Recently, I’ve been struggling with a bit of a negative attitude. I didn’t even realize I was falling into this trap until I heard some of my own advice repeated back to me by my mom of all people. And since I believe it helps both of us for you to know that I have some of the same gremlins you do, I thought I would share with you.
I want to make my messages as accessible to you as possible, so once again you have the choice of watching the video, listening to the audio, or reading the post. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to make it easier on you.
And before I continue I want to mention that the post is being sponsored by my new online course On The Air, how to use podcast, radio, and tv interviews to reach a wider audience, share your story, and promote your brand. It is available for sale on Gumroad and Selz
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It Takes Practice
I have often been asked on radio shows if its easy to stay positive and find the good in life. I always answer no it isn’t easy but anyone can do it with practice. And I’ve had a lot of practice.
In fact when I was still traveling with the carnival we had a saying. When we were at an event that didn’t go so well where no one came out or the event was ruined by rain. we called these a blank. And someone would always say this is terrible because we don’t need any more practice.
I’ve had lots of practice with staying positive since starting the blog. I have posted the wrong photo, recorded a video with no light on, posted to social media mentioning the wrong person’s name or wrong country, and quite often called someone him instead of her or vise versa. But I always learn from my mistakes and I often share them with you.
I believe this is important. I think people should know I am a real person who has his own gremlins to face. And even though I am a very positive person, I can have those moments or even longer periods where I am not the positive optimistic happy person I know I am at heart.
But I always get back to this person because I honestly believe every event, person, situation, etc is meant to teach us something. Its all meant for our good. I believe these storms that come into our lives are here to make us better people by teaching us a lesson, exposing an area of weakness, and forcing us to think about those parts of ourselves that we refuse to address. And sometimes God or the universe will force us to change. And quite often he does this through unusual people or circumstances.
Realizing I Was Being Negative
It started with my mom telling me I would just have to work harder next time, and it ended with an email about a zip line. I’m going to tell this story in reverse order, and I hope it makes sense to you. I apologize if it doesn’t.
You see my mom’s innocent comment planted a seed that would produce fruit when I got this email. So, I’ll tell you about the email and then I’ll explain why her words were important.
I got this email with the subject line “zip line?”. Now in my business of helping people sell new and used amusement equipment, this usually means do you have one for sale or do you still have the one you listed for sale.
I had been working on selling a zip line for a gentleman from New Zealand. He had recently written to tell me that they were pulling their item off the site for lack of any real interest. They also told me that they were going to turn their zip line into a ramp for a motorcycle stunt show. I had to mention that as it embodies the spirit of the amusement industry.
So, when I read this email from a lady in San Diego my first reaction was awe heck I don’t have one for sale any more. I was down about that. But in selling people’s rides and games there is a lot of up and down. I’ve gotten good at recovering quickly. But this time I actually put off opening that message.
Then when I did open it, it was from a woman in California wanting me to help her sell her zip line. She said that she had gotten my name from a company in Washington DC that I had sold a zip line for earlier this year. They told her that I might be able to help her with hers.
So, not only was it not bad news; it was great to hear I had gotten a referral. The people in DC wrote an amazing testimonial for my linked in page where they praised the work of me and my team and credited me for helping them sell a piece of equipment that had been very difficult to move. All good?
Big Wake Up Call
And this was a big wake up call for me. It reminded me that Max this isn’t who you are. You aren’t a negative person who is always expecting the worst. You are an optimistic happy can find the good in anything kind of person but this only works if you expect it.
So, I had to remind myself that I’m the kind of person who looks for and finds the good in anything. I’m the kind that expects opportunities to show up and who expects good things to happen.
I’m the kind who when the phone rings its not a telemarketer or bill collector its someone who wants to hire me, buy my course, book me for a radio show, order my book, etc. and even if they don’t do business with me I know I will have a good conversation and benefit from the experience whether they ever spend money with me or not.
And that’s what I hope you will learn to do in your own lives. I don’t have the magic bullet. All I can tell you is you have to decide you will find some good in each and every experience. It won’t always be easy to find, but its there if you look. And the more you do it the better you will get at it.
The Zip Line
Since it was this email and this ride that finished bringing me out of my funk, I thought it was something you might want to see. I am including a photo and the slide show of the unit. The seller wants $49,999 or best offer for the zip line and $15,000 OBO for the truck. I don’t have pictures of it. And she will probably take a package offer for both. I hope you don’t mind the off topic inclusion. 🙂
Zip Line Slideshow
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Are You Negative Without Knowing It
I included the zip line because it was an important event that made me realize just how negative I was becoming. And I want to ask you are you meeting your day with a negative attitude. You can be doing this without even thinking about it or meaning to.
