One of the greatest business lessons you will ever get is going to the start with a 5 or 6 year old for them to buy something.
Recently, we were at the store picking up groceries and some odds and ends and my wife told our 6 year-old daughter that she could pick out a coloring book to get. If you have kids, I bet you can imagine what happened next. For next 15-20 minutes we sat there while the little tyke went back and forth on every single coloring book they had on display - picking almost every one and starting to put it in the cart only to stop and go back and pick a new one.
I watched amused as this went on and my wife, who had started to whole thing, go more annoyed to the point she had to do a countdown from 10 or my daughter was going to have the forfeit the book. It literally came down to the wire where on "1" she grabbed one and said "This one!" Of course, as we walked away, she started to second guess herself, etc.
As I watched and thought about this, it occurred to me that a big lesson was unfolding before me. A lesson that anyone who wants to truly succeed must learn and skill they must practice. The lesson? How to make decisions. Great leaders and successful entrepreneurs are decisive. They have the ability to look at all the angles in the moment and weight the consequences of the outcomes of their decisions on something quickly and act.
This is something I have practiced hard over the years and a skill you must learn. Your ability to think in the moment, separate emotion from logic, and see the different angles to make quick, solid decisions is priceless on your path to success. Make it a point to decide firmly and quickly - and to learn when you make a decision that was not the right one. You will get better and better and your success will grow as you do.
“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
Read the quote above again. Think deeply about it....
Do you know what it means? Do you understand the power that is in that short amount of words? It is one of the most powerful statements every uttered and it can change your life.
If you take everything but the first 3 words and the the last 5 words, what do you get? You get, "Watch your thoughts, for it becomes destiny." Everything and I mean everything begins in your thoughts.
Your beliefs, how you feel about yourself, your worldview, your worthiness, you attitude about life, you confidence or lack there of - even your physical capabilities all start in your thoughts. What you think every second of every day determines your world and the life around you.
If you believe the world is stacked against you, it will be.
If you believe that you are not worthy of reaching the levels of success you want, you won't.
If you believe that your life sucks, it will.
If you believe that you are destined to fail in relationships, you will.
If you believe that you cannot climb the mountain, you won't.
What do you believe? What thoughts are going through your head right now? What thoughts should you have?
Change your thoughts and you will change everything. You will change your life and live in a way that you have never lived before. Think and Start Living!
If you haven't had a chance to watch the HBO mini-series Chernobyl, I would highly recommend it. Not just for some amazing history and to understand how the accident at Chernobyl almost took out most Russia and surrounding countries, but for the incredible lessons about life that underlie the whole tragedy.
If you haven't heard of the Chernobyl accident before, that may be because it happened in the 80's. It was the single worst nuclear power plant failure in history which if it wasn't stopped in time would have become the equivalent of hundreds of bombs like the ones dropped on Japan. Could you image what that would look like? Imagine if a force 200x that of what was dropped on Japan unleashed itself in the middle of Russia (or at that time the USSR). Tens of millions dead and a wide portion of the earth uninhabitable for lifetimes.
I won't spoil for you what happened as you need to watch the series. All I can say is that I thought I knew some about the accident, but it was much bigger than I ever knew.
So what was the big lesson? It's simple, your lies will catch up with you. No matter what in life, your lies will catch up with you. Whether in your personal life or business life, it will happen. You may be able to keep a charade going for a while - but eventually, it all comes crumbling down. The whole setup of the soviet nuclear power program was done by cutting corners to save money - and people knew it. They knew that what happened could happen. They just thought it was so implausible that "why worry about something that could never happen." Famous last words "That's never going to happen!" ---until it does.
In your life, it is much easier to tell the truth and do what is right, suffer the consequences, and move on. If you continue to compound things and try to keep a lie going, when it does fall apart, it will happen in a much bigger way and the consequences will be much more severe. It is better to suffer a little pain in the short term than suffer catastrophic pain in the long term. Always remember that.
