The Psychology of Business for Entrepreneurs | Success Podcasts

Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you in part by Book of Zen, makers of wearable inspiration for a better world. Today’s podcast has been edited and adapted from The Mental Highway by Thomas Parker Boyd, published in 1922.

It does not matter whether you are selling the products of your own hands and imagination, or those of others, or whether you are selling knowledge and expertise, your business must eventually be an expression of you — for you are really selling yourself when you are selling your goods or service. You must believe in your business as you believe in yourself.

Your success in business depends upon your knowledge of the people who are helping you to sell, as well as the people who come to buy. If you have to guess how each person will act under a given condition, success may be an uncertain thing. If you know to what category a person belongs, and know that in a majority of cases that category of people will be interested in a certain class of values, and will be appealed to by a given method of presentation, and will decide and act in a certain way, then you are effectively using psychology in your business.

Your business will flow through certain channels. It will follow the plan you have laid out, much as a house follows its foundation and plan. Having made your plan, you then turn to the materials, and all the materials in the psychology of business are within yourself. Success, when you achieve it, is your own — whether it comes in the form of position, honor, power, happiness, or money.

The goal of your business is to provide a service and to receive enough money in return to enable you to achieve contentment. Having your plan, turn to methods, no matter your profession.

To succeed, you must be able to inspire others to help you by cooperating with you and by purchasing from you. In its final analysis, all success comes to us through others. This is the key. People band together, not only for protection, but for cooperation. You must realize that they must be motivated and inspired in their desire to cooperate with you and further your success.

Humanity is the universal channel for money, friends, happiness, and every other factor of success, and all depends upon your ability to inspire them toward you.

If you study all the great successful leaders, you will find that this great law measures their success. Politicians, employers, executives, the leaders of any class, each in his or her own way, has climbed upwards by the power to inspire others to work with them. This underlying principle governs all achievement. All success must come to you through humanity. Therefore, the degree of your ability to inspire others will surely measure your returns from life. We have the standards of highest value within us.

The true way to success is through personal charisma or “presence.” It isn’t magic, just recognition of the law and wise use of it. It doesn’t require grind, rush, and struggle, but poise, calm and certainty — advancing easily and smoothly, with the utmost freedom. Keep in mind, then, that others are the doors through which you must pass to your domain of success.

Inspiration has certain basic elements. Begin your business by having the largest possible vision of its outcome. Why settle for some small success when big things are constituted of little things? This same principle applies with reference to your staff, who you must be able to inspire in the direction you desire.

The mind is like an ocean (unstable, changeable, ceaseless in motion), subject to eddies, calms, and storms — but despite all that, it can be mastered. Our first discovery of the law of displacement enabled us to build ships of wood, and to acquire partial mastery over the ocean. Further knowledge of the laws of displacement gave us the ocean liner and more complete mastery.

Most people sail the ocean of mind in a windjammer (in the blind, primitive fashion of ten centuries ago), while they might just as well learn to sail it safely and surely. The vast masses are still helpless, adrift on the ocean of mind, subject to every change and whim. You must build your own ocean of mind by motivating and inspiring them one at a time to your vision. Humanity stands at your door, clamoring to do you favors and aid your progress.

While “it is more blessed to give than to receive,” it is a curious fact that you always feel more kindly toward the person for whom you do something than for the one who does something for you. The whole world is the same. The greatest favor you can do for people is to let them help you gain your goal. Those who have risen to prominence, power, and success have done so through the help of those whom they could inspire.

In studying your abilities to motivate and inspire others, the first question is, what do the people you have met think of you? Do you know what they think, or how far you can motivate or inspire them? If you have the key to progress, you know what they think. When you hold this key, you do not “occasionally exert” yourself, you use it as naturally as breathing or walking, without exertion. It becomes a part of you, and you can open the book of life to the pages you want. Realizing that your course to the goal lies through others, and that you must inspire and motivate them, you naturally turn to the method of doing it.

All the people you meet will fall into two groups: First, those who are in a position personally to further your progress if you can inspire them to do so, and second, those who can never help you directly or through their own efforts — and they are much the larger group. You must learn to motivate the first group, but you must not overlook the second. They can be your direct means of getting in touch with those who can help you.

