I love discovering someone’s story. What are their interests, beliefs and their why? What are their habits and rituals? Was there a moment that changed everything and triggered a powerful, positive shift?
Recently, an uber-successful businessman told me his story. He told me about being on top, crashing to the bottom, and rebuilding even better. A few years ago, he seemed to have every area of his life clicking along in fifth gear…lots of profitable businesses, a happy home and family life, and excellent physical health. Alas, he made an off-the-cuff comment to one of his associates about wanting to get out of business. He said, “I’ve had enough. I want to do something else.”
Words matter. He put it out there…and he got it. The dominos started to fall and he lost just about everything. He’d taken his eye off the financials. He neglected the good people who worked for him. The cracks opened and his businesses failed. His family relationships fell apart.
Wow. I was eager to know, “What did you learn? How did you recover?”
He replied, “Deep down, I knew I could rebuild. I had built a life I loved and I could do it again. My wife expressed her belief in me. My mom and sister did, too. At first, it was survival. I did what I could think to do to make progress. As I started to see results, I could take a broader view. I decided to adopt better thoughts and actions. I started reading great books, and listening to Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn and Zig Ziglar.”
He continued, “Every great leader talks about gratitude. So, I started to write down what I was grateful for every day. That stopped the downward spiral. I had been taking everything and everyone for granted, as evidenced by that thoughtless remark. Once I focused on all the good things that I had, life started to turn around for me.”