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Believing ‘Nothing’s Impossible’ Can Boost Business

Nygard’s Golden Jubilee Review

It’s not an everyday occurrence to discover an individual who has pulled himself up by his bootstraps to achieve phenomenal success with a business that’s still breaking barriers, still achieving firsts, and still innovating fifty years later. What does it take? How did he achieve it all? And how can we achieve similar successes?

That’s what we’ll explore in this tri-weekly series. We’ll break down fashion mogul Peter Nygard’s achievements and look at how his accomplishments can serve as practical applications to others in business and life.

Believing ‘Nothing’s Impossible’ Can Boost Business

Being realistic can be overrated in business. Just ask fashion mogul Peter Nygard. Being realistic was never a part of his thinking. That factor alone has allowed him to bring about amazing accomplishments in his life.

Throughout his fifty-year business history, Nygard has always operated under the belief that ‘nothing is impossible’. Remember, he started at the age of three watching his grandfather with no legs and one arm walk with canes, climb stairs and perform work on his farm every day. 

He also watched his grandfather drive a buggy to market and singlehandedly (no pun intended) sell his grandmother’s wares on a regular basis.

That’s the example that served to form the foundational belief he has that nothing is impossible. This was only bolstered by experiencing the story about his father chasing down a bakery truck to get a job when Peter was eleven. 

After they had immigrated to Canada, Nygard’s father, Eeli, desperately wanted a job to be able to take care of his family. He was a baker who spoke very little English.  When he spotted a bakery truck out making deliveries, he ran after it as fast as he could. Naturally, he couldn’t keep up. However, Eeli returned the next day to the street where he last saw the truck. He waited for the truck to show up and ran after it again. 

It took him several days of chasing the truck to locate the bakery shop, but he did. He walked into the bakery, and with his limited English declared, “Me strong. Me want work.” He was given a position on the night-shift slated for a 3-month period. That turned into a fifteen-year job. 

This is yet another example in Nygard’s life that taught him that nothing is impossible. Chase down a truck if you have to.

What are the advantages of this perspective in life and business? When you believe that nothing is impossible, you develop a solution-oriented approach to everything you do.

In other words, each problem, each challenge, each goal is not about whether you can solve it or not, address it or not, achieve it or not. Failure is not an option. So it’s always about discovering the right solution to make sure you resolve it or achieve it. That’s the mindset that makes the difference.

During the 2008 recession, Peter Nygard decided he would opt out. In fact, in 2009 he took out a billboard ad near his New York headquarters in Time Square. It read, “We decided not to join the recession. Our increase is over 25%”.

How is this possible in the midst of a recession? Well, simply put, you don’t focus on the problem. You insist on finding a solution.

In an article by an award-winning Finnish reporter, Rita Tainola, who interviewed Nygard, she wrote, “Business tycoon Peter Nygård has increased his net sales in the midst of the recession. He is, however, pessimistic about the worldwide recovery…. This businessman is doing fine while the rest of the world is coughing.”

It is likely that Peter Nygard’s belief that nothing is impossible made him decide that he wasn’t going to participate in the recession. Imagine that? Just like his paternal grandfather, who had no legs and one arm due to diabetes, Nygård believes that you don’t have to accept conditions as they are and simply give up.

Tainola reported: “Nygård adapted to the circumstances and cut expenses by $30 million within a month. Costs have been cut on a monthly basis since that. As a result, Nygård sales have increased by more than 25 percent. Early part of 2009 has been the best in the history of the company.”

It is extremely important to have the right mindset in everything that you do. If Nygard’s grandfather had decided ‘well, I have no legs; I can’t do anything’, he wouldn’t have done the farm work that needed to get done daily, and he wouldn’t have hopped on his horse and buggy every week to take his wife’s wares to town to sell.

Nygard’s grandfather was never intimidated by any tasks and neither is Peter Nygard. This is the mindset that forces you to always find a solution to business challenges and goals. 

By simply refusing to accept things as they are, you force yourself to always find solutions, which usually leads to outside-of-the-box thinking and which can lead to major innovations and achievements. 

Try this thinking on the next challenge that presents itself.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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