Members often tell me, “I wish I had known about info-marketing before; I would have made a lot more money.” I’m always polite when someone says this; however, this type of thinking is a symptom of a larger problem.
When we look back on an unpleasant situation in our lives, thoughts like these often occur: I wish I hadn’t said that; I wish I had done things differently; I wish I had stayed home that night. A lot of us have lost our heads in the heat of the moment, and then, looking back, we have thought of the one thing we could have done differently that would have changed everything. That is exactly the wrong way to think. Instead, we should recognize that we created those bad circumstances because we weren’t focused on the present moment.
It’s like driving down the road in your car looking only through your rear-view mirror, extremely dangerous. However, at least that isn’t as bad as never getting into the car at all, afraid of what might happen to you if you ventured out.
During Brett Farve’s NFL career he was considered a brilliant competitor. Farve was able to improvise, to react to present circumstances in new ways. In 1994, playing in the first Division Title game for the Green Bay Packers in 25 years, with no time outs, no time left and on the 10 yard line, Coach Holmgren told Farve to make sure he didn’t run the ball because if he didn’t get into the end zone the game would be over. Farve dropped back, saw an opening and dashed toward the goal line. He dove into the end zone in front of two defenders for the game-winning touchdown.
Brett Farve made a decision in the moment. He was aware of present situations and opportunities, and he didn’t let his or someone else’s past mistakes dictate what he did when he needed to do it. A lot of Dallas Cowboys fans criticize Brett Farve’s mistakes and interceptions. He made a bunch of them. However, the Dallas Cowboys never had a quarterback that won as many games and had as many playoff victories as Brett Farve did for the Packers. Farve built a career by living in the moment.
We all make mistakes. Some cost you money, others cost you injuries and others may get you into legal trouble. But the biggest mistake is letting your past dictate your future. You cannot feel bad about mistakes you made 10 years ago, 5 months ago or even 2 minutes ago. Repair what you can based on what’s the most productive action you can take right now to build your business and your life.
And about wishing you had discovered earlier the best ways to run a business? Yes, I’d love to have learned how to run my business better a long time ago. I wish I had all that money back that I lost, all those missed opportunities. However, that kind of thinking only distracts you and me from our focus on the present.
What’s worse is a worry about the future. What’s going to happen if when we launch our new product? What’s going to happen when I deliver this brand new sales presentation? What’s that knock-off artist doing in my niche stealing my ideas and customers?
It’s important to look at trends, but we all must act in the present, working right now on the most important tasks to move our business forward. Anytime you catch yourself regretting the past or worrying about the future, snap yourself out of it by asking yourself “What am I doing NOW to grow my business?” If you can do something that’s constructive about the future or the past, then do it. If you can’t, then focus on the things you can do.
Do you agree, disagree or have an experience to share? What came to your mind as you read this? Let me know your thoughts below? I read every comment and reply when appropriate.