By Typhannie Watson Earl Nightingale, radio speaker and author, once said: “A great attitude is not the result of success; success is the result of a great attitude.” Let that sink in for a little bit.
You woke up this morning and maybe your thoughts went to a bad install or an unfortunate customer interaction. Maybe your body hurts. Maybe your brain just hurts from all the things you juggle in a single day.
But in the next few moments you decide what you are going to do today. Stay in bed or tackle the day? This is your choice each and every day. Yes, you have responsibilities and obligations that make the decision easier, but really it is your choice.
I am not 100% in control of my attitude every day, but just like I remember to put my pants on, I focus on my attitude throughout the day. I have caught myself with incredibly difficult customers, getting short with them, my body tensing, getting defensive. I pause for a second to calm down and take a deep breath. My reaction can make this interaction worse or change for the better. My dad used to say, “You get more bees with honey than with vinegar.” Isn’t that the truth?
I started in this industry when I was 6 years old, picking up scraps with my dad, watching him install. He would take me everywhere with him. Not every day, but when he could. I never realized how much I was absorbing, just being around him, observing his interactions, his work ethic, his attitude. He would point out things that have stuck with me since his passing. I remember, one time, he pointed at a man by the house we were going to work at next. He asked me what I saw. I described the man. He had messy hair, dirty overalls, holes in his clothes. He did not look like he had showered in a while. My dad told me about this man and how he was a hard worker, very smart and one of the richest people in this town. I was shocked.
The lesson he was teaching me was to not judge people by their outward appearances. I have kept that in mind when customers come into the store to show them what would work the best for their home based on qualifying questions—not on assumptions of what I think they can or cannot afford.
Now that I have been successfully running my business, having a record year like many other retailers in the past year, I have reflected on the tidbits of knowledge my dad was teaching me when I did not realize I was learning and observing and absorbing it all. The one that stands out the most is that even in the face of his impending death, due to terminal cancer, he tried his best to be happy, laugh and enjoy the moments. His legacy was his attitude.
So, tomorrow, when you wake up, when you contemplate the tasks of the day, ask yourself: Is my attitude on that list? How will I approach the day? With fear and anxiety or with the firm belief that today is going to be the best day I can make it? And remember this as well. Our attitude toward others determines their attitude toward us.
Good and bad things will happen throughout the day; it is your attitude that will deter- mine the outcome.
Typhannie Watson is the owner of Carpeting by Mike, a Somerset, Wis.-based floor covering retailer that was founded by her late father, Mike.