You got it all figured out. You've got the product nailed. You know your market. You know how you are going to sell your products. You've got the talent. You maybe even have some backing. Success is just around the corner. Maybe.
You can have everything you think you need to succeed in your business or startup, but without one very specific thing, you will not make it.
What is it? Drive. If you are not driven to the ultimate level, beyond what anyone thinks is neccessary, then your chances of success are small.
After years of interviewing the top entrepreneurs in their fields, the one thing that stands out is that they are driven, almost obsessed with making their dream a reality. It always amazes me how many people have the talent, capability, resources, and even the right connections, but they don't succeed or even try. It has always puzzled me. Why are so many capable, but only a few truly make it in the game of entrepreneurship? It's because the ones that do are driven more than anyone else.
I recently interviewed Jason White, an entrepreneur who created a business that does millions per year in government contracts called the Federal Code.
By all accounts, Jason was destined to be another statistic. He grew up in the hood getting in trouble and didn't graduate high school. In his early 20's, he was working as a gas station attendent when a chance meeting happened that set him on a new path. He learned about the possibility of making money fulfilling government contracts and decided he was going to figure it out and change his life. He didn't know what he was doing or how to do it. He didn't know the first thing about goverment anything - but he was driven as hell. He spent almost 3 years working and figuring out how to win and then outsource the servicing of government contracts. He literally worked day and night for over 2 years getting rejection after rejection making no money until he had his first success. 99% of people would have quit in the first month, let alone be driven enough to go at it over 2 years without success. That is what it takes. And that is why people like Jason change their lives reaching levels no one thought possible for them and then help others to do the same. Be on the lookout for his upcoming episode.
But I think Jason's story illustrates the point well. How far are you willing to go? Do you have even an ounce of drive? I bet you do. It just may not be for the money side or business side of your life. It may be that you are driven to be the biggest fan for your favorite sports team and you won't let anyone outshine you. I think everyone is extremely driven in some area of their life. The trick is to recognize that. To recognize that feeling and harness it to use it in other areas of your life like your business or maybe your relationships.
Whatever it is you want, you must be driven to get it. Find your drive and use it in all areas of your life.
As a entrepreneur, you must get outside of your bubble and seek ideas and thought leadership from other sources. Different sources. These 3 videos will make you think and give you new perspectives and ideas.
This past weekend, I competed in the Ironman World Championships fulfilling a goal I made almost 4 years ago. It was a grueling race on the toughest course on the circuit. As with any race, there are challenges in the moment that must figured out and overcome.
I was a great race overall and the memories will last forever, but I learned some very important lessons that can be used for all areas of life.
Prepare for Adversity
One thing I have learned in racing Ironman for many years is that no matter what, you will face unexpected adversity on the course. You will have to overcome and adjust to it "on the fly." You will not know where it will come from or what it will be until it happens. For example, I was having a very solid race at the World Championships. I had my best swim time ever and put in a really solid bike time on the hardest bike course on the circuit. I nailed my pace on the first half of the marathon. At mile 14, my hamstring started to give me some trouble and I slowed down and walked a little bit. This was also the time of day where the sun was the hottest - 95 degrees in the desert. Seemingly out of nowhere, I was hit with severe de-hydration even though I felt I had hydrated myself better in this race than any other I had ever done. I had to walk most of the back half of the marathon and even had to sit down for a little while to keep my head from spinning. I had prepared myself ahead of time for something like this to happen and to be ready for it. I didn't know if it would happen or what it would be, but mentally, I was ready for it and when it hit, I was able to say, "Ok, we prepared for this. Now, we have to work through it and keep going." Which is what I did to finish.
This type of mentality relates very well to business and entrepreneurship. You must be prepared for adversity and ready to manage it because you don't know where and when it will come. I thought I was going to keep my pace and cruise to a great finish and within about 20 mins, it changed. In business, it could be anything. The loss of a key employee or client. A legal issue. A product flaw that nobody saw. All kinds of things can happen. If you are prepared and ready, you can manage them and get through to success.
Plan Your Race from Beginning to End
One of the things I have gotten better at over the years is taking a lot of time to plan every aspect of my race. I visualize every aspect of the race I can from the time standing in the starting coral, to my transitions, to the different areas of the course itself. I make mental notes and prepare. I plan my nutrition out almost to the exact times I need to take it, etc. In doing this, I can remove most surprises during a race and methodically work my plan as I go. This is how I can finish and do well. Over 3000 people started the race in the World Championship and only about 2200 finished. Some of them had trouble because they didn't plan well enough and were not prepared.
It's the same in business and entrepreneurship. You can never plan for everyting because things just happen- adversity happens. But the more you can plan and prepare, the better chance you have at finishing the race or reaching your goal. Take time each week to think through your business and plan for your success.
You Win in Your Mind
At mile 20 of the marathon, I was at my worse for de-hydration. I could not sweat anymore. Every fluid I tried to take in, came back up. My head was spinning. I had to sit on the side of the road and let myself cool down. I wanted to quit. I did not want to go further. I watched top athletes around me quitting one after another. It was at this time that I had overcome these urges in my mind. I had to will myself to keep going. I had to convince myself that I had more left. With only a few miles to go, I knew it was physically possibly to finish. I had to work through this internal conversation and get my mind to believe. I worked through it and was able to get it up and get going by telling myself, "Just one more step. I'll take one more step." And with one foot in front of the other, I finished.
I've always said that you win in your mind - in just about everything. And sometimes, you have to overcome your mind's limitations. You have to prove to it that it is wrong. This takes sheer will and guts. You will have to do this time and time again in business and entrepreneurship. You are only down and out if you let yourself be down and out. Only you can quit. And people typically quit in their mind before anywhere else. Do the work to develop your mind to overcome the hardest challenges. Be prepared to force you mind to overcome its limitations. If you do this, you will find you are capable of so much more in your life and can keep growing to new levels.
