It’s an excuse I have heard too often from small businesses. ‘it’s so much easier for the larger, more established businesses. As a small business, or a new business, we’re at such a disadvantage.’ Utter tosh, and here’s why.As a small business, or a new business, it is not acceptable to blame problems, difficulties or challenges on the mere fact that the business is small, or new. Indeed, smallness and newness are very much advantages, or can be if you apply a little ingenuity, a little forward thinking and accept a little appreciation of the options available to you.First of all, let’s consider the benefits a small business has over a large one. Yes, a small business really does have benefits compared to its much larger rivals. Think of a cruise ship and a speedboat driving at full speed at night. Up ahead is a large iceberg, although not easy to see until you’re up quite close.The cruise ship spots it, and starts to veer to one side, although another iceberg is up ahead, meaning that regular adjustments need to be made. There’s an awful lot of frantic checking and calculating and steering and re-checking, and not a lot of very responsive changes in direction. Often it’s best to slow down a little, take stock and do things carefully step by step.The nippy little motorboat however is able to adjust course very quickly, dodging obstacles and changing course rapidly to take advantage of new open pathways, and steering well away from any potential problems or dead ends.You don’t need me to explain how that analogy works in terms of large and small businesses. But today with online technology and social media marketing new opportunities can open up with little or no warning, and it may take larger business very much longer to take advantage of those opportunities. Be on the lookout for opportunities and pounce on them in order to completely outmanoeuvre the bigger businesses.What about newer businesses – do they have any advantage over more established ones? Yes, of course. Let me explain through another analogy. This time imagine a house that’s been standing for a couple of hundred years. Over time the land has shifted, the river has widened and the ground has become wetter. The old house is starting to creak and crack, and has had to be held together with metal poles, pushed up by metal struts and reinforced with buttresses.On the other hand, consider the property being built on the same ground, but taking stock of the current conditions, and more aware of the likely direction the ground saturation will take in future. This house is built on raised stilts, and is fully capable of coping with the damp conditions.Newer businesses are built within the context of present day opportunities and customer preferences. By developing businesses from the very early days within the context of the current climate it is possible to create a resilient, responsive and dynamic business presence which is not going to suffer under the weight of many years’ patching, fixing and adapting older businesses are having to cope with.There are other excuses given by smaller or newer business too, including online businesses and even those who run their business entirely from home. I’ve heard excuses such as ‘it’s easier for more established or larger businesses because they have flashy business addresses, premises and offices,’ or, ‘larger businesses can afford to hire teams of telephone operators to answer the phones all day, whereas I have to do that as well as run my business,’ and even ‘larger more established businesses can afford accountants to do their bookkeeping, whereas we smaller businesses have to spend huge amounts of time trying to do it all internally.’These excuses are by no means more than scratching the surface, but I utterly refute them all, as I do the very fact that a business is new, or small, or even both.Even the most causal of searches online will reveal excellent virtual office service providers, offering very affordable and easily scalable business services such as a virtual office address, fully equipped meeting rooms as and when required, telephone answering services, mail handling services, invoicing and bookkeeping services and much, much more.Being small or new is absolutely not an excuse for feeling that second place is the best that you can hope for. Grab the opportunities, overcome the challenges and steer a course through the inevitably interesting path ahead towards the success which will be richly deserved. All it takes is to stop making excuses and start taking the right action.
Your mental health is often drastically improved when you use the techniques Dr. Kuhn teaches in this article. When you are able to experience this improvement, your relationships blossom, career paths open, and people find you attractive and accessible. You deserve to have fun and joy in your life – and Cliff Kuhn, M.D. will help you do that.
In the classic Frank Capra film, It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey’s mental health is overwhelmed by the difficulties of his life and he wishes he’d never been born. George’s guardian angel grants his wish and takes him to a grim reality as it would’ve been without him. George feels nothing when he reaches into his coat pocket to retrieve the flower his daughter, Zuzu, placed there – and that’s when George knows that his wish has come true…he’s never been born.
