Every once in a while I find myself getting a little burned-out on the day-to-day “stuff” of running a business, keeping my clients happy and coding like a madman. It usually manifests itself in the following way: I look for reasons NOT to do the mundane stuff that is waiting, tapping its watch (like my first boss used to do). For me, the cure for this is to engage my creative brain in a non-technical way. Write some music, build something, finish the home projects (the ones tapping their watch). Once I’ve done this I find myself renewed and able to easily knock out the nagging tasks and free up my time for the fun stuff of running my own business: Trying and learning new things! If I’m able to start the day with “What do I WANT to do today?”, I’m a happy guy with a great attitude.

The other day I stopped for a quick lunch at a fast-food place. I was starving, in a hurry to get to a meeting and totally preoccupied with how I was going to get a bunch of sh*t done. I pulled up to place my order in the drive thru and, to my surprise, I was greeted by the friendliest voice apologizing for the wait and asking if she could take my order. Immediately it gave me a smile. I drove forward to the window and it was my turn to pay and pick up my food. The gal at the window was about my age. She had huge smile on her face and apologized again for the wait (it was about 2 minutes…Not at all a big deal). Behind her she had a few teenagers running around like crazy, filling orders, but the back-and-forth between all of them was very playful and positive, but still professional. When she handed me the bag with my food I said “I have to tell you, you’re doing a great job. Really appreciate you. Are you the manager? I’d love to give him or her that feedback.” She responded with “I appreciate that darlin’. I’m not the manager but I hope to be some day. There’s an 800 number on your receipt you can call if you’d like. It’s all in the attitude!”

Needless to say, I did just that.

You need reminders like this in your life. No matter what the job is, you can have an impact on people (negative and positive). I’ve long held the belief that a positive attitude is like a super power that everybody has.

Some folks just haven’t figured out how to use it.