Entrepreneur Lara Morgan knows only too well that the journey to success can be a challenging road. However, she has learnt, and advises, that a positive mindset is key to success both in business and for personal wellbeing.
Lara explains: “Your attitude alone is pivotal to leading a life of positivity; one with exciting experiences and meeting interesting people, enjoying personal growth. You have to believe in the fact that you will always go further and faster with the right mindset for positivity.”
Since selling a majority shareholding in her first business Pacific Direct, for £20 million Lara has put her experience to valuable use investing in British innovations that genuinely improve the lives of others – including the lifestyle brand Scentered. Here she explains the tools and tactics she uses in her daily life build a positive mind set to juggle all that is expected in parenting, being a good partner, friend, mentor, coach and sometimes boss.
“The Plan is all important. I plan my time well in advance and in minute detail. I never go to bed without being very clear on my plan of attack for the day ahead. I get my stuff together for whatever it is I am tackling the next day, in the expectation that the alarm might not go off. If I do not think I can achieve all that I need to the following day, I will change the plan in advance to make it work. Knowing this, I can sleep well.
I always build into my plan what I refer to as “grey-time”. This is my buffer – a blocked out appointment with myself – which I slot into my all too relentless schedule. This is my think time, my all-important review time. So, the day begins and I have a plan, and within the plan I have the blocks of grey-time, meetings, things I want to get done. All important to help me keep up and stay aligned. I use text for quick stuff, urgency and to make sure I am in touch as much as possible but I also communicate in advance when I am unavailable. I am not a slave to email.
Inevitably things happen, sometimes at the very start of the day you spill toothpaste down your shirt, but having a plan helps you to be agile, organised and with a mindset that allows you to ride above hassle. I love the saying ‘It is your choice as to how you feel’. I choose not to be negative, not to look backwards, to only to think forwards about positive outcomes and solutions. I do not let petty things get me down. This resilience alone is life-changing and will positively wipe out the silly things that I sometimes observe others wasting valuable time on.
I do have tools to cope with negativity. This is someone else’s loss, and I ride above it. I use deep breaths to get through most things. My tool to cope with rudeness, or someone putting me down, is that I never lower my own standards. I also accept criticism and know how to apologise. I am always looking to learn and improve and this means I need to cope with feedback.
I try to make everyone’s day better. My Mum taught me this marvellous skill. I gain a huge amount of enjoyment and get help from all manner of people because I aim to engage, have a giggle or learn through showing interest. Taxi drivers and hotel staff are a font of all knowledge in new cities and I suspect I get places faster, get better rooms, seats and support simply because I work hard to be polite even when I am stretched, pushed and, some would say, stressed. I choose to consider stress as more of a positive than a negative. It is all about mindset.
Focus is the most important skill. I find this allows me to be sometimes seemingly brutally direct in my desire to milk every moment out of every opportunity. I measure outcomes in many ways – I do think how one “feels” matters a huge amount. I have a single word that sense checks my balance in life, that is do I feel content? I feel I have a ticking time clock for life. I have set myself ambitious goals to be all that I can be. I constantly review all the important things in life that I want to achieve on my personalised pie chart. Each section measures the important endeavours I have and I sense check these regularly!
How you feel about yourself is so important for a positive mindset, especially in tougher times. Money also does not buy you health and well-being and so you have to work at these things. Make choices to eat healthily and to take exercise daily. I often walk (very fast) between meetings. I get calls done and I stretch my legs at the same time. Learn to get more value out everything you do and remember there is no such thing as perfect so just be grateful for every healthy day.
Finally reward yourself and celebrate your own determination and bravery. Always laugh at your growing audacious belief that in yourself. You are what you choose to be in life and you can choose to surround yourself with people, lessons tactics and methods for coping with those tough life challenges. And take small steps and sodding big leaps of faith by following your gut – particularly when it comes to people.
- Time management training, it is a priceless investment. Build your resilience to change and challenges by deciding to be more confident
- Write lists – write them and re-write and prioritize them. Then enlist help, delegate with brilliance and aim to be a professionally firm and fair delegator.
- Learn to have boundaries and to be able to quickly explain your interests and engagements and when something does not appeal don’t be afraid to say ‘no’.
- Escape when you are overwhelmed to re-group, re-energize, re-ignite