The Best Advice (Ever) I Got in 2016

By Donovan Janus on Jan 04, 2017 in 17hats News

Happy New Year! As you can imagine, here over at 17hats, we are very excited to start two thousand 17! Did you know that the number 17 means transformation? Or that in tarot cards, the card 17 symbolizes dreams coming true? In other words, by having chosen 17hats as your business management system, you have aligned your stars to make 2017 your best year ever! January just started and already you should feel more successful. Nicely done! ☺

As with any new year, expectations are high and intentions are great. As business owners, however, you and I know that life usually interrupts our best-made plans. So, how are we going to make sure 2017 is indeed going to be our best year ever? Let me share with you a simple bit of advice I read that will guarantee just that…

In March of last year, I stumbled upon an article that I can only describe as absolutely, positively, truly 100% life-changing*. The gist is that your attitude determines not only your success but your enjoyment of life. It describes a salesman whose default attitude is “never been better,” regardless of what life has thrown at him (and it threw some STUFF at him).

The article got me thinking hard and reminded me of my wife’s uncle who had just passed away a few weeks earlier. The first time I had met him over a dinner, he commented that the dish he was enjoying was one of the best steaks he ever had in his life. Not surprisingly, the mood after the meal was most excellent.

Surely the best meal ever is truly...rare...right?

Well, the next time I had dinner with him, the same thing occurred—"this was the best steak ever" he happily mused. And then the next time and the next time—the "best ever," and our dinners were always very enjoyable. Of course, over time, it became somewhat of a running joke that his food was always going to be "the best ever."

Until I read about the salesman, it never occurred to me how this was no joke. The attitude towards the quality of the food would become to some extent a self-fulfilling prophecy that it would be a great dinner. After all, if the food quality is terrible, you will be unlikely to remember the meal was particularly enjoyable.

After reading about the salesman with the impenetrable attitude, I shared it with some of my colleagues here at 17hats while at a tradeshow in Las Vegas. As a result of the team reading the article, everything quickly became "the best ever." The best Starbucks line ever," the “best whiteboard ever (it better be for the $200 rental charge), the “best walk to the restaurant ever." Now here is the truly funny thing—that night’s dinner was truly the best dinner ever for me. Every dish was more amazing than the last, and I enjoyed the wine we had so much I had to buy a bottle to take home.

Since then, "the best ever" has become an inside joke—a mantra among us, even. Whenever one of the team asks how the other person is doing, the answer is always, you guessed it, "the best ever," which elicits smiles and in turn makes us all feel better.

Life is all about perspective. So let’s look back at 2016 as the best 2016 ever, and I guarantee you this year will be the best 2017 you will ever experience!

Here’s to your business success in 2017!

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P.S. A word of caution: The day after that fantastic dinner, I was still on an emotional high as I started the drive home. After a minute or so on the freeway, I noticed I was going a teeny, tiny, itsy little bit over the speed limit and figured I better slow down. Not 10 seconds later I see the flashing lights of the Nevada Highway Patrol.


I looked down and yes, I'm indeed going just a little too fast.

As I rolled down my window, the officer asked how I was doing. While a smile, I answered, “Never been better!” Sadly, she mistook my positive attitude as sarcasm and handed over a ticket instead of a warning.

Even better, it turns out that in Las Vegas, you can have the speeding ticket turned into a parking ticket by simply filling out a form online. Yes, I was skeptical, but sure enough, a few weeks later the speeding ticket was dismissed. Best speeding ticket ever!

Donovan Janus

Donovan Janus

CEO & Founder - 17hats
World traveler, pilot, motorcyclist, and entrepreneur. Coming from a long line of business owners, Donovan had his first paper route at age 9, and officially started his first company the day he turned 18. He managed the Netherlands' largest small business website, and has been helping business owners become more successful for nearly 20 years, all while cooly maintaining a domineering streak as undisputed foosball king of 17hats.

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