Wishing she had never been born, Roberta became my patient, seeking desperately to improve her mental health. Like the fictional George Bailey character, Roberta’s depression and anxiety had grown so strong as to threaten her ability to lead any semblance of a normal life. Fortunately for Roberta, she soon discovered exactly why the natural medicine of humor is one of the most powerful adjunctive treatments for improving mental health, because humor literally pours water on the fire of depression and anxiety.
Roberta is not alone. As many as 35% of all Americans suffer from depression and anxiety, the twins that make mental health elusive for millions. Your depression and anxiety is exacerbated by your seriousness – taking yourself too seriously. As we move into adulthood, we unfortunately buy into the notion that responsible and productive people must be “serious.” As we make the biggest mistake of our lives and relegate our humor nature and fun to recreational activities (if we experience fun at all), we doom ourselves to all the symptoms of the corresponding seriousness that fills the void – declining health, rising stress, increased pain, lessened energy, impaired creativity, and more.
The good news for your mental health, however, is that we know how to shrink your deadly seriousness to practically nothing and reduce almost completely the sway it holds over your health, vitality, wellness, and zest. The natural medicine of humor is an incredibly powerful resource that you already possess; you’ve only forgotten how to use it to maximum effectiveness. You will soon discover that, while not a panacea, the natural medicine of humor is a tremendous tonic for depression or anxiety and will also supercharge other treatments because it is an amazing adjunctive medicine too!
I have distilled the natural medicine of humor, through my years of medical practice, into an amazing prescription I call The Fun Factor. Based on what I learned over twenty years ago from a terminally ill fifteen-year-old patient, I created a unique set of principles I call the Fun Commandments, then forged these Commandments into my Fun Factor prescription and have been prescribing The Fun Factor with great success for years. This report will show you how to use just three of my Fun Commandments to turn your mental health around, and gain new joy, pleasure, and appreciation from your life!
Improve Your Mental Health Using My Fun Factor Prescription
Step One: Always Go the Extra Smile
The first Fun Commandment I recommend for improved mental health is: Always Go the Extra Smile. This Commandment is doubly helpfully for depression and anxiety because not only does it provide measurable emotional and physical relief, but it also is completely under your control – regardless of your circumstances. Because smiling remains totally under your control, it can be your greatest resource for using humor’s natural medicine to accelerate your mental health.
Smiling produces measurable physical benefits you can experience immediately: your stress decreases, your immunity improves, your pain and frustration tolerances increase, and your creativity soars. And guess what? You experience all these benefits even if your smile is “fake.” That’s right…forcing a smile onto your face perks up your immune system and lightens your mood just as readily as a genuine smile. Fake a smile and you’ll soon feel well enough to wear a real one!
This is great news for your proactive stance on sustainable mental health. You have an amazing amount of pre-emptive control over your mood – you can, literally, choose more energy and happiness. The key for your use of this Fun Commandment in enhancing your mental health is to start practicing right now, so that smiling becomes an entrenched, habitual method of accessing the natural medicine of humor. If you wait to smile until your mental health has taken a turn for the worse, and depression or anxiety has taken hold of you, it will not be as effective.
Step Two: Act and Interact
Smiling leads us right into the second Fun Commandment you’ll find instrumental in maintaining your mental health: Act and Interact. Humor’s natural medicine works best when we are sharing ourselves and this Commandment will teach you how to capitalize on the control you’ve taken over your physiology and mood by smiling. Acting and interacting is now easier for you to do because you’re smiling more. Not only is your mood improved, but your smile is also a pleasant invitation to other people.
My suggestion is that you solidify the power of this Commandment by setting a reasonable goal regarding the number of people you will interact with each day. These social interactions are great for your mental health, forcing you to exchange information and ideas with another person. Combined with your commitment to smiling, your interactions should be pleasant, because your heightened energy, lessened pain, and lowered stress levels are very attractive to others.
