A tale of two businesses: path of misery or path of joy?

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In this country at the moment, businesses in a variety of industries face the same staff challenges (lack of skilled labour, absenteeism, mental health and morale issues) and the same customer challenges (impatient, stressed and irritated customers, looking for competitive prices, uncertain about the future). Yet if we were to look at two identical businesses in the same industry, selling the same product or service, with these same challenges, one will be delivering better customer service than the other.

Interesting, right?

My experience is that there are two types of businesses navigating these difficult times – and the only difference between them is the mindset they have about their current challenges.

Yes, right now finding talented, committed and engaged staff is tough; and yes, customers are more demanding and easily disappointed, and neither of these things is within your control.

What is in your control as a leader or service professional, however, is whether you’re staying conscious of the mindset and attitude you bring to work each day.

One of my teachers reminds me that you can choose a path to misery or a path to joy. Blaming others, complaining (acting like a victim) and hanging on to the story (drama) are all mindset choices that will keep you on a path of misery. Taking ownership, never complaining, and letting go of the story are all mindset choices that will keep you on a path of joy.

Blaming the universe, the government, the competition or your supply chain for the current circumstances isn’t a great use of time or energy.

Taking absolute responsibility for your mindset, attitudes and behaviours, by comparison, is a great use of time and energy, and will lead to stunning results in the way you lead, serve and build loyalty with your customers.

If you want to stand out from the rest – from other businesses – and get the results that very few achieve, you must be prepared to do the things very few do. One of those things is consciously choosing your mindset each day.


Where are you still holding on to some blame, story or excuse that is keeping you off a path of joy?


On any working day, you make a conscious and unconscious choices about:

– what task to do next

– what to prioritise

– who to speak with about a problem

– when to speak and when to listen

– when to take a break.

These ordinary actions are supported by a mindset. Pay attention to what mindset you bring to ordinary moments in a day.

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