I recently saw an acronym for the word “real:”
I decided that those were the four areas that I would focus on for 2015… in my business and in my personal life. But here, I’d like to talk about business and this month I’m going to reflect on Attitude.
Attitude (at least an attitude of confidence) is one of the things I really struggle with — although most folks wouldn't know it. As soon as the phone rings, there's a smile in my voice. When I walk into a room, no matter how nervous I am, there's a smile on my face and a firm handshake for everyone I meet. I appear to exude confidence. But it's often a facade. While I am completely comfortable getting up in front of a room of strangers and giving a talk or a press conference, there's something about meeting people one-on-one that sometimes shakes me to the core. The worst part is, I know it's completely silly.
A few weeks ago, I went to a banquet with about 500 guests. I thought I might know a handful of people, but most of the folks there would be complete strangers. I was a nervous wreck. No matter how much I tried to go to my happy place, take deep breaths (breathe in Jesus.... breathe out junk!) it just wasn't working. Here's the thing, I also was receiving an award at the banquet so I would have to go up to the stage in front of these 500 people to accept the award and say a few words — about all of that, I was completely calm.
Attitude encompasses a lot of things. There's the outward attitude you project when you meet folks or talk to them, there's the attitude of confidence that you own and project for all things related to your business, there's the friendly, welcoming attitude you share when you meet someone for the first time, or see a long-time friend. But, my favorite attitude is compassion. Compassion is the attitude that has helped me the most in my personal life and in my business.
I came to truly embrace compassion about 12 years ago, while volunteering at a food pantry. Serving there most Saturdays became a big part of my life. And one of the things that I took away with me each week, was not only an attitude of gratitude, but an attitude of compassion. Compassion for those we were serving and for those who made it possible, through their donations, to serve. Compassion has served me well. As I've grown my business, it has infiltrated my relationships with my clients and those who provide services for my clients. Compassion has allowed me to be empathic with our clients when it is needed, but it's also allowed me to be honest and forthright — to say the things that need to be said, even when they are tough to say. All of this, I believe, is because of an attitude of compassion.
So, while I may often struggle with projecting an attitude of confidence and I have to dig down deep for the energy necessary to embrace that attitude, I've decided that the attitude that is most important to me, the one I really want to own, is an attitude of compassion.
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