I recently got to spend some time with Shark Tank's Kevin Harrington at a private event. First, I have to admit, I did not know that much about him or even how he became so successful, but after talking to him 1:1 and seeing him present, I was intrigued by his journey to success and impressed with his incredible transparency of his failures and what he did to overcome them.
First, Kevin, is a mid-west guy from Ohio like me. His dad owned a bar and he basically grew up working there. He was an early entrepreneur in high school and started the first A-Z business brokerage and outsourcing firm. But, what he is really known for is being the wizard behind "As Seen on TV" and the infomercial scene. Kevin is responsible for everything from Ginsu to Tony Little and beyond.
But, as things changed in the digital world and TV became less and less in our lives as things switched to digital, Kevin's business, which had been doing over half a billion dollars per year, started to have trouble and sales started to plummet. Eventually, the business got a point where it was losing money and Kevin had to change things around...FAST. He managed to secure a 1:1 mastermind session with Richard Branson on Necker Island and came out with 3 important lessons that changed his business and re-ignited its success.
1.) Constantly Evaluate Your Dream Team
Kevin was made aware the team he had built that had done so well with TV and print advertising was not a team for the digital age. He had to re-evaluate the team, train them, and/or add or remove people to get the right team to succeed. You should always be working on your "Dream Team," but make sure to be thinking ahead to the future for what you will need.
2.) Embrace Digital Disruption - When you're on fire, rewire
No matter what business you are in, you must be prepared for disruption - in today's age more than ever. An entrepreneur, you should develop what I call a "healthy paranoia" in which you are always hungry and a little on edge. If you get complacent, you will get past up quickly. You constantly have to be ready to re-wire as Kevin said.
3.) Become a key person of influence by raising you profile and building your personal brand
In order to raise your profile, you must have a personal brand. You should treat it as importantly as you do your business. Be strategic. Make sure that what you are doing with your brand helps to lead back to your business and grows you in the areas where you need to focus.
If you practices these 3 things, it will make a big difference in your success. Kevin is a great example!
I am a huge of the Deadliest Catch. It encompasses everything about entrepreneurship, business, and life, and into one show. It awesome to see what these guys go through to make it happen and make their quota numbers and ultimately succeed in their business, but it also shows the toll that it can take on them giving you great perspective.
Recently, after an episode, I noticed a new show come on about a guy named Dusty Crum, a wildman out of south Florida who is one of the few registered people that go into Everglades and help catch and control the evasive python population that is threatening the area.
The show started out with Dusty (who looks like a member of the Duck Dynasty family), running barefoot through the Everglades and jumping on 12 foot python wrestling it and capturing it. Needless to say, I was in intrigued and continued watching. Who wouldn't love that action, right?
As the show progressed, it got into more of how Dusty has created a business around python hunting, including not only how he gets paid by the state, but how he uses every part of the snake that he catches to create additional revenue streams. In fact, each python ultimately is worth well over a thousand dollars to him and his crew when all is said and done. Talk about entrepreneurship. I never knew there was so much opportunity in every that a snake can be to people!
As you would probably guess from my description, Dusty is a pretty simple guy, but smart in the ways of the world. He and his trusty dog along with a few others get in their trucks and go out to the Everglades and make it happen each day. At one point in the show, Dusty's best truck breaks down and the crew is duscussing pressing on without it to which Dusty says, " No. You can't go python hunting without a python hunting truck!" In fact, there was a whole debate on it to where they actually called another python hunter and borrowed his "python hunting truck."
As funny as this was, it go me thinking. Dusty is right. If you are going to succeed, you have to make sure you have the right tools in place to do the job at the highest level. When was the last time you took inventory of the tool-sets you use or things you need to be successful in your business? Are you maximizing everything you can do? Do you need to put anything in place to help you reach your next level? It's good to do this at minimum quarterly.
Always remember, "You can't go python hunting without a python hunting truck!"
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