Unexpected things happen in life. One day we’re out in the sun, and the next we’re deep in the storm. As the old cliché says, everything happens for a reason. When one door shuts, a window opens. If you find yourself in the center of all the darkness, think of how you can turn that around into light. This is what Ken calls the spin, and we must learn the art of flipping the switch that will see every failure as a path towards something better.
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I’m titling this The Spin. I did episode 203 on the fact that attitude is not circumstantial. What do you do mentally when you are dealt a blow? What do you do when you get figuratively punched in the face? You’ve read in the previous episode, I walked into my office. I work in the basement. It was raining as we’ve never seen before. There were trees that were knocked over across the lake. I could see them physically blown over. It was terrible. My office was underwater. It was all full of mold. It was disgusting. I should be angry, but it’s fun. Here’s the question though. What do you do when your daughter rolls her car as mine did? What do you do when you’re backing up heading to an event? You don’t wait long enough for the whole garage door to go up and ruin your car and the garage door. What do you do when somebody that wires you a very large number on a monthly basis calls you and says, “We didn’t get paid this month. We can’t wire you,” and all of your payrolls are dependent on that?
It happened to me in 1997. Here’s what you do. You master the art of the spin. How do we spin this into something positive? We all hear the old cliché, “When one door shuts, a window opens.” Here’s the deal. What if everything crappy that happens to you, what if everything that hurts so badly temporarily had to have happened for you to make a change in the right direction? I can’t remember the book, but it was written in the ’40s or ’50s and it was all about somebody who went proving that everything that was tremendously painful in your life was there for a reason. It was outside of a relative dying on you, but it was poignant. The point is what’s the spin? What’s the positive about my carpet being full of mold? I guarantee you there’s got to be two to three things that are going to come out of this.When one door shuts, a window opens. Click To Tweet
Number one would be what about a new office? I have three soon to be four massive framed-in-glass Inc. 5000 awards. It’s a little gaudy to have four of them on the walls. I’ve got stuff from high school and college. Maybe it’s time that I redo every wall in my office and do a complete vision board for the next fifteen years. I didn’t know it, maybe there was already mold under the carpet, but I didn’t check. Maybe it’s time to simplify my life and become a minimalist a little bit and get rid of them. I’m not exaggerating the 1,000 tchotchkes that I’ve collected from traveling in the last 25 years. The question is this, anything that is pressing upon you, it’s tough and you feel the burn. You wake up thinking about it. You go to sleep thinking about it.
What if you had to ask yourself, “Once I get through this, what three things could possibly be incredibly positive?” It’s not just a little bit. What could be incredibly positive on the other end? What if you’re currently broke? Between ’97 and ’99, I could not wait to be broke. We were so far in debt. Each of our three main accounts had an average balance of negative $3,000. Each of our three accounts for nineteen months was under zero by about $3,000 and we were doing millions of dollars a year in revenue. We had cashflow, but we had no liquidity. We had no cash. None of the debit cards or credit cards worked at any given time. We had a miscarriage. We had a sales rep die of a heart attack at our sales meeting. It was brutal.
The question is what positive could possibly come out of nineteen months of severe financial distraught? Some of you know the story of our video store chain falling apart. Everything was imploding. The sky looked gray. It was brutal. I made a vow in October of 1999 that I would never let my company ever get in this position again. It took ten years to find it, but I set a course to find out how I can create dozens if not hundreds of independent revenue streams so that my family, my kids, my grandkids, my great grandkids will never be in want again. What can I do as one person to build a legacy for the Courtrights? It took ten years, but I figured it out. That’s an extremely positive thing that came out of an extreme negative. The next time you’re faced with a storm, I’m going to guess a third of you right now are in a deep storm reading this, once you get through it and you will, what three things could be extremely positive on the other side? I hope this helps. Take care.