CHICAGO—Jennifer Powers is the author of the best-selling book Oh, shift! and a renowned motivational speaker who shares the importance of being able to transition negative thoughts into positive ones. On Tuesday, she brought that energy to the 2021 NACS Show opening general session.

“The general session celebrated the joy of being back together and working together to overcome obstacles,” said NACS Vice President of Strategic Industry Initiatives Jeff Lenard. “Jennifer’s presentation amplified those messages with her high-energy, positive delivery. We’ve had a lot thrown at us the past few years and Jennifer’s message reinforces that despite all the challenges, ‘We Got This!’”

With audience participation, Powers explored the power of her infamous “shift,” or the action we can choose to take to help us see situations in a positive light rather than a negative one. Coming on the heels of 2020 and the havoc wreaked by the global pandemic on everything we used to consider normal, Powers demonstrated that this shift in thinking can start with the little things.

Instead of reacting to a situation by deeming someone a complete jerk, for example, Powers’ shift would help you to pivot to remembering how, normally, that individual is a good person. Rather than stressing about feeling stuck—in your career, relationship, etc.—consider that maybe you’re right where you’re supposed to be at this moment in time. It’s all about the way you frame it.

COVID-19 isn’t the only factor that’s shaken things up recently, although Powers noted that she herself had to shift 90% of her business when in-person motivational speeches and training, coaching and mentoring were no longer an option. C-store owners, in particular, are faced with their own pressures: pressures to offer healthier foods, reduce tobacco sales and accommodate electric vehicles with charging stations—and all sooner rather than later. These transitions will not be easy, but Powers recommends remembering that you’re in control, and that there is power in the shift.

“The first and most important thing to do is to ask yourself good questions about what opportunity this change offers you and your business,” Powers told NACS Magazine earlier this year. In other words, consider the opportunity rather than the barriers you might face in achieving the change. “You can choose to use anything—or not. That’s how much power you have. It’s your life experience.”

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