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The value of attitude

On Friday, I attended a pitching session held at PetroSA, called “Pitch and Perfect”. Twenty or so different entrepreneurs pitched their business/business ideas to 5 judges.

Prior to this session, there was also an informative master class on Pitching. One of the key points made by the facilitator is that investors and stakeholders “buy into you” before they buy your product or business.

The business ideas/businesses were diverse, but I took note of the value that having an engaging, confident attitude played in these pitches.

On Saturday, I was also blown away by the performance of the Springboks against their old foe, the All Blacks. Given the outstanding record of the All Blacks; the rather dismal away performance of the Boks in the two away games in the previous weeks, and the fact that they had never won a test at the site in Wellington, few fans, commentators and sports bookmakers expected the Boks to win. Nic Mallet, a Rugby commentator had said on air that it would be honourable if the Boks could lose by less than 20 points.

What actually happened was heroic and inspiring. I have attached the heading in today’s Sunday Times that capture the size and significance of the victory. (Wow, Bokke, wow!)

So what caused the team to turn two defeats at the hands of lesser teams, into a victory against the world’s best team….the All Blacks?     Statistics will give many reasons why this shouldn’t have happened. Rugby commentators may talk to continuity and team selection.

I wonder if it doesn’t boil down to something shared at the pitching session on Friday; something that I believe is vital for aspiring entrepreneurs and engaged employees alike.

That something is attitude. The Boks appeared to play the full game with a “never say die” attitude. And that can make all the difference.

Consider these few words on attitude by author and speaker Charles Swindoll

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than success, than what other people think or say or do.

It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company … a church … a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.

We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…

I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you, we are in charge of our attitudes.

I do believe that our attitude to life has more importance than we think to how we navigate challenges, embrace opportunities and build a significant life and business.

Here’s to building businesses that matter; last and bring value…..because their owners do!

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