Editor's Blog

Never Made a Putt...I Didn't Think Was Going In

January 23, 2011
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This blog is not about my golf game!

I use the example of my never making a putt because it’s true that when I don’t think a putt is going in it never does. And the point is that as long as you allow negative thoughts about what you really don’t want to linger, you’re highly unlikely to get the results you really want.  

My good buddy, who is also a writer in the contracting industry, had lunch with me the other day and we got to talking about the industry. He put down his hamburger and stared at me and then with a genuinely curious look asked me, “Al, you work and interact with so many contractors from so many different trades from all around the country. Why aren’t there more successful contractors with all the great information that’s out there?”  

I shot back, “It’s not a lack of information that’s holding them back based on the loads of emails I get from contractors and the numerous phone calls. The vast majority of them cut themselves off from ever experiencing the joy of owning and running a successful business by the thoughts and words they use to express their thinking about their business and many times their own life. I call them the seven deadly sins.”  

My friend nodded, “That makes a lot of sense!”

Taking The Test

Okay, it’s time to take the test.

How often do you find yourself thinking or saying anything like these 7 Deadly Sins?:
    1. “I’ll always have to work hard to eke out a living.”
    2. “I’ll never make any money in this business.”
    3. “Nobody charges what they need to charge, so I can’t raise my prices either.”
    4. “There isn’t anybody here who wants to help me. In fact, they sabotage my every effort.”
    5. “Customers are ONLY interested in the cheapest price.”
    6. “Customers and Staff are always trying to pull a fast one on me,  so I may as well take what I can from them, too.”
    7. “It won’t work here no matter how successful it’s been elsewhere.”
Here’s a quick exercise I like to do with clients to uncover these thoughts and words so we can rewire them to help us rather than hinder us:  

1. Take out a clean piece of paper and take 5 minutes to write out all the negative messages you catch yourself thinking or saying to yourself and go as fast as you can so you don’t try to filter yourself.  

2. Take out another piece of clean paper and put it next to this list and then try to rewrite each of these negative messages by replacing each with a positive restatement. The trick is to use words that aren’t negative in themselves like “stop,” “won’t” or “can’t”.  

3. When you’re done, go over to the shredder and watch yourself carefully as you insert the paper with the negative messages. This will reinforce in your mind a picture of these destructive thoughts being destroyed forever.  

4. Keep the Positive Statements paper someplace that you can look at it every day before you begin working. Remember, be kind to yourself and know you’re bound to stumble back to negative words and thoughts but also know you’ll catch them quicker.  

Want to really get good at this and change your business and your life?  

Do this exercise a year from now and I’ll bet you will find it easier to bring the lingering negative thoughts to mind and convert them into powerful Positive Statements!


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