Beyond keeping you out of isolation, there is another reason why acting and interacting with the people you encounter fosters improved mental health. It allows you to avoid spiritual “flat tires.” Spiritual flat tires occur when you sidestep, or avoid, an interaction that is about to happen naturally – you duck into an office to avoid encountering someone in a hallway or you don’t answer the phone because you don’t want to talk to the person calling. This type of avoidance drains and deletes your reservoir of powerful natural energy and siphons your mental health reserves.
Have you ever noticed that it usually takes you twice as much mental and physical energy to avoid doing a job than you would have expended just doing it? It also takes twice the energy to avoid acting and interacting with the people who cross your path because you are, in effect, saying, “I’m going to correct the mistake that nature made by putting this person in my path and I’m going to correct it by being mentally and spiritually negligent.” Mental and spiritual negligence have the same effect as physical negligence (isn’t it strange how you get tired if you don’t exercise?). If your mental health can afford to allow this much energy to be drained, then you have a much bigger reservoir than I!
But spiritual flat tires do more than drain our energy, they are detrimental in at least two additional ways:
We miss out on an interaction with a teacher. If nature didn’t have a lesson for you, that person you just avoided would not have been placed in your path. You say that the person you just avoided was a negative influence or would’ve wasted your time? I know we have legitimate schedules to keep, but if I am avoiding people based on my prejudgment of them, I’m cutting myself off from my greatest teachers – those very same people.
We all learn tolerance from the intolerant, patience from the impatient, temperance from the intemperate, gentleness from the ruffian, etc. I am supremely grateful for those teachers and the lessons they give me.
We create a small, nagging spiritual void of dishonesty, the kind of dishonesty that keeps us from laying our heads down with complete peace of mind each night. Our spiritual flat tire is caused by the pothole our avoidance created; it is a natural consequence, or symptom, of our spiritual dishonesty. These consequences clutter our lives with mental and emotional baggage that further drains us of our energy and vitality.
Step Three: Celebrate Everything
The third Fun Commandment which will help you use the natural medicine of humor to charge up your mental health is: Celebrate Everything. Celebrating everything may sound like a monumental task to someone who’s mental health isn’t up to par, but you will find this part of my doctor’s orders much easier to fulfill once you start practicing my first two Commandments. In fact, celebrating everything is more than a maintenance step providing sustainable mental health. It will also become your lifestyle, the more you practice it, because you will enjoy the results so much.
How do you celebrate everything and how will this keep your mental health on the upswing? The epitome of this Commandment is found in the old joke about the boy who wanted a pony for his birthday. Instead, he found a room full of manure waiting for him. But he dove right into the dung, gleefully exclaiming, “With all this manure, there’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!”
Laugh as we might, we’re quick to remember that, as adults, we would never allow ourselves such “naive” enthusiasm. Why not? Do you realize what is behind such a “grown up,” “mature” decision? Your deadly seriousness (taking yourself too seriously) encourages the attitude that a mature adult should not let herself be so optimistic and thus mental health is jeopardized.
We could do more than chuckle at this birthday boy’s unabashed optimism – we should emulate it! When was the last time you encountered an unexpected pile of manure in your life? You had absolutely no control over the mess, right? But you had absolute control over your reaction to it and this is the key to using celebration to keep your mental health improved!
When you celebrate everything, the natural medicine of humor creates spiritual, emotional, and mental health like nothing you’ve felt before. You will find that your fears become much less controlling when you are celebrating everything because it no longer matters so much how things turn out. In fact, you are literally ready for anything because you are prepared to find the blessing in whatever happens.
My daughter-in-law, for example, broke her back last year. My son, who is often my model for the embodiment of my Fun Commandments, can tick off a laundry list of blessings his family has received as a direct result of his wife’s “tragedy.” Not that his mental health hasn’t been challenged, but faced with the choice of depression and anxiety over an event he couldn’t control versus finding the blessings waiting for him, he has chosen the latter.
