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Successful business owners respond quite differently

On the way from the Charleston airport to speak at a conference last Thursday evening. I engaged our cabbie in conversation, which of course always gets around to food. I asked what seafood he liked since he lived on the coast, and his first response was “I don’t eat shrimp.”

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On the way from the Charleston airport to speak at a conference last Thursday evening. I engaged our cabbie in conversation, which of course always gets around to food. I asked what seafood he liked since he lived on the coast, and his first response was “I don’t eat shrimp.”

I found his response in the negative to be interesting so I pursued it. He told me his cousin worked on a shrimp boat in the early 60’s and had drowned, and that he had never been able to get over it. So now he doesn’t eat shrimp because it reminds him of his cousin drowning over 40 years ago.

I empathize with his loss but I don’t understand letting that circumstance rule his entire life even in one small aspect like eating shrimp. I lost a cousin at the age of 41 from a massive heart attack as he went out the door for a run, but I would never think to stop running or exercising because of my loss.

The moral of this story?

Circumstances don’t make me who I am. How I respond to them does.

I met a woman once who was a quadriplegic from birth who always introduces herself by saying, “I have the gift of cerebral palsy.” As someone who has every right to claim true victim status, she is a bright light in a world full of self-made victims.

How are you responding to the circumstances in your business? If you decide you’re not a victim and respond accordingly you’ll enjoy life and business a whole lot more.

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