Feeling stuck in neutral is common among many entrepreneurs, but Tim Sanders, the former executive of Yahoo, believes he has found the perfect recipe for lasting achievement and happiness. To Sanders, the key to everlasting business success is confidence.
Here’s an excerpt from a great article by Dave Smith.
When the mood surrounding your industry is dark and the outlook isn’t good, how can one truly find confidence? Should you fake it until they believe it, or does confidence need to be organic?
The trick is that mood isn’t reality. Napoleon Bonaparte said that the leader’s role is to define reality and then give hope. When disaster strikes, it’s really important for entrepreneurs to understand that it’s a great leveling of the playing field. All of the weakest people with the poorest media habits will be scared for a really long time. You cannot trust the media during a recession; the accuracy level of economic and financial reporting is so low on the back-end of these recessions, it is alarming. You just have to understand that this is a time where you’ve got to create a mastermind group of writers, journalists, and bloggers that you trust, you absolutely believe, that their editorial intent is accuracy above distribution, that they care more about being right than being big. That’s really important, and you have to reduce the number of lines of information you get, and cut off the bad news networks. Companies that do that, as a culture, will be able to make much better jumps and leaps.
If you looked at every recession since 1901, you always see entrepreneurs or organizations make great leaps during this down cycle before the recovery hits. In that tepid period, like we are right now and have been for the last two years, they always say that you’re three times more likely to make it during that period than a market top.
In 1932, Kellogg’s makes the move and jumps over Post after being the Yahoo! of search engines, and they do it because they release Rice Krispies in 1932 against all recommendations. They understood that the technicals were strong for a promotion of a new cereal, there was still market demand, that one slice of CPG wasn’t dead in the water, and they knew Post was going to sit around and ask themselves, “Is the Depression over?”
In 2001, the worst idea ever is to release the iPod when the dot-com crash was clearly on and Apple was taking a beating in the market. [Steve] Jobs noticed, though, that Sony, as a big slow company would be freaked out as much as he was, and they wouldn’t respond for a year or two. He really had to make that bet at that time because everybody had a Sony Walkman; if you told me that Apple would own the personal music device space in less than 24 months, I would’ve told you it had to be perfect timing. He had to do this when no one was watching, and that’s exactly what he did, and he did it again with the iPad.
How do companies do this? They do this because there’s a gap between the mood and the technical condition. In that gap is opportunity, but to seize that gap, you’ve got to have confidence.
It gets back to the whole idea that you have to feed your mind the right stuff, because the fear of poverty is incredibly big. That’s why Napoleon Hill wrote the book Think and Grow Rich in 1937: The fear of poverty, he thinks, is the greatest fear known to man. It’s something that entrepreneurs should take advantage of. I always increase my revenue and wealth personally in the most dramatic forms during recessions. If we didn’t have recessions, I don’t know what I would be doing right now.