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Growing up in a small town in Louisiana taught me so much about life. I was use to having so many siblings and cousins around daily that I never realize all the things I learned from them. There were literally over 35 of us in school at the same time and we all lived within blocks of each other. At a recent get together it became very clear that dealing with that many different personalities taught me invaluable lessons that have helped me in business.

No one can read your mind. If you want something be prepared to ask or go without. Why go through all the hassle of courting a lead and not ask for the sale? Let potential clients know exactly what you want from them. Leave out no details. Make sure when you are done any question they could have asked was covered. This is the time to be sure and steady not fickle or scared. All they can say is yes or no. You won’t die. I promise, you won’t.

In my family you didn’t always have a chance to say something, so when you did you had to make it count. First, have your facts together. Nothing kills a pitch more than one miss quoted statistic. A misspoken quote will lose your audience faster than misspelled words on a resume. It can invalidate every useful thing you’ve said, create mistrust and make your listener less likely to consider you in the future. Get your facts straight or keep quiet until you do.

Suck it up butter cup. You cannot control what people say or do. You can control how you respond to it. So what! Your business mentor said/did hurt your feelings. Ask yourself; Was it true? If it wasn’t true how can you benefit from the experience? Maybe you can treat others better. Maybe you can make the changes they suggested. Even if they came to you in a way that was unpleasant, ultimately you benefit from knowing the truth. Get off your high horse and stay teachable.

Growing up in a large family can be a two edged sword. Large families are great for support but tend to have traditions and may be very critical of change. You must find the balance between being a team player and being strong enough to stand on your own two feet without the validation of others. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Once I learned to be myself and stand my ground, they got over the fact that some of the things I did were different than the way that we normally did. Don’t argue. Just live. Just be. In business you have more downs than ups and most of the time no one seems to understand. You have to have something in you that tells you to keep pushing. It is YOUR job to keep yourself motivated. Be self validating.

Things happen to everyone. The same things happened to your business that happened to a million other businesses. Why do you feel you’re so special that nothing bad can ever happen to you or your family or the people you love?  When you begin to embrace the challenges as learning tools, as refinement? Get over it now. Acknowledge your feelings about it. Embrace them and realize that its a part of life.

What do you think? Leave you comments below.