Change your life by choosing a theme song

Music is a powerful way to create a mood. Don't you get your best workout when you listen to high energy songs on your iPod? Now, instead of using music just to make you exercise harder, imagine if you used it to shape your attitude toward work?

I recently read a post by Claudia Anderson-Scimeca where she wrote about your life having a soundtrack. I was immediately reminded of the TV show Ally McBeal and how her character had a theme song (for those those who didn't watch, Ally was a neurotic lawyer who still loved her ex-boyfriend despite the fact that he was now married to someone else). Even though Ally's therapist had suggested she come up with a theme song to help her cope with her romantic feelings, I can't help but to think the idea may be of benefit in the business world.

Imagine it.

You've just started your own company and you're about to walk into your first client meeting. Your theme song starts playing in your head. Is it Bon Jovi's "It's My Life"?

What about when you get up in the morning and you know it's going to be a tough day? How about putting Katrina and the Waves' "Walking on Sunshine" on in the jukebox in your mind?

Need an extra dose of booyah before you do that big presentation?  Tina Turner's "Simply the Best" kicks into gear in your noggin or how about "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor?

Going to a networking event? How about putting "Get the Party Started" by Pink onto the turntable?

Getting psyched up for a comeback of epic proportions? How about the little-known, but incredibly uplifting "Far from Over" by Frank Stallone? 

Or just want to go for an all-occasion theme song? "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey never fails or what about "How You Like Me Now" by The Heavy or "TNT" by AC/DC? 

Think about it. A theme song can be your own little secret. No one needs to know that you're playing it in your head and getting pumped up for what's next.

Why not give it a whirl? Hire a DJ and let him loose in your mind. What will he play? What will your theme song be?

Being first is not the key to success

Have a bright idea? Take it to market! But, don't fool yourself into thinking that because you're the first to offer a product or service, that you'll dominate your niche. Case in point: Hydrox cookies.

Now, one of the things I love about social media is that I learn so much. For example, this week I saw an update on Google+ from Matt Fox that said Hydrox came before Oreo, despite popular believe that Hydrox was a knock-off of the now famous cookie. "You don't have to be 1st to market with a product to dominate the market," Matt wrote. He's so right.

I looked into the history of Hydrox a little more and verified that it was, indeed, four years older than Oreo. For the trivia lovers, the "hydr" stands for hydrogen and the "ox" stands for oxygen, which when combined creates water. I don't know about you, but that makes no sense to me as the name for a cookie. But, I digress.

So, think about your niche. Have you held back because there's already competition out there? Have you talked yourself out of something because you think you have no chance? The reality is that Oreo is celebrating its 100th birthday this year and Hydrox no longer exists.

Why are you waiting? Being first doesn't make you better. It just makes you first.

Trusting your gut can make or break you

You know that feeling you sometimes get that tells you something isn't right? Well, that's your gut telling you to beware. As humans, we tend to rationalize away that feeling. However, trusting your gut is something that can help you make better decisions, earn more money, or sometimes save your life.

One of my favorite non-fiction books is The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker (click freely, this is NOT an affiliate link). It discusses the power of one's intuition as a means of avoiding violent crime. It's a great read. But, there's lots of other scenarios where we should trust our guts, too. Should we do business with Mr. Smith? Is Ms. Jones someone who can be trusted with our large financial investment? Will Mr. Applebee deliver the project to the big client on time?

Trusting that feeling deep inside ourselves is something we should all do more.

For example, I'm a big-time animal lover. Whenever someone passes me with their dog, I say "hi" and ask to pet him or her (the pup, not the person). I love pooches. Except, that is, the brown and white dog that I pass in my neighborhood sometimes. This dog always makes me uneasy; he seems unpredictable. And, although I feel like I'm offending the dog's owner, I stay clear when I see the dog approaching.

Today, I learned that the dog bit someone in an unprovoked attack and had to be put to sleep. I feel sorry for the dog and the owner, but I'm glad I trusted my gut and kept my distance. That could have been me on the receiving end of that bite.

The next time you have a decision to make, listen to your gut. Don't rationalize away warning signs. Don't be so optimistic that you don't see the reality of the situation. Trust your gut. It should be your business partner, your accountant, your counselor, and your most trusted friend.

Have a story to share where you trusted your gut and avoided a bad situation? How about a time when you ignored your gut and found yourself in a world of hurt?
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