Business psychology

A positive perspective in difficult times

- November 29, 2008 3 MIN READ

The world is filled with news of doom and gloom, so now is a good time to share an interesting story about keeping a positive perspective during difficult times.

This is a story about a former Socceroo by the name of Jim Fraser. Stick with me, because the moral of the story relates directly to your business.

In order to qualify for the World Cup in 1974, the Socceroos needed to play an elimination match in Iran. Iran required four goals to win, so as the goalkeeper, if Jim Fraser was unable to stop four goals from being scored, Australia’s dream of qualifying for the World Cup would have ended.

An entire country willed him to crumble. For days the Iranian fans launched a campaign to psyche Jim out. Huge crowds lined the training areas and held up four fingers while yelling out, “Fraser four! Fraser four! Fraser four!”

He chose to make their negativity work for him

Jim decided to harness the power of their negative attacks and see them from a positive perspective. At that time, Australia had a soccer publication called Soccer World. In this publication they rated the player’s game performance with a star system, where 1 star = good game, 2 stars = great game, 3 stars = excellent game and 4 stars = superstar!

Jim chose to interpret their negative “Fraser four” as being a positive four star rating! The more they screamed “Fraser four”, the more Jim’s confidence soared. He did perform like a superstar, and he was considered a key player in getting Australia to their first ever World Cup campaign in 1974.

Jim runs his own goalkeeping academy now, and in business he deals with negativity in the same way: by viewing negativity from a positive perspective, and taking action to create better outcomes.

Want more articles like this? Check out the business psychology section.

Look at things differently

If your business has been affected by the economy or other difficult times, are you able to make the negative factors work for you by changing your perspective? And if not, can you explore different options to help you get through the difficult times? Here are two examples of how this has worked.

Example 1: A massage therapist named Brian Cavill opened his business in the 90’s during the recession (the one we had to have). While other massage businesses were going through difficult times, Brian’s business grew to embarrassing proportions.

The perspective of other businesses was: “People can’t afford massages in a recession”. However, Brian’s positive perspective was: “People can’t afford NOT to have massages in a recession”. Thanks to his passionate marketing coupled with prices that heavily rewarded regular massages, sales went through the roof!

Example 2: Paul McCarthy was a keynote speaker at Flying Solo LIVE! He explained how he struggled for ten years as a musician, barely making $20,000 a year to support himself and his family. Although he loved music, it became clear that music wouldn’t generate the income he desired, so he explored a different option. He’s now a professional speaker and business builder who loves his life and his very healthy income.

Communicate with others

While many businesses are flourishing right now, many businesses are also going through difficult times and this leads to a range of emotional and financial problems for individuals and their families.

If you’re feeling down or burnt out, talk to a supportive friend, family member, fellow soloist, a business advisory service, or perhaps even a counsellor. Don’t forget about Lifeline on 13 11 14, they offer an anonymous, free telephone counselling service. You may be a soloist, but you’re never alone.

Do you have advice for fellow soloists going through difficult times? Have you ever improved a bad situation by adopting a positive perspective? If so, please share your experiences here.