Jim Penman gives us a refreshing confession of his fallibility and weaknesses. He explains that there are a lot of things which could have made him fail in business, but one quality which he has which got him through was his resilience. What he means by resilience is that he just doesn’t tend to get disheartened by failure. It is hard to take sometimes but he knows how to quickly change the focus of his mind to always be looking for the next step: ‘Okay, that went wrong, but what do I need to do? What’s the next step?’ Another good tip he picked up from his mowing days was that, when he felt really sick and tired, he just kept focusing on finishing the lawn one step at a time, ‘what’s my next step, end the row, okay next step’. Focusing on the next step instead of the uncertainty of how to get to the big end goal. So when things are bad, rather than weighing down all the mistakes he has made, he thinks, ‘What do I need to do? What steps do I need to take?’
Another thing that gets Jim through the tough times is his sense of mission, his sense of purpose. His whole business is designed, in the beginning, to fund a research program he did for his PHD, to do with biochemistry of social behaviour which could potentially help people beat addictions and other useful things. This has always been a driving mission for Jim, and he is now funding that research program. So he had to be successful because that’s his goal. Through all the tough times, his mission kept him going, his sense of purpose and the reason he got up every morning.