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The Shark and the Goldfish: Positive Ways to Thrive During Waves of Change

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The Shark and the Goldfish: Positive Ways to Thrive During Waves of Change

An illustrated business fable that gives you the faith, courage and confidence to win in today's tough economic climate

Fear and uncertainty are staples of daily life in today's struggling economy. As bad as things can be, economic downturns also lead to new opportunities. It's easy to worry, give up and let fear paralyze you. However, you have more control than you think you do and how you handle adversity is your choice-and the only choice that matters. In fact, study history and you'll find that a lot of people and organizations made a name for themselves and grew their businesses during recessions and downturns. These successful people and organizations all shared similar characteristics and took similar actions to thrive while others merely tried to survive. You can do the same.

In The Shark and the Goldfish, Jon Gordon shares an inspiring fable about Gordy, a pampered goldfish who gets swept out to sea. Desperate for food, Gordy meets a kind shark who teaches him the ultimate lesson-Goldfish wait to be fed. Sharks go find food. Gordy also learns that the difference between a full and empty stomach is our faith, beliefs and actions. In the face of adversity and lean times, this is a business fable that reinforces a proven truth: You can't control the events in your life. But you can control how you respond and in turn this determines the outcome.

  • A business fable that teaches valuable lessons on the importance of working hard, maintaining a locus of control and focusing on positive choices instead of negative voices,
  • Written by Jon Gordon, bestselling author of The Energy Bus and The No Complaining Rule
  • Reveals how change is inevitable-but that you can make it your friend or foe.
  • Provides an action plan filled with tips and strategies to thrive during change and adversity

If you're facing tough economic times, The Shark and the Goldfish will motivate you, inspire you, and give you the confidence you need to thrive during changing times.

5 Ways to Stay Positive During Changing Times
Amazon-exclusive content from author Jon Gordon

1. Tell Yourself a Positive Story—Life is a story, and the story we tell ourselves and the role we play determines the quality and direction of our life. The most successful people are able to overcome adversity by telling themselves a more positive story than the rest. Instead of a drama or a horror movie, they define their life as an inspirational tale. Instead of being the victim, they see themselves as a fighter and over-comer. Those who are able to thrive during tough times have what’s called a "locus of control", which means that while they can’t control the market conditions, through their positive attitude, faith and actions, they believe they have an influence on the outcome of their story…and as a result they do.

2. Model Success—Whenever I speak to a company, I always interview the leadership team and ask them if there are people who are succeeding during this challenging time. The answer is always "yes". I then interview these people who are succeeding and share their habits with the audience (with their approval of course). You can do the same. Find out who in your market is thriving, ask to meet with them, learn from them and model their attitude and actions. If they can do it, so can you.

3. Zoom Focus—Now is the time to tune out the negative voices and focus on your choices. All that matters is the choices you make and the actions you take each day to grow yourself, your team and your business. Your job every day is to stay positive and take positive action. Be like the real estate agent who told me that she doesn't focus on the negative things the other agents in her office say. She doesn’t focus on the negativity in the media. She focuses on what she can do every day to be successful. She focuses on marketing her business, taking care of her clients, and building loyal relationships. To help you "Zoom Focus", ask yourself this question each morning, “What are the three most important things I need to do today that will help me create the success I desire?” Then, each day, take action on those three things.

4. Post a Sign “No Energy Vampires Allowed”—Post this sign in your mind and in your office. Gandhi said “I will not allow anyone to walk through my mind with their dirty feet,” and neither should you. This sign will signal to others that you are staying positive and you expect people to interact with you in a positive way. Don't buy into the pessimism of others. Instead, invite your team on your bus for a positive ride.

5. Turn Negative Energy into Positive Solutions—Invoke The No Complaining Rule and practice it yourself. Utilize your own complaining as a catalyst for positive change and positive action. Let your complaints help you identify what you don’t want so you can focus on what you do want. The key is to turn complaints into solutions.

5 Ways to Stay Positive During Your Job Search
Amazon-exclusive content from author Jon Gordon

1. Say to yourself, “I have a dream.” Then start working to achieve it. Having studied many successful people, I found that they all can pinpoint the moment where they decided what they truly wanted to achieve in life. It’s a practice that should be required for all of us. After all, if you know what you truly want out of life then you will do whatever it takes to make it happen. Obvious as this may sound, many people never take the time to discover it. They live on autopilot, letting circumstances shape their days and months and years and decades. When I lost my job years ago, I realized that though I was initially sad to lose it I hadn’t been truly happy. So, I took a moment and asked myself what I truly wanted to do with my life. What was I born to do? I asked. ‘Why am I here?’ After a few days of thinking, the idea to open a franchise restaurant, which would hopefully allow me time to write, popped in my head. And off I went toward achieving my dream.

2. Choose to have faith in what you want, rather than what you don’t want. Try out this riddle: What do fear and faith have in common? The answer: A future that hasn’t happened yet. So why would you choose to paint that future bleak and empty, when you could paint it vibrant and fulfilling and fun? Fear believes in a negative future while faith believes in a positive future. Even if you’re not a spiritual person, why would you choose to believe the worst is going to happen? It just feels better to look to the positive future.

3. Start each day with “three questions.” When you get up each morning, ask yourself this one question, "What are the 3 things I need to do today that will help me find the job and create the success that I desire?" Then, take action on those 3 things every day until you’ve achieved them. This is a great way to keep feeding your positive energy.

4. Take on a “glass 92 percent full” approach to the recession. Today’s employment-related statistics can be hard to get out of your head when you’re searching for a job. But unlike the pundits on TV who seem all too pleased to focus on the most negative numbers available, you can choose to focus on the flip side. Rather than fixating on 10 percent unemployment, focus on 90 percent employment. Dwelling on the higher number will likely be better for maintaining a positive state of mind during your job search. Always remember, the choice is yours.

5. Choose to be humble and hungry. Be humble. Know that you don’t have all the answers and can learn something from everyone. Know that there are always new ways to learn, improve, and get better. Be open to advice. Be open to learning a new skill and trying a job you haven’t thought of before. Also, be hungry. Seek out a mentor, take him to lunch and model his success. Think of his life as a blueprint you can follow. Continuously improve and seek out new ideas and new strategies. By remaining humble and hungry after my job loss, I was able to focus on and learn the things that made it possible for me to run a restaurant, write and speak. In short, being humble and hungry helped me achieve another great H-word: happiness!

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John Wiley Sons

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