The RE Rules
James Wanless, Ph.D., the “RE Doctor,” is an internationally recognized author, dynamic speaker and coach, innovative futurist, and expert in personal sustainability. The author of Sustainable Life: The New Success and creator of the Sustain Yourself cards, this “corporate shaman” offers insights into re-energizing body, mind, and spirit for personal and professional success.
The holy grail for any kind of business today is sustainable success. This RE-newability strategy demands you know the universal, natural, and eternal “RE rules,” because “RE” does rule. RE is an ability we all have but seldom consciously prioritize. However, by living the principles of RE, you can access the keys to unlocking sustained prosperity in your business and your life.
In our drive to move ahead and keep up, it’s important to step back, take time out, and reassess what we’ve just learned, so we can continually improve our businesses. It is step one on the “RE-way” of achieving and sustaining success, and it requires RE-flection and RE-view. The single, most amazing study of success I’ve encountered, conducted by Michael Raynor and Mumtaz Ahmed, revealed two invariable commonalities among 25,000 successful companies, both of which reveal the power of RE-view: Always—always—keep improving the quality of your products and services and keep upping your prices to match your improvements. Don’t focus on cutting costs and prices. Keep asking yourself, “What did I just learn? What did I learn today?” And, understand that if you are not learning, growing, and improving, you are losing, plain and simple.
If you had to choose just one RE quality for sustainable success, choose to RE-inspire! In the daily grind, we often forget what moved us to open our businesses in the first place. While learning and improving is the mind of your business, motivation is the heart. Without the pump—the emotion that keeps us in motion—we die, as does our business. Do whatever it takes to stay engaged and determined. With passion anything is possible. If you do what you love and love what you do, you are in your power and your natural genius is activated.
Remember to RE-love your business to get RE-inspired and RE-engaged, because that brings you perpetual renewal. Here are a few tips to sustain your heart and RE-motivate:
1. Be the RE-volution
See the movie Jobs, about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, if you want to get the job done. Jobs never lost his original inspiration. He kept going despite setbacks and hardships. Jobs’ depth of passion flowed from his belief he was part of a RE-volution to evolve consciousness. This is also true of your work.
The “new age of insight work” is a cultural game-changer and a bourgeoning field of professional endeavor. For people to succeed in today’s world, we must “be all that we are.” This requires new levels of holistic awareness, weaving meditative mindfulness with positive psychology, emotional intelligence, “right livelihood,” spiritual connection, healthy lifestyle, supportive relationships, sustainability training, and an understanding of our roots in the natural world—our nature as nature.
Knowing you are a missionary of a new awareness for the good of the collective planet that is greater than just your own success gives you a burning spirit to drive you on and on. Infused with this beyond-yourself flame of purpose, your business has a future with legs that can grow and grow, as you grow yourself and others. The “human potential movement” is still young, so find new ways to contribute to the yet untapped “business of awakening.”
2. Ask the five why's
An effective way to stay turned on is to ask, “Why am I doing this business?” If you can quickly answer with five different reasons for doing your work, you are probably motivated. I value this “Five Why’s” technique so much I use it all the time myself and when facilitating company team retreats. It must be repeated again and again, though, to work its motivational magic.
3. Use fear and transform anger
While the Five Why’s are a mental way of reminding yourself of your initial enthusiasm, there’s nothing like the good old emotion of fear to sustain your motivation. In fact, research has shown the greatest motivator is fear of failure. So, imagine yourself having to fold up shop and what may happen to you. This may not be the highest form of motivation, but turning fear into action works. All emotions, even so-called negative ones, are energizers; coupled with emotional intelligence, they are great and useful resources.
Turn another big emotion—anger—into power. Channeling frustration into constructive creativity certainly works for me because it’s “breakthrough energy” that seeks expressive outlet and action. Indignation, annoyance, and outrage are tremendous allies to be harnessed and used for their positive energy!
4. Surround yourself with support
It’s almost impossible to stay motivated if you aren’t supported and moved by others. And, inspiring others who are open rebounds back to further motivate you. In effect, synergy is created in which positive reinforcement ignites a gathering of forces on the move. You simply cannot afford to be surrounded by competent, yet emotional “flatliners,” let alone moody downers and cynics. Friends and co-workers are invaluable resources, and self-motivated people are money—especially when they are your employees!
5. Use your imagination—it's gold!
The easiest and quickest way to restimulate yourself is to keep an image in your mind’s eye of your success. It’s a surefire catalyst. Use it all the time—and I mean all the time: before, during, and after work. A picture-symbol has the greatest impact on our consciousness. Why do we remember faces but not names? Why do most Americans know their astrological sign but not their blood type? Because of the visual effect and impact astrological images carry, in contrast to abstract letters.
Don’t be bashful with your imagined success. Dazzle yourself with a vision of extraordinary magnitude. That’s how magi have such magic—by the magnetic power of the almighty images they imagine. If the outcome you experience doesn’t match the image you visualized, so what? Use the less-than-pictured result to RE-motivate you to improve.
For really powerful imagination, visualize your success in light and color, especially gold! Golden light is rich and warm, the color of the almighty Sun (Sol). Utilize the gold ray, and you are gold.
Speaking of color, color is indeed energy, so wear the colors that move you. At my recent presentation of my “Fortune Formula,” I went out and deliberately bought gold pants and a golden sports coat. I felt good and gold. I even gave away golden covered chocolates to participants.
6. Harness the power of sound
Another motivational technique is to play the music, the song, the sounds that move you. Consciously choose your music for motivational purposes. Playing your favorite tune is by itself moving.