It is well to build up constantly this great class, for the best advertisement you can have is another who thinks well of you and expresses their good opinion to someone who never heard of you. When another adds their measure of praise, they herald your coming, and make your task is easier.

When these people have reported you to those who can help you, you must be able to make a good first impression, then live up to it. You must favorably impress people with your ability and personality, and you must repeat it so that their good impression of you grows stronger the longer they know you.

The two steps are thus: a favorable first impression, and a ripening respect and admiration after successive meetings. You must meet people, many people, classify them, choose them, and you must give as well as receive. Five minutes of exerting personal charm will produce an impression or cement a friendship, such as a haphazard way could not do in months or years.

The people in both these classes are very much alike. Their differences are largely external. They show their points of likeness and unlikeness outwardly. Learn to know the signs. The moment we consciously exercise the essential factors of success, so that we strongly and evenly develop our mind, we can motivate and inspire others.

There are three great hidden qualities which are essential to business success. They are: will power, concentration, and time efficiency.

Study yourself. First, what are your mental gifts? What is the demand now existing for your ability, and what price ought it command? Second, what is the exact quality of what you have to offer? Third, what steps are you taking to develop your gifts, to make them more valuable and insure your progress?

Remember that every business has a head; every nation has a ruler; and you have an executive — your will. There are two kinds of will: the winning will and the losing will. The winning will holds ever to the goal; advances and recedes when necessary; but never loses sight of the outcome. The losing will has no such ability of adjustment, and develops into obstinance. Every person has a fundamental distaste for effort (continued, concerted effort); but if you yield to this weakness, you will never succeed.

All worthwhile things require continued and intelligent effort to accomplish. You have the qualities and the resources, but your will is the leader. The moment the mind points out the wise course, consciously exercise your will to that end. Strong people become stronger by exercising the will in small things. They meet every necessity with the mental attitude: I can and I will. I will to will, therefore, I can. The only limitation on your achievement is your will.

Test your will, therefore, with these questions. Do you choose what is easiest or best? Having decided, do you carry it out to the utmost? Do you permit obstacles to swerve you and change your mind? Do you recognize the difference between will power and stubbornness? Are you easily turned aside? Do you worry? Can you banish fear and worry at will?

If you cannot, learn to do it now, for in these are the root of all our ills. Use your will to banish them. Do not permit your imagination to anticipate or create the possible misfortunes of the future. Calmly use your will to kill the germ of worry and fear at the beginning. Use your will to create a prevailing mental attitude of the right kind. Refuse to imagine misfortune, and fill your mind with bright and hopeful anticipation. If you will, you can. If you will not, you cannot.

The next hidden element of business success is concentration: the power to fill the thought idea with one idea, and to shut out all else. Use it for every task and for every problem. Fill the mind with the subject in hand, so that your whole brain is actively bringing all its powers into action. When your concentration has served its purpose, relax, wipe the slate, and you are ready for another task of concentration.

Ask yourself these questions: Can you concentrate on the work at hand when it is uninteresting, freeing your mind of everything else? Can you concentrate on any subject at will, in noisy places, and bring all your abilities to bear on the task at hand? If so, you have learned to concentrate.

The last of the hidden qualities is time efficiency. There is a legal phrase, “time is of the essence of this contract,” and time efficiency calls for the usage of time as an investment. Recreation and exercise are an investment in health insurance. Study gives knowledge that abides long after the time of study has departed. Knowledge has a money value. Money buys things for contentment. These are time investments.

We attend most of our work with too much lost motion, too much wasted time. You must learn a skillful use of your time, the effective disposition of it. Answer for yourself such questions as this: How much time of your working hours do you spend without getting returns? Do you feel that you are getting the utmost out of your working hours? How effective are you compared with possible results?

Remember that human nature has two major controlling motives: curiosity and self-interest. These are the two universal doors of human nature through which we can pass to success. Curiosity is the introductory motive. Self-interest is the motive that causes it to act. Self-interest has produced more good than any other one factor in the history of humankind. We use curiosity to open the door, and self-interest to land the sale.

Self-interest is of two forms, selfishness (the destructive kind that reduces wages to keep down expenses) and constructive self-interest (which makes better conditions to get more effective service). You cannot injure others without hurting yourself, and you cannot help others without bettering yourself. Life is service. You get back what you give out.

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