Bill Becker

How Do You Like Me Now – Power of Negative Thinking

Country singer Toby Keith recently passed away. I remember watching the biography of country singer Toby Keith recently and was intrigued by the controversy of his song, “How Do You Like Me Now?” It’s about a guy who couldn’t get the attention of his dream girl in high school. The guy ultimately becomes rich and famous and the song is basically a declaration of “in your face girls!”

There are all kinds of motivation…positive and negative. Bill Bartmann, who was a famous (infamous?) entrepreneur wrote in his book about  “personal motivators.” The example he gave of a negative motivator was his future sister-in-law. She was always telling her sister what a loser Bill was (at the time he didn’t have much going for himself) and how she should dump the chump.

Bill wrote the sister’s name on several 3×5 cards and posted them around his dorm room to help motivate him to finished college. Bartmann told Forbes magazine that without that “personal motivator” of wanting to prove his future sister-in-law wrong, he would never have finished college.

One quick side note about Bill. After his fall he was on the speaking circuit and I saw him at a Toastmasters conference but didn’t have the nerve to go up and talked to him. The following week I emailed and told him I regretted not speaking with him and could I buy him coffee someday and chat. He replied pretty quick and said, “Sure! How about today?” HOLY CRAP! I was nervous but had a great 45 minute meeting with him as he talked about the highs and lows of his life and the lesson I should take from his story.

Basketball coach Bobby Knight wrote in his book, “The Power of Negative Thinking” about why “negative thinking” will actually produce more positive results, in sports and in daily life. He explains that victory is often attained by the team that makes the fewest mistakes. His coaching philosophy was to instill discipline by “preparing to win” rather than hoping to win. That meant understanding the downside and drilling his teams to prevent the things that could go wrong.

Remember the beginning of this post where I mentioned about the concern for controversy when Keith released his song? It never happened! In fact, women were just as drawn to the song as men because they had their own episode in life where someone didn’t want them or believe in them and they wanted to prove that person wrong.

There are times that I think “negative motivation” is a great tool. You wouldn’t want to use it constantly but if you have a incident or two in your past that you want to use in a positive way…go for it!

Happy Selling!