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A Conversation With: Professional Coach and Former Olympic Swimmer Melinda Harrison

Nick Powills and Charles Internicola are joined by former Olympic athlete and professional coach Melinda Harrison to discuss how professionals can maintain a positive outlook and best utilize their time during this challenging period.

The coronavirus continues to have dire effects on businesses across the country, and the franchise industry is no exception. Franchisors across segments are strategizing new ways to support their franchisees, keep customers satisfied, help local communities and come out stronger on the other side of this crisis.

To that end, 1851 Franchise publisher Nick Powills and Charles Internicola, founder and partner of the Internicola Law* Firm, are covering the coronavirus and its impact on the franchising industry through our A Conversation With webinar series.

In today’s morning webinar, Powills and Internicola spoke with Melinda Harrison, the executive coach, former Olympic athlete and author of “Personal Next: What We Can Learn From Elite Athletes Navigating Career Transition,” about how people can maintain a positive mindset during this difficult time and use it to their advantage. 

Here are some of the key insights from their discussion.

Focus on Facts 

You can’t fix something if you’re not aware of the problem, so it is crucial to identify the cold-hard facts. Take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. Write down the facts, such as the state of your business balance sheet, on one side, and write down the not-quite facts, like your worries and suspicions, on the other side. Look at what is real and what isn’t real. You might find that the not-quite facts are having more influence on your thinking than you previously realized. 

Figure out what you have control over right now. That’s an essential element of coping. If you don’t feel like you’re in any control, that’s when the fear button really hits. 

Find Your Inner Athlete

High-performing athletes know how to use their athlete DNA and handle pressure. Once you become aware of how you deal with pressure, then you will start to embrace the ways you can deal with pressure moving forward. 

Instead of worrying about the past, take a step back and take a gut check. Ask yourself some questions and figure out how you’re going to shift. There are lots of different ways to shift. What worked for you in the past might not work going forward. 

Learn from Failure

We learn more from our failures than we do from our successes. When a football player scores a touchdown, nobody is telling them what they could have done better. It’s about the celebration. But if they miss a catch, what they could have done better is all they’ll think about.

Our failures are what drive us to learn and improve. We need to recognize that the things we are experiencing will drive us to be better. 

Think about the lessons you are learning from this crisis and don’t be afraid to talk to other people. A blind spot of many high performers is that they are used to being the person with all the answers. 

Celebrate Wins

Keep a win journal. Every night, write down two or three things that went well that day. Sometimes it’s the absence of such practices that really create the angst we feel. 

Work for the Future

Trust that we will get back to a new normal. But you will need to work hard to make that happen. 

This time is an opportunity to reset the “why” for everyone. If you don’t like what you’re doing right now, this is the universe telling you to grab a hold of your future. There are not many times when you can just sit back and wonder about what else you can do with your life. Figure out what actually brings you joy and do more of that.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.