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Fatboy Business Minute: Believe


It’s time to update everyone on the biggest part of my life: our business. Things have been hopping ever since I spent some time with my mentor and coach in December. He flew down to speak at a local conference, so I picked him up at the airport and spent the better part of the day with him. We agreed on a trade: he equips me with tools and knowledge that boosts the business and I outfit him with a new website design that rocks his world and brings in more e-mail subscribers than his current rate.

So far, so good. December was something ridiculous – like $40 off our monthly record (set in June 2011) – and January was good, followed by our best February ever. Best by a wide margin. Why?

I believed it would be good.

No, this isn’t some new age crap that you get off late night infomercials. I’m talking about real, tangible goodness that happens when you believe. You see, believing isn’t about positive thoughts.

True belief implies action.

If you don’t believe something, it won’t have an impact on your actions. If you don’t believe you’ll get a promotion, job, raise, good doctor’s report, you won’t act like you will. Things start to slide. You’ll come in late, slack off, give an attitude. I know! I’ve been there. I’ve done that. You think you’ll go on IVs, so it’s okay to skip some meds or not do everything you can – be it resting or exercising – to kick the bug. I’ve got that t-shirt as well.

February 2009, we did well only because it was our first month and I had people lined up to work with. February 2010, we didn’t even make enough to pay the mortgage, let alone everything else. February 2011 wasn’t much better; just enough to pay the mortgage. I had some sort of February curse. All we could think of was post Christmas bills and people saving up for taxes – people who pay for my services generally owe a lot of taxes.

I told the entire previous paragraph to my coach over  a coffee and a hot chocolate. I started to crack a smile halfway through and capped my sob story off with a laugh. “Don’t think like that! You can’t let the past dictate your future!”

Read that again. “Don’t think like that! You can’t let the past dictate your future!”

I had been planning for months for February like some international freeze on my reputation and projects was going to go into effect on February 1st. We’d trained ourselves to squirrel away funds from as many of the previous months as possible to ward off yet another bad February. Knowing February was coming had me feeling guilty over spending $8 on some food at an industry meetup because I was taking a square meal off our table when the famine hit.

“Don’t think like that! You can’t let the past dictate your future!”

I set it in my mind that we were going to have a good month, but it was still going to take some work. There had to be some plan in place to generate interest that wasn’t there in past Februaries and a plan to land enough work to avoid digging into our reserves. We did that, and people came. It was just like in Field of Dreams: we built it and they came.

What are you not believing in that you deserve? What will it take for you to believe it will come to fruition?