Words, too, can be sounds to motivate. The Internet abounds with all sorts of good, free, streaming radio stations, full of inspiring speakers and “edutaining” interviews.
7. Live the atomic life
The bottom-line requisite for success is to find whatever moves you! If you are not moved, you are calcifying, becoming sedentary, sedated, dead. Your job of jobs is to keep moving yourself. In this atomic age, live the “atomic life,” because the gazillion atoms that compose us never stop moving and pulsing. Get up, get going, and keep on!
If you want to continue growing and improving your business, become a master of RE-silience and you will get along just fine. Everything is changing about the way we do business, and you must be able to rebound from setbacks and adapt.
In these shifting times of change and more change, your business cannot remain the same unless you’ve found the rare sweet spot of having the right location, right product line, right market, and right employees, all at the right time. Even then, continuous re-adjustments and adaptations are continuously required, and new avenues for marketing your products and services must be explored and embraced. Stores that have sustained themselves well are constantly creating and re-creating. They have practiced the art of RE-silience.
The secret to resilient success is what I call the “science of good luck” in my forthcoming (gold) book, The Fortune Formula, which posits luck is not just luck, but the result of “fortune thinking.” Expect and embrace opportunity everywhere in everything, every person, every moment, every “every.” This concept and truth works wonders and has changed my life! The next time you are stymied or set back, look for the golden door of opportunity, because it exists! Get in the habit of turning every disappointing phone call, email, customer or partner problem, delay, screw-up, bad hair day (not my problem), whatever goes wrong, as opportunity, opportunity, opportunity! Transform your negative emotions into positive energy. Embrace ALL of life, for it’s all energy and resource from an abundant universe.
RE-vision the future
Real and sustaining success and growth sometimes requires new vision and new creation. Everything—every organism, every endeavor—has a universal life cycle that begins with a new start and moves into efficient repetition and maintenance of what works. Most, however, do not take the next step of growth where the greatest harvest and fruition occurs, because this means making a new breakout and many don’t have the motivation, the vision, or the energy. They would rather just cruise along. Be forewarned, however, that the “resilient-maintaining strategy” runs the risk of becoming “sedated by sameness” and “death by comfort.” This can and does happen.
As a futurist, looking ahead is my business, and I see wonderful breakthrough opportunities for you. With an open mind (“Opportunities Find Open Minds”), consider transforming and expanding your retail business to include an education and training center for “new skills for the coming age.” More than anything, you are an educator and elevator of consciousness. Books, sidelines, and crafts are tools for awareness and transformational studies, which are almost infinitely expansive.
With this new vision, I see three deep demographic markets for you:
For the younger generation, provide them with the “inside edge.” Give them the secret meta-tools—introspective self-discovery techniques for tapping their own inner resources and powers. My personal favorites are “mindfulness meditations” for purifying and energizing the whole self—body, mind, heart, and spirit; the “active imagination” visualization and conversation with wise-women archetypes, such as the ancient Isis, High Priestess, and Kuan Yin; and right-brain “intuitive-thinking tips” for navigating and recalibrating their inner compass to redefine success in a connected world.
For the “mid-lifers,” present spiritual practices and supportive circles for exploring personal authenticity, meaning, and life purpose, so they can RE-vision, RE-charge, and RE-vise for their “second life” of right livelihood.
For elders, reignite their passion, play, and sense of legacy and mission to reclaim and share their personal, spiritual, and political power as guiding beacons of wisdom and sanity for a world sorely in need of their strength and counsel. Also offer the “regenerative principles of nature” for living well and long.
(Parenthetically, if I thought, as a store employee, I could develop through the job into a workshop leader, trainer, reader, coach, or just grow myself through the educational activities offered through your store, I’d sign on with gusto. What an incentive!)
RE-call, RE-peat, RE-fire
Reforming and revolutionizing your business takes creativity, energy, inspiration, and dedication. To do this, RE-call the flame of your original business motivation. Imagine every day your vision for growing your business and how good that picture feels in your heart. Updating your “heart vision” continually keeps your fire burning. And, call in, imagine, and converse with your “Fortune-Maker Genie” for advice and counsel. This strange little playful practice involves determining a person, real or not, that you can actually talk to about money and business matters. I picture a goddess of abundance such as Fortuna or even Ganesh, the Hindu elephant of prosperity, and I simply ask them a question about what to do. It’s remarkably efficient and absolutely magical! Take and keep taking “doable small actions” to fulfill your heartfelt visions and wisdom.
Repetition can kill or rekindle. Establish a new, creative habit to replace the same old way of doing the same old thing. So, RE-peat, RE-peat, RE-peat this sacred ritual of “See it, Feel it, Invoke it, Believe it, and Do it!” It’s the tried-and-true formula for success and more success.
Know as you grow your business of right livelihood into a fuller and deeper harvest, you grow yourself and live your destiny, which is why we are all here—to be all that we are and help others wake up to their potential and purpose.
This means getting out of your comfort zone, out of your habitual routine, out of your old self-identity and self-image. These growing pains are not so laborious, because when you do your “life work” through your work, you are led by the life force. It’s called “future pull.” You are naturally swept by the river of life to the sea-source. You are naturally and inevitably RE-energized, RE-vitalized, and RE-juvenated. It’s a veritable fountain of youth coming to you and through you. By so doing, work is joy and life is rich. This is what I’ve been experiencing these last few years. I’m busier than ever, happier than ever, and on fire creatively. Forget retirement; for me at 70, it’s “RE-firement!”
First published in Vol. 27 No. 6 of Retailing Insight. © 2013 Continuity Publishing Inc. All rights reserved.