I am sure that you, like me, have had days, or weeks or even months or years in your business that have felt tough.
Whatever the state of the economy there are always ups and downs in business and some things are more challenging than others. Whether it’s losing a client, or a member of staff, or chasing late payers or staving off the bank manager – there is always something to challenge us. But I don’t let that stuff bother me anymore.
I used to be a big stress head. I was Victor Meldrew in a car!! I used to spend my time telling people about the challenges that I had faced that day. And do you know what happens when you focus on something ? You get more of it. Focus on challenges and things that go wrong and guess what – more appears!

I learned this lesson from my best friend.

He was called Mark Sobey. Mark and I were the best of friends, we would spend long hours putting the world to rights over a glass (or two) of wine, and singing late into the night – annoying the neighbours or the stragglers at the bar. (Actually sometimes we got applause so we weren’t that bad !). We would also endeavour to out-hypochondriac each other – with one or other of us always worrying about some ache or pain – which was some serious disease (not).

Well one day my Mark called me on the phone, to go down to the staff car park (I thought he wanted to chat whilst having a cigarette – yes it was the 80’s when all sales people smoked!!). I went down and we stood outside – covered beneath the building but cold.

He smiled at me, and then my world changed forever.

He said to me “Hey, remember when I told you my arm felt funny and I thought I had Multiple Sclerosis and you told me to see a doctor? Well I did see a doctor and its not MS. Its Motor Neurone Disease.”

I felt like someone had ripped out my stomach and left a huge hole there. I didn’t know what to say, so I just hugged him and told him it would be OK.

And do you know what…….it was.

Oh there was no miracle. Mark died 3 years later aged 39. But do you know what happened in the meantime? He LIVED.

He never once moaned, or asked ‘Why Me?’. He traveled whilst he could, I lent him the money to go to Dubai till his pension came through. We laughed …a lot. The week before he passed when he was only able to talk by tapping with one finger on a keyboard – he was joking about a Korean football player being sent off in the World Cup not for bad football but for being too ugly!! I should have explained – Mark was gay and this was his sense of humour.

So – what I learned from my friend is that you can’t always control or choose what comes in to your life. Stuff happens. Late payers, unhappy clients, staff who want to move on, suppliers who let you down. Terminal illnesses.
But what you can choose 100% and have total control over…is how you deal with it. You can choose to be negative or you can choose to be positive. You can choose to laugh or you can choose to cry. You can bemoan your fate or you can get on with living.

Yes we are going through tough times – and you may or may not be suffering in your business. But whatever you are going through – it’s all part of life and if you choose to let it get you down, then it will. But if you choose like Mark to LIVE, to smile, to enjoy every one of life’s challenges……well done you…what a life you are living!!