The sun was peeking through the dark rain clouds as I walked to my car wondering if my gloomy mood would ease up too as I filled the trunk with purchases. Closing the trunk, eyes cast downwards, a glistening copper color against the pavement made dark from the rain grabbed my attention.

What is that… a new, shiny penny? Yes! (It doesn’t take much to give me a thrill).

Ahh, the private joy felt as a kid returned. What good luck! Smiling, my mood perked up. (Perhaps I should leave the penny there for someone else to find). The emerging sun and that little copper coin stirred up some needed hope in my day.

A combination of ordinary, external events I chose to make fun.

The extent to which individuals perceive that outcomes result from their own behaviors or from forces external to themselves taps into the concept of locus of control. 

As business people, whether entrepreneurs, executives, managers or ambitious employees, we can get caught up in seeking answers from others and abandon our own knowledge, wisdom and skills. And while learning from others is important, we must strengthen our “internal locus of control”.

In today’s article…

We’ll discuss how YOU are the essential piece of your business success with scenarios that ultimately focus on YOU and strengthen your “internal locus of control”.

Join me and reflect on the following…

YOU are like a tree with branches full of beautiful foliage and deep roots.

This tree is heavy with fruit or ornamental flowers representing all the fantastic courses, books, networking groups, revered mentors/coaches, FB mastery, blog and website know-how. It’s stunning. These beautiful branches are lovely to look at and important to your success…they are the external aspects of your success.

Turn your attention to the roots…those deep roots that spread underground. They feed the branches. Without them, the branches wouldn’t exist. There wouldn’t be any fruit or flowers. While unseen, they are essential. That’s your internal self…what you bring to any course, coaching session or other external offering.

Take time and reflect, what have each of the external activities I’ve purchased, completed or not, taught me? How can I make more of the imparted knowledge my own?

YOU are self-aware. You understand the defining moments of your life.

According to Bernie Swain, in his article, Successful Leaders Know What Made Them Who They Are he asks, Can you identify the one person, event, or influence that made you who you are as a leader and a person?

Those stories give meaning to who we are and what we value.  At times when facing an important challenge I remember the story of my grandmother homesteading in Oklahoma by herself. That story and others are a part of me and provide the extra inspiration to persevere. Another is facing the cancer diagnosis and death of my mother or growing up, a part of a Mennonite community, where caring, supportive adults sought me out and made me feel so important as they listened to my current challenge or accomplishment.

These defining moments can come from three broad categories according to Swain: people, events and environments. Wherever the source, we are more successful as people, generally and certainly as business people when we know our strengths and weaknesses, vulnerabilities and biases.

What is that one person, event or influence that has made you the business person you are?

YOU want to be original.

My friend, Coach Jan Bavea shared a Ted talk by Adam Grant that is superb in a number of ways. One point he expresses so well is that it takes a lot of bad ideas to get to the good ones. Sweetly, he makes a case (from his research) that being a “moderate” procrastinator is probably helpful towards bringing originality to your work.  Being first or delaying until the very last moment doesn’t provide the environment needed for the most creativity and thus, the originality we want. But that “moderate” level of procrastination is the place originality seems to surface.

The key underlying the strengthening of the “internal locus of control”, the YOU of your business is to embrace the pause or extra time to think or incubate and develop your ideas. It bears repeating…it takes a lot of bad ideas to get to the good ones…the original ones.

Using the review of all the wonderful knowledge gathered through all your learning activities, and/or the self-awareness of what has made you who you are as a business person, what is one idea you’d like to develop, write about, discuss with a trusted other or just implement today?

The takeaway is…

YOU are the key to your business success.

In between signing up for another course, schedule some precious time to reflect and create.

Visit those roots that support your tree full of healthy branches that represent all the various lessons and tools you’ve chosen. Look deeply into those roots and find the important stories that make you unique and have inspired you in challenging times. Give voice to your originality. It’s surely there.

I think I can is the password to strengthening the “internal locus of control”. Go ahead and click enter.

I’d love to learn:  What do you think makes a business successful?

If you’d like to join me in efforts to make YOU show up in more original, confident ways, please go to Love My Work Strategy Session and sign up for a complimentary session.  We all benefit from your success.