An entrepreneur never likes surprises that can upset or damage their business or life. Yet, surprises show up, and sometimes they’re pretty lousy game changers.
The good news is that these challenges can be predicted, mitigated or eliminated.
Accentuate The Positive and Illuminate The Negative. These are actually two separate concepts: Accentuate The Positive and Illuminate The Negative. Placed together, we call this the Illuminate Model; an entrepreneurial skill used to stave off many painful ‘surprises’ and achieve greater results.
Take a look at the bookshelves at the major book stores – There are literally thousands of books and chapters on the subject of Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) and for good reason; there's a high correlation between a PMA and happiness, success and achievement. It’s a no brainer.
Now look at Illuminate The Negative. Why on earth would anyone want to do that? There certainly aren’t volumes of books and chapters on that concept. What could this possibly mean and what’s the value to the business professional?
Let's face it, negatives pop up in life and that’s a fact. Like weeds, they need no watering to grow, no care and attention to thrive, they just pop up and take on a life of their own. So, what do we do?
If you are like most people you probably try to avoid them like the plague. But nowhere in the PMA literature does it suggest that we ignore, suppress or eliminate the negatives.
Fact is the more you keep the negatives in the dark, the more likely they grow. Like mushrooms they seem to multiply faster in dark environments. And that’s the breeding ground for issues and challenges to grow up large enough to jump up and bite you where it hurts. And that’s where many of these ‘negative surprises’ come from.
Yet when we illuminate these issues as they come up, we’ve found that, like a Vampire, they often disappear when illuminated in the light of day.
Hence the name - ILLUMINATE! Shine the light on the negative situation or issue and confront it head on. Rather than turning your back on it, point your nose at it and face it- literally.
In life, in business, in relationships, chances are that ‘we can’t solve everything we face and we can’t solve anything unless we face it”.
Since time immemorial a common thread running between those who succeed, innovate and achieve their dreams is one word: courage.
The courage to face fears as well as the courage to face the unknown. And why do people shy away from addressing these negative issues? Having worked with thousands of people over the years, we’ve observed that most seem to shy away from negatives because they just don’t have the resources to ‘solve them’, ‘cure them’ or ‘make them go away’.
The Illuminate The Negative Model has three simple steps; simple but not always easy. Your effectiveness with these steps is a function of your courage, confidence and comfort with vulnerability… especially if you don't immediately have the resources of time, money or knowledge.
Illuminate the Negative is a three step model for entrepreneurial success.
1. Face It
When confronted with a negative situation, challenge or threat, take note of it and assume that it’s real. It might not be… but that’s for you to decide after serious consideration because it’s data. And it’s always dangerous to dismiss this information without consideration. The risk/reward equation here is enormous.
If you manage or supervise others who bring a ‘negative’ issue to you, you're strongly advised to take it seriously. Face it. Acknowledge it and give thanks to the bearer of this information. Be open with yourself and others. If you don’t agree, for example, that the negative observation is valid, be honest and say so. Then, commit to following up and considering it care-fully… and, for goodness sake, do it! There is no greater way to demoralize and disenfranchise an employee than to placate them.
One creative entrepreneur we worked with created and memorized the following statement for this situation, “…and while I don’t see it that way right now I hereby commit to considering your viewpoint very carefully because I really respect your opinion. So let’s regroup on this on…..”
Create a habit in your life to allow for and even ‘celebrate’ the realization, recognition and awareness of these seemingly negatives issues because they can be the starting point of a significant breakthrough.
2. Follow it
Play a game of investigator and follow clues as to what caused it, what and who it effects, what’s keeping it alive and whether it’s worth the deployment of time, attention and other resources to mitigate.
3. Fix it
Here you want to put in the systems that address the issue, to reduce or eliminate its impact and influence. And it’s not always a ‘fix’ per se, it’s often a calibration of the impact. Either way, it’s a significant improvement as you go on your way.
Start right now. What are you in need of illuminating? What might be holding you back right now? Ask yourself. Ask your confidants. What is it that might be a sticking point for your desired result right now?
So now when you or one of your confidants discovers an area where there may be some avoidance or denial in your life…. situate yourself in a quiet place, get out a notepad, break out your new entrepreneurial skill and Illuminate away; Face It, Follow It and Fix It.
The Master Key to Entrepreneurial Success? Maybe it’s an overstatement. But count on this; when you put this model to use…Illuminate the Negative in a Positive light, and do it courageously, honestly and with vulnerability, you will expand in all areas of your business.