February can be miserable.
However, there’s one thing I like about this time of year, when it’s cold and dark, and that’s Friday evenings.
More specifically, Fridays when I’ve picked Josie up from her Mum’s. These Friday evenings have turned into a tradition of pizza and movie night.
We both love pizza (who doesn’t) and it gives me a good excuse for a carb fix as the rest of the time I tend to shy away from breads and other carb based food.
Even though she’s fifteen, Josie still likes to grab a blanket and snuggle up on the sofa with her dad to watch movies and eat pizza. It’s also the only meal I’ll let her eat away from the dining table so she loves the whole “event”.
We usually end up watching a Marvel film. Josie loves the Marvel franchise. The whole superhero, big explosions, saving the world thing, interspersed with dollops of comedic value, really floats her boat.
She loves the storylines, the threads running through the films, the dialogue and banter between the characters and the inside jokes.
She also loves the little clip you get at the very end, after the credits have rolled.
Okay, okay. I know it’s all about the Chris’s for her – Hemsworth and Evans in the avengers and Pratt (makes me feel a bit better) in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Now DC have brought out Wonder Woman, there’s Chris Pine too.
What is it with all the superhero playing Chris’s? Is there a special acting school for Chris’s who wear tights?
So, she’s fifteen and enjoys watching hench (her words) guys running around, saving the universe in tight fitting costumes.
Still, I get to watch Scarlett Johanssen, and latterly, Gal Godot so Fridays are just fine thank you very much.
My favourite Superhero is Batman. Not a marvel incarnation but a DC character.
Because he’s ordinary. He’s a guy who, despite his demons, pushes himself to be the best he can be.
He works hard, constantly striving for better. He knows, there is no perfect, yet seeks perfection.
Yes, he was born with a world of advantage and he uses that as a lever to make a change, to have an impact.
He could enjoy the wealth he has, yet chooses to risk it all, night after night as he tests himself against what he perceives to be evil.
He’s ordinary, because he has no true super powers. He wasn’t bitten by a bat and can now fly, using supersonic weapons a la Spiderman.
He wasn’t born on another planet and gifted, with enhanced powers of strength, speed and senses a la Superman.
He hasn’t got a magic hammer, wasn’t injected with muscle enhancing drugs or turns green when he’s angry.
He (and Iron Man) are the superheroes we can be, if we put our minds to it.
The same of course applies to Black Widow (Scarlett) and Hawkeye who are trained but not enhanced with “powers”.
In her great book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol S. Dweck states:
“We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us. We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary.”
Ordinary is boring. Ordinary means hard work. Most of us are enraptured by the thought of drinking a potion that gives us instant strength. Or being zapped by a radioactive ray that will enable us to fly.
In the same way, we look for superhero results in our businesses. The magic formula, the instant recipe for success.
It doesn’t work that way. May I remind you, superheroes aren’t real (the Marvel ones anyway). Yet, they exist all around you.
The “ordinary” entrepreneurs who, despite their own demons, battle their own challenges, deep into the night when they could be dreaming of success instead.
The business owner who hits failure but stands up and carries on regardless. The caped entrepreneur fighting staff issues, cash flow problems and digital marketing confusion.
Entrepreneurs who choose to take time out to better themselves, learn and improve their service, their customer acquisition process, their understanding of numbers.
Everyday, you do things that are extra ordinary. Things that “normal” people don’t do.
You know, deep down, that those potions don’t exist. That business success doesn’t come in a bottle.
That it comes from facing external adversity and internal strife.
There’s a Batman hidden inside all of us. Waiting to be trained and be successful.
That superpower is in you, bursting to be let out. All it needs is a helping hand from you.
So, grab your utility belt, find your cape and go forth and be successful.