.” This might be accompanied by a surge of adrenaline. But literally within seconds, I’m able to shift my thinking to, “But it’s OK because I have three other investors who have said they want to be in our deals. I know I’ll get one of them to sign on.” And a feeling of calm occurs at that point.

Quickly shifting out of default thinking in negative situations puts us on the road to solving problems and avoiding the emotional lows that we may experience. There is no question that our lives are richer and fuller when we maintain positive thoughts.

 This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

positive-thinking

The Jinx Factor

I was talking with a friend recently who was sharing information about an opportunity that was materializing for him. But he didn’t want to get too much into the details because in his words, he didn’t want to “jinx it.” The next day as I was taking my daily walk I started thinking about his comment. I know I’ve used the same phrase a few times, though I don’t really believe in jinxes. I’ll bet you have too. Then my thoughts expanded to go beyond the simple “jinx factor”.

Have you ever been in a place where everything seems to be going perfectly and then the following thought creeps into your mind . . . “what is going to go wrong?” Of course at the conscious level this is all about whether or not we deserve our good fortune. We’re so used to struggling and toiling that sometimes when the journey becomes smoother we can’t believe it will last and are conditioning ourselves for the next shoe to drop. I suppose this could be deemed the “jinx factor.”

I have come to a few realizations in this regard. Our mind is the most powerful organism in the universe. And we can create self-fulfilling prophesies. If we think something bad is about to interrupt our bliss, then we’ll probably find a way to make it happen. Another realization is the fact that whatever we attract in the way of a negative experience usually won’t be the result of something external. There are days when I drive the speed limit on a certain route and every stoplight turns red. Am I jinxed on those days? I think not. There are times when I think a business deal is done and then something over which I have no influence comes out of nowhere and blows it up. Did I somehow jinx the deal? I think not. External factors that are totally uncontrollable just happen. Did negative energy or bad karma draw them to us somehow? I doubt it. It’s that which we control with our mind and our being that matters.

This leads us to the final point of this discussion. Even joking that we “don’t want to jinx” something is an affirmation and affirmations have power. Instead of worrying about jinxes, we are better served visualizing and affirming favorable outcomes. Doing so aligns us with the positive energy that we need to impact that which we control in the desired manner. When we find that nagging thought entering our consciousness that says, “what is going to go wrong?” we recognize it, chase it away and replace it with an affirmation or a visualization of success.

Jinxes make for interesting novels or television programs but don’t exist in reality. On the other hand, the power of our mind is very real and can attract that which we affirm. Maintaining a positive focus on what we desire allows us to live without the fear that some outer force will deny us our good. In the infamous words of Groucho Marx, “A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere.”

black cat

A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Question: I can’t seem to get ahead financially. I save a little bit and the next thing I know something unexpected drains the bank account. This is really discouraging.

Answer: How many books and articles have been written about the subject of prosperity? The subject has been extensively dissected and there’s no doubt you will find some great techniques that may help you with your personal financial affairs. But that’s not what I want to explore with you.

I’d like to offer a concept called Intentional Abundance. I strongly believe that prosperity is a state of mind. It’s not externally generated and we’re not at the mercy of others when it comes to realizing our prosperity. When combined with various prosperity techniques, Intentional Abundance creates the mindset that is necessary to bring to bear the results that we seek. So what exactly is Intentional Abundance? Simply put, it means that we absolutely positively know with every fiber of our being that prosperity will be ours! Even when it may seem that abundance is a fleeting concept, if we remain steadfast with our belief that prosperity is ours to claim, it will ultimately be the truth.

Part of Intentional Abundance is the realization that prosperity is totally within our control. When we think, “Oh my, I don’t have enough money to pay the electric bill right now,” we’re affirming lack and limitation. Our minds are so powerful that this sort of affirmation can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, we must know that there’s no doubt about it that somehow we’ll find a way to pay the electric bill. I’ve been living my life this way for years. And here’s what’s so amazing. By having no worries or doubts, my prosperity flows from so many sources and at greater levels that one might call it Unexpected Abundance. Except that it’s not. In fact it’s Intentional Abundance.

We can all live a life of Intentional Abundance if we choose to. This mindset requires us to train our minds not to accept thoughts of lack, limitation, doubt and worry. Every time we feel such thoughts creeping into our consciousness, we must release them and replace them with positive thoughts of prosperity and abundance. Eventually the negative thoughts will no longer exist.

Intentional Abundance is a mindset of eager expectation. When we fully embrace it our financial needs will always be met above and beyond our wildest dreams.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

Prosperity