In Tessa Greenspan’s book “From Outhouse to Penthouse: Life Lessons on Love, Laughter and Leadership” and in her speaking engagements, she talks about staying positive in difficult times. We caught up with Greenspan by phone to ask her to suggest tips for pivioting and developing positive solutions in difficult times. Here is what she said.
COVID-19 challenges all of us to pivot and find solutions in the “new normal.” We isolate ourselves at home, with necessary trips for groceries and medications only. Pools and gyms are closed. Businesses that are non-essential are closed; some restaurants allowed to turn their kitchens into take-out and delivery services.
We can be afraid and anxious, binge on Netflix and junk food, horde TP and go caveman in our thinking. But maybe these stumbling blocks to health, wealth and happiness can be transformed into opportunities.
We can virtually go to museums, take classes, do yoga, travel on Google Earth, read and listen to books online and chat with friends on Facetime, Zoom, Skype, What’s App and more. We can catch up on music, learn a new language, take up a new craft (check out You Tube) and make our own meals on wheels for neighbors, especially the elderly.
Stay safe, be positive and continue on your journey to pursue your dreams during the COVID-19 siesta.
Tessa’s Top Ten Tips
- Failure is NOT an option: There is no such thing as failure. It is just a message to get up and change direction. It is learning what is not working and finding another way. Example: JK Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series while on welfare. Nelson Mandela survived prison and censorship to bring his vision for peace and prosperity to South Africa and the world.
- One small gesture can change a person’s life forever. Example: Fay Fleming is a brilliant, beautiful, African American, highly successful business owner, who attended a NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) meeting. I asked her if she was enjoying herself, she said No, this is the most unfriendly group I have ever attended. I took her by the hand and introduced her to everyone in the room. She became an important part of the group and within 2 years, she was the first African American to serve as NAWBO chapter president.
- Charity is good for business: There are so many small things you can do. As a bonus, doing good makes you feel good. Example: Each month, for 20 years, we chose a different charity, (many local) for our wishing well. One great one was “Operation Food Search” that provided food for low income families. Our stipulation was that the charity put the information in their newsletter for people to visit the store, no purchase necessary, put money into wishing well and whatever monies was put into the wishing well, the store would match it up to $400.00 for their charity. I had a big wipe off check that I would put the amount of money and took a photo with the executive director and they put it in their newsletter. We got a lot of great publicity and new customers and we made a difference in that charity and many others over the years.
- Find a person you admire and ask them to mentor you. It can make a major difference in your business. Example: Women Presidents Organization (WPO) was a group of 15 successful women who mentored each other, a mini-think tank female powerhouse. We shared information on industry standard salaries, workplace advice, legal insights and more. Because of their advice, my business was able to stop a frivolous lawsuit. My attorney and mentor saved our business with his wise advice, including negotiating a lease clause that saved us $70,000.
- The power of positive thinking: The most important skill a person can cultivate. It’s more than making lemonade out of lemons. Example: Looking for the positive in every dismal situation has helped me discover “outside the box” solutions. Some years ago, I was looking for a way to earn extra income so that I could help my sister’s children and my mother, who only had one leg. I looked around and saw that men were making a lot of money peddling fruit and vegetables. I decided I could do that too. So I bought a big bread truck, rented an empty gravel lot at a four-way stop and launched my business, despite the fact that I couldn’t drive a stick shift. Not only did I master that skill, I learned about the produce business and made a lot of money…and was named National Woman Grocer of the Year.
- Age must never stop you. You are never too old to dream a new dream, set a new goal and accomplish it. Example: I often am asked to speak to businesses and at conferences. Because I always want to improve, I am working with a professor on improving my speaking and presentation skills. Her name is Gina Jensen, Director of Speech, Speaking and Theatre at Webster University, In St. Louis, Missouri.
- Be a life-long learner. It keeps you young in mind, body and spirit and your brain cells will thank you. Example: Word games, puzzles, walking a different path, learning a new language, driving a different route, taking an online course, writing in a journal daily on 10 things you are grateful for, reading a book with your discussion group and practicing mindfulness daily are just the tip of iceberg. Challenge yourself.
- Transform stumbling blocks into steps to success. Every obstacle offers a lesson and an opportunity. When one door closes, a window opens. Learn to pivot. Example: Our grocery had a cheese department that was not profitable selling pre-packaged cheese. We could not compete with the chain stores. I contacted, then visited the cheese maker in Wisconsin and negotiated a great price on 3,000 pounds of 200 assorted cheeses each month. Back at the store, I had two women cut, slice and wrap each day. With this pivot, I was able to sell delicious cheeses $2, $3, and $4 per pound less that the chain stores. It became our second most profitable department after produce in our store.
- The laws of attraction work because everything is energy, what you focus on expands. Your thoughts and positive vibration attract like-minded people to you. The book “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen is a great book on this subject. Example: My book, “From Outhouse to Penthouse” has a lot of law of attraction examples and how to be positive in a negative world. I wanted to share my story to inspire others, and once it was published it become an international bestseller and I launched my motivational speaking career. If you build it, they will read it and ask you to come!
TESSA GREENSPAN is here to help. She has spoken to hundreds of organizations on multiple topics and will address the Federal Reserve as keynote speaker at their next meeting. Tessa Greenspan is one of the most influential women in business. As the former owner of Sappington Farmers Market in St. Louis, Missouri for 28 years. Tessa continues to be involved in many business enterprises, even after she sold the supermarket to a group of investors.
Invite Tessa to speak to your book club, business or group virtually via ZOOM or in person. As a speaker, her topics focus on business and personal resiliency, and always include inspiration, motivation, and how to live at peak potential with a healthy lifestyle. Tessa believes that a positive mental attitude, a willing, tenacious spirit, and a healthy body are the keys to success. Sign up for her free monthly e-blast or email her: t[email protected]
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tessagreenspan/
Buy The Book on Amazon.com and invite her to Zoom on your next book discussion.