Do you catch yourself frowning or making a sour face as you click the next email, text message, or voice mail? Do you start conversations wondering what they are mad at you for now or what do they need now? Are you thinking who is going to be the next one to scowl at you, point at you, or even yell at you? or do you think who is going to be the next to smile at you, give you a hug, tell you good job, or even have a great day and really mean it.
Do you get up to meet the next day expecting to have at least one amazing thing happen, or do you get up wanting to pull the covers back over your head before you even find out what time it is or what the weather is outside?
I’ve been there. I can remember working in collections in the Internal Revenue Service taking calls from angry tax payers and getting up every morning wondering why am I even going back there again.
Finally, I didn’t. I went back home to the family business. The business eventually folded. But even before that happened I had realized I no longer belonged there and had been moving towards something more satisfying. And now I do something I love and something that agrees with me.
First Step In Getting Positive Again
Well, I’ve run on so much I almost forgot to get to the first part of the story. I’m sorry about that, but I really believe in the power of a positive mindset and I sometimes do go a bit overboard. I hope you don’t think I’m preaching. And I hope you don’t stop reading. 🙂
It started with news about a kids park train I had been working on selling. I thought I had it sold to a park in Colorado. The people fell in love with the train and were working on raising the money for it.
The owner emailed me to say that he had found a buyer. Like a lot of my sellers, he had been running ads on his own including some on craigslist. I often use craigslist myself to drive traffic to a particular ad. I had done so in this case. The buyer saw his ad and not mine. I have verified this.
But it turned out the buyer was from Spring Texas literally just up the road. Its less than 30 miles from my house. And the buyer purchased it to put in their pasture for their grandkids to ride on it. Something I had been pushing in my own promotion of the train.
But what made it worse was my mom’s reaction. She said well next time you will just have to work harder.
Yes, this is something I would have told them and what I would usually be saying to myself. I’d be wondering what can I do next time that I didn’t do this time.
Usually, that would be the case. But this time I went back to my room down and a bit defeated thinking what else does she think I can do. How much harder can I work. It seems like I’m working constantly as it is. Thinking back I believe I was a little mad at her.
But I believe her comment was what got me started moving in the right direction. To have someone throw your own words back at you even when they meant them in a good way can have that effect. And yes I know I am now inviting you to do the same in the area of positive thinking and having a good mental attitude.
The owner of the train then made a kind offer. He said he would be at the winter trade show for amusement park owners. He said they go every year, and if i made it there this year; they would love to buy me a steak dinner. My reaction was I’ve been trying to get there for eight years now. Never made it yet. And don’t know if I will this year either.
So again, a generous offer was seen as someone kicking me while I was down or rubbing salt in the wound or whatever saying you prefer.
Thankful For These Events
I am thankful that all these events did occur together to remind me that I am not a negative person. That I’m not a glass half full or a quarter full but the guy who sees life as a glass so full the ice is spilling over the top of it. and i believe the first step towards this is to look for and find just one thing each day that you can say was positive.
As I used to tell people on the midway it only takes one to win. If we can look for and find one small success, victory, achievement, event, person, etc each day that made that day a happy memorable one; then its been a good day.
That’s my goal to find that one instance every day. And quite often I will find more than one. And when I can’t find them, I have a community of family and friends both online and off who will remind me.
I shared these experiences with you because I honestly believe it helps both of us for you to know that I struggle with the same kinds of things as you do. We all have our own challenges and gremlins. And we can help each other deal with and overcome them.
I have been working on an interview with a lady from New York Magazine for a long while now. I’ve been very candid with her and shared some things that may be a bit embarrassing. It will all depend on how readers react to them. I noticed that as I am getting closer to publication that I am starting to get nervous about it. So, I mentioned it to my friends, and they reminded me to think more about what a great opportunity it is and less about the number of readers and what people might think. One friend, who is a former journalist, even told me the time involved is not unusual in the world of a magazine writer. So, thanks to my community I am now past the worry and moving onto the pride and planning how to promote it.
Sharing Is Caring
This post is one of the more important I’ve done. It shows that I can be dragged down into the trap of negativity just like anyone else. I am reminded of the power of a solid community of like minded people. And I want as many people to hear this one as possible. So, please share this with your friends, family, coworkers, and social media networks. Please leave a comment either here on the blog or on youtube. And the search engines count your comments as votes which means that your comments will help more people see the post. I would be happy to help you do the same with your work.
Thanks so much for continuing to support me by watching, listening, or reading. I couldn’t do this without you. I really want to help others and hope I am doing so.
If there is something I can help with, feel free to email me.
Until next time thank you God bless you and take care out there Max