I’m a keen tennis ‘spectator’. Federer’s my main man. He’s calm and cool, going with the flow and making it all look oh-too-easy. The balls seem to be drawn back to him without any effort – how does he do that?
Nadal’s a live wire – it’s all about the struggle with him. He’s constantly pushing hard to win and he’s all about the battle. Then he gets another injury or a stomach virus that stops his game. Again. It all looks too tough. Watching him makes me wanna lie down in a dark room.
How sport is like business
Entrepreneurs are the same as sports stars in heaps of ways. Some of them enjoy the fight and feel they’ve only ‘made it’ if they’ve dragged themselves over the finish line. The more war wounds they have, the better. So, you were homeless for a few months and had to live in your car? You started your business when you had $100k debt, and now you’re a millionaire? You went bankrupt but kept going to achieve success second time round? Wowsers! *sarcastic voice*.
If you’re slap bang in the middle of a struggle yourself, it can be comforting to see somebody else has beaten the odds to make it. Take J.K. Rowling. She sat in cafes scribbling away to avoid paying to heat her house. Her first book was rejected by E-V-E-R-Y-B-O-D-Y. Her rags to riches fairytale is just as exciting as her books. Bloomsbury eventually picked it up but told her to go “get a day job” because she wasn’t going to make any money from it. (How stoopid must they feel now, right?!)
Yeah, this story tells aspiring authors there’s hope and that hard work can pay off blah-blah-blah… but reading about difficult journeys is hard, especially when you’re trying to clamber up your own mountain. Reading and watching negative things drags you down, when what you actually need is some positive energy to boost you to your goal.
Richard Branson dropped out of school at 16 and he was dyslexic. (Did you even know that? That’s because he’s not all about the struggle – see the difference?) He started up the business that turned into Virgin Records. Then he exploded into more industries. When I think about him, I’m inspired. He was gutted by the loss of his prized record company in the early ‘90s, but that only made him more determined. He brushed himself off and carried on going by getting back into the music industry through Virgin Radio and a second record company, V2. He doesn’t wallow in the difficult times – he gets on with running his businesses and moving them forward. For him, it’s not a battle or a war, it’s a crusade.
Since launching CUSP, I’ve become even more aware of the news stories I let into my life. I don’t want to hear how difficult life is for entrepreneurs. I’m choosing to hear the stories about ease and flow. I need things to be positive and encouraging. That’s what CUSP is all about – creating products that are easy and fun to use, that make your life simpler and, most important of all, things that take that struggle away.
I am CUSP, so I’m making sure a little piece of me is built into every single CUSP product: my positivity. Life isn’t meant to be hard – you have a choice. The more I stay focused on the positives, the easier my journey becomes. I chose ease and flow, every time. Do you?
Do you follow me over on Instagram? It’s my favourite place to hang out, and I’d love to see you over there.