The choice to celebrate everything is not a panacea; my son’s choice did not change the reality of his wife’s injury. What did change, however, was his ability to respond to the injury and, thus, keep his mental health on an even keel. Celebrating everything changes our lives because it allows us to positively control the only things we have control over – our actions, ideas, and attitudes.
There you have it. Start by going the extra smile, use your newfound smiling energy and vitality to act and interact with people, and celebrate everything to maintain your positive momentum. Say good-bye to imprisonment from depression and anxiety and welcome to your new world of improved mental health!
Start Using The Fun Factor to Improve Your Mental Health…Right Now
Here are some simple, easy steps you can take right now to turbo-charge your mental health.
Subscribe to my Fun Times newsletter. The Fun Times is all about using your natural power of humor to increase the quality of your life – including your mental health. The Fun Times is 100% free, and is delivered instantly, every week, to your email inbox. If you sign up now, I’ll also throw in a copy of my “Stop Your Seriousness” Ecourse and my book, Ten Ways You Can Be Happier…Right Now! which will show you how you can use my Fun Factor prescription in your life to increase your mental health!
Check out The Fun Factor. This prescription has changed so many lives for the better – it would be a shame if you passed it up. Check it out here if you’re sick of wishing for mental health and want to finally achieve your greatest mental health!
My patient Roberta, by the way, learned to use these three Fun Commandments – and the rest of my Fun Factor prescription. She has enjoyed the same job for three years now and was recently engaged to be married. Roberta occasionally has setbacks, as most people suffering from depression or anxiety do. But, her mental health has never been stronger as she continues to apply The Fun Factor to her life.
In It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey is so shocked by the grim vision of a world without him that he decides he wants to live again and begs to return. He knows he is back when he finds Zuzu’s flower petals in his coat pocket again.
Let this article be like finding Zuzu’s petals. Move forward today with a new, positive outlook on your improved mental health by using my Fun Factor prescription.
About a decade ago, I was running a franchising company which sold mobile auto detailing and mobile car wash rigs around the country. It was a very fun business to run, and I can remember helping our franchisees work with their local chambers of commerce in the hopes that they would get more business. Let me tell you that when you work with the local business community, especially if you do personal services and business-to-business services then it more than pays for itself, the membership that is.Of course, membership isn’t enough, “you only get out what you put in” as they say. Yes, that is especially true when it comes to chambers and business organizations. Okay so let’s talk shall we?If you run a small auto business, and it hardly matters what type I highly recommend that you get with a networking group, or set up your own networking group in conjunction with the local Chamber of Commerce. You should be networking with other auto services such as;1. Oil Change Companies
2. Tire Shops
3. Towing Services
4. Auto Repair Companies
5. Auto Dealership Fleet Sales Divisions
6. Aftermarket Auto Audio Equipment
7. Promoters of Car Shows
8. Car Rental Agencies
9. Auto Insurance AgentsIn fact, you should have an entrepreneur or businessperson in each one of these categories – folks that will come to a weekly meeting which you should also attend. You should exchange clientele lists, and do cross referring to get more business. You should especially do this if you are hurting for sales due to a harsh economy where you have to chase down every dollar, just to turn a profit. Indeed, in the lean times that’s what we did, and we were quite successful at it.I’d recommend you go into the local Chamber of Commerce find out who’s already a member, especially in those categories, and ask the chamber president if they will allow you to set up such a local auto services group and networking club, one that can meet at the actual chamber offices once per week. By doing this you will ensure that you have businesses which have integrity, and our community players.Those are the types of businesses you should be networking with, those are the good companies, and you won’t be burned when you refer one of those companies to your best clientele. Well, that’s what we did, and we did it because it works. I ask that you please consider all this and think on it.