When Terry Bean was a 26-year-old recruiter in the staffing business, he got one of his favorite pieces of business advice of all time.
In the staffing business, recruiters get get paid when they match the right candidate with the right job order. Recruiters can often have a great candidate, or a great job order, but until those are matched together, there’s not a lot of money in it.
Bean remembers being “super excited” because he had a great candidate paired with the right job interview at a good company.
“Boy, oh boy, was I strutting around the office like a peacock because of this one simple interview,” Bean recalls. “It turned out that this candidate got the job offer.”
Assuming the money was in the bank, the excited young recruiter was already spending it in his head. Then, as it turns out, the candidate accepted an offer at a different company.
“And my boss said, ‘This is a great lesson that I want to share with you.’” Bean recalled. “In this job, you need to keep your highs low in your lows high. You need to stay focused, right? If you’re super excited about something, and it doesn’t happen, then you’re gonna get really depressed about it. And I was like, hmm, hmm, I’m starting to see your point.”
Some 27 years later, Bean, now a business trainer, coach and consultant for TryBean, told the story to a national audience for the webinar, “Mindset Matters: How We See Things is Greater than What We See,” hosted by the National Association of Business Resources in partnership with the Best and Brightest Programs, Corp! Magazine and MichBusiness, in an effort to show what a difference perceptions can make.
“There’s something really powerful about the idea of staying in the center,” Bean said. “Sure, you miss out on the incredible highs. But you also miss out on lows that can cause you to go catatonic. So there’s something magical about keeping your highs low and your lows high.”
There’s an adage that says “Life is 10% what happens, and 90% how we react to it.” Bean encourages clients, partners, friends and family to respond to things that happen.
And a big part of that, he said, is mindset, because it changes how people see things. It changes how people deal with things.
“And if we can change how we deal with things, we can have wonderful outcomes, such as reducing stress, reducing anxiety, reducing frustration, and have an overall better quality of life that we can eliminate, or at least limit those three things,” he said. “That’s great.
“On the flip side, is we can find more joy, more happiness, more fun, in the things that we’re doing because, ultimately, life can be a struggle, or life can be a good time. And most of it depends on how we respond to the stimuli around us. If we change how we respond to it, we can turn a negative to positive pretty quickly. And I think we’ve all heard long enough that having a positive mental attitude is a very good thing.”
Thoughts have a resonance, Bean said, and people tend to track the things they think about most of the time. So it follows, he pointed out, that people who think negative are going to find more negative things.
Conversely, people thinking positive thoughts will find more positive things.
“I’m not telling you all you have to do is sit on the couch and think positively … That doesn’t work,” he said. “I have long said we have to put the action in attraction … we have to know what actions we want to take. And if we’re going to align anything, it might as well be the things that bring us joy.”
“The clearer we can get on what moves the needle toward our happiness, the more often we’re going to align with and put ourselves in a situation that we can find more joy.”
Another path to growth, Bean said, is developing a willingness not only to try something new, but to be willing to work to get good at it.
He tells the story of trying to teach his then-8-year-old daughter to water ski. Turns out the didn’t like it much and never went back to it.
Not surprising, he said, because people aren’t usually good at something the first time they try it. But …
“If you kept with it, the difference between where you were then and where you are five years from then, is monumental,” Bean said. “I use the line, ‘Be brave enough to suck.’ Often, we should put ourselves in a beginner’s mindset as frequently as we can. It’s humbling (but) there’s a lot of humility that is beneficial in life.”
Bean talks about how Henry Ford implemented the 40-hour, five-day work week which, at the time, “seemed like a blessing” because it had been six days, maybe up to 60-70 hours a week.
Now workers, especially the younger generation, wonder why they’re spending five days a week at work and two days a week, doing what they love?
“We’ve got this totally backwards and I’m a big fan and a big proponent of having an integrated work life,” Bean said. “I will work, I will do the things I need to do, and I will have fun, and do the things I need to do.
“I never mind if I’m working at 10 o’clock at night in getting things done, just like I don’t ever mind if I’m hanging out,” he added. “We can do both. We can get things done. We have 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in the week to accomplish our goals and our tasks. And make sure that we’re spending time feeding our passions and the things that we love, which include family, which include reading and learning, which include entertainment, which include spending time with the people we care about.”