How Perspective Informs Your Path
The entrepreneurial world talks a lot about “the grind,” “the hustle” and other phrases about working hard. As an entrepreneur, you will have late nights and early mornings. Sometimes you can’t avoid it. However, you can’t always work long hours. You can’t always outwork everyone else as well—it’s not sustainable. Relentless weeks can easily lead to exhaustion, a lack of creativity and overall, just burn out.
Sometimes the path to success isn’t how much you work. Sometimes, it’s about how you view work and the paths you take from there.
On season 6 episode 28 of the Making Bank Podcast, guest Dale Comstock chats about the military, his mindset and successful coaching business. After a career in the Special Forces, Dale went on to start multiple companies—anything from nuclear security to canine training. Covid hit and derailed his canine business temporarily. Instead of remaining stuck and distressed, Dale decided to begin a coaching company with his daughter and business partner. With Tier 1 Performance Coaching, Dale has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs reach their potential by shifting their perspective to one that is more productive.
In his experience with the military, businesses, and now coaching, Dale has found that willpower is not what makes someone success. Willpower can fade—but the right perspective can keep you going when times are tough.
So, what’s the right perspective?
No two people and their lives are alike, so different perspectives may help different people. Therefore, Dale doesn’t believe in enforcing a specific mindset, but rather, encourages finding one that works for you. That being said, there are a few qualities that can help improve any perspective, to the point where you can see real effects in your life.
The first and most important quality of a more productive perspective is one that is more positive. However, the science has proven how those who are more optimistic tend to be successful, satisfied and live longer.
You don’t need to be cheery every second of the day, but rather engage in activities that keep you more positive. This could look like gratitude exercises, affirmations, or simply cultivating healthy and happy relationships.
Life can be challenging. However, it’s challenging for others as well. The truth of the matter is that people are drawn to those who are positive. It can be a relief for many who struggle to be positive as is. So, if you spread your optimism, people are more likely to root for you, believe in you, invest in you, and buy from you.
While encouraging positivity is great, Dale also wants to discourage negativity. Positivity can take a lot of effort and practice to fully embrace. So, in the meantime, help foster the process by removing negative things in your lives. Sometimes, those negative things are small, but impact us in large way. If scrolling on Twitter usually results in you feeling frustrated or even angry, stop scrolling. If TikTok doesn’t bring you joy, put it down. If there are certain small tasks at work leave you annoyed, try to get those off your plate.
Either way, it’s hard to be positive when you’re participating in things that impact you negatively. So, when moving about your day-to-day life, ask yourself if a task brings you up—or down. From there, see what you can adjust.
Another aspect to a productive perspective is one that allows you to become and stay self-disciplined. Dale believes that for many, this also starts with positivity. If you tell yourself you can do something, if you envision yourself doing that task, you are more likely to do it. Learning self-discipline can be difficult, so why make it harder on yourself? There may already be nay-sayers. You don’t have to be one of them.
That being said, perhaps relentless optimism has the opposite effect on you. It may add pressure or extra guilt that ends up weighing you down. That may make you less likely to complete the tasks you need to and find that self-discipline. If that’s the case, then again, there’s no point in beating yourself up about it. So, don’t be afraid to forgive any missteps and to keep encouraging yourself to try.
Self-discipline is a difficult task to master—but once mastered, you can carry it with you for the rest of your life. The best part about it is that it doesn’t require any education, additional skills or inherent traits. You just need to learn what kind of pep talk works for you and encourage that perspective.
In turn, your self-discipline will boost your confidence and reinforce a positive perspective.
Lastly, having a creative mindset can sometimes get you farther than hours and hours of work. Working hard is always important—but if you’re working hard in a direction that’s not beneficial to you, then all that energy is wasted. If you feel defeated after encountering an obstacle, then all that work getting there can also be wasted.
You see, you need creativity to reach your goals. You may need to harness your creativity to discover what your goals are in the first place. Even while you’re on the right path, you will need to draw on your creativity to overcome obstacles. As Dale says, creativity allows you to view things as challenges, not problems. When you view something as a challenge, you’re much more likely to rise to the occasional to solve it. If you view it as a problem, you may become more negative and less likely to tackle it at all.
So overall, hard work may be the engine, but creativity is your map.