This week marks the 300th episode of the Misfit Entrepreneur! When I started the podcast, I was excited just to do it for my daughter as a passion project. I never expected that I'd be sitting here at 300 episodes writing to all of you who support the show in over 150 countries. I am so grateful for you and want to thank you for all of your support and feedback over the years. 300 episodes is big milestone and it would not be possible without you.
I am also excited because the 300th episode is a Lesson for Hannah episode where I speak directly to my daughter giving her lessons to help her in life. I hope you have been able to take a lot from these episodes as well.
As move on to the next 300 episodes, we will continue to find the best entrepreneurs in their fields and share their best wisdom and success habits with you, but we will also be looking at expanding the impact of the show and doing more with you. So, stay tuned and again, thank you for all of your support!
Recently, I went back and started listening to Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill. Many people have never heard of it and it was actually controversial during Napoleon's time.
Outwitting the Devil is a book, but I find it is best listened to in audio form because it is a conversation between Napoleon Hill and the devil. It is fictional, but it teaches so many great lessons for life and success. It also helps you to understand all of the ways you are tempted in life and to recognize them so you can make better decisions.
You can find the audio for free in a lot of places, below is the one I have been listening to on YouTube. As you listen to it, I'll be curious to see what you learn from it, so drop me a comment on this post. Enjoy!
Over the years, I've collected a lot of great sayings and philosophies to live by. And I've developed a number of my own. Years ago, I heard an executive speak to a group of young, hungry entrepreneurs and something they said stuck with me.
They talked about how they would find themselves at times not wanting to go forward or just "tired" of everything they had to do to keep their business going. They basically described the rollercoaster ride of entrepreneurship and the daily challenges that come with. They did a great sharing their experience of how this can wear on an entrepreneur and over-time make them second guess themselves or get to a point where they want to give up. And usually, this was the point right before they would find larger success.
He talked about how in those moments he would tell himself the same thing over and over. He told himself, "I will do it just one more day." And when the next day came and he felt the same pressures, he would tell himself, "I will do it just one more day."
He said he did this for years and one day he turned around and he had built a massive global company with incredible people doing hundreds of millions of dollars in business - all because he decided to do it just one more day.
How about you? When you find yourself at your hardest points or when you feel like you've just had enough or don't want to continue on - try telling yourself, "I'll do it one more day." Then get up and do it the next day and the next and so on. You'll be amazed at where you might be just a short while down the road for having adopted this philosophy.
11 minutes is not a long time, but it amazing how hard it is stop and focus on something for that amount of time. But we must do so.
Think about if you spent 11 minutes per week or better yet, per day thinking deeply about your success? What could that mean to you?
Or maybe, it is as simple as getting the right message like this short 11 minute video will give you. Check it out!
Productivity is one of the best ways to increase your success. The more you can do with the time you have or find ways to leverage resources to help you get more done, the bigger your business can grow.
There are a lot of ways to increase productivity. Here are 6 simple and easy ways to do so.
One of the biggest reasons people lose productivity is they do not plan. Because they don't have a plan, they have no direction when it comes to what needs done and waste a lot of time. What would happen if you planned each day ahead of time and wrote down everything you need to do? Or better yet, planned your week ahead of time? Start planning and watch the different having a weekly and daily To-do list makes in your ability get things done.
Focus, Don't Multi-Task
Once you start planning for your success, make sure to block times in your plan to focus on each item that needs done. Studies have proven unequivocally that multi-tasking makes you less productive and effective. Focus on specific tasks at a time in your plan and you'll get them done faster in and more effectively.
Schedule for Your Best
Another tip is to schedule your most important tasks during times when you are most productive. For example, if you have high energy and get your best work done in the morning - schedule your most important tasks for the day during that time. Schedule less important tasks or tasks that require less thinking outside of these times.
Give Yourself a Break
A lot of people think that continuously working it effective. After all, you are putting in a lot of back to back hours, right? Wrong. The be more effective, you must build in breaks so that you can recharge and give your mind a rest. These can be 15-20 minutes a few times during the day. During these times do something non-work related. Take a walk. Get some fresh air. Throw the ball for you dog. Whatever you choose is fine, just keep work out of it.
Ask for Help
This one is hard for people. If you find yourself spending too much time on something or having trouble figuring something out - ask for help. Don't keep wasting time on it when you know you need to get help from somewhere. Ask someone you know who can help you get the result you desire faster and go to work.
Take Care of Yourself
It is hard to be most productive and perform at your best if you are not taking care of yourself. Make sure to get good rest and sleep each night. Eat healthy. Get exercise each day.
Follow these 6 simple tips and you will find yourself much more productive in all areas of your life.
If asked just about anyone if they wanted to get to their next level of success or potential, they would tell me "Yes!" So, if that is the case, why do so few actually level up in their lives?
The reasons are many, but it usually comes down to a few main ones. Here they are:
I think everyone has faced these issues in the pursuit of personal growth. But, how do you overcome them? Better yet, how can you make it easy to overcome them? I've found a few simple ways to do this.
First, you do need to be clear on what your next level looks like so you need to take some time to think it through. Spend 30-60 minutes with a notepad and write out what the next level looks like for you. Challenge yourself. Ask yourself "why?" Ask yourself if you are holding anything back. The important thing is that at the end of this time, you should have a much clearer picture of the what your next level looks like and things you need to do to get there. This will get you focused.
Second, remember the 80/20 rule. In this case, 20% of the things you need to do to reach your next level are much more important than the rest, the 80%. Focus on just actioning on those items. Once you have done them, then move on to others. This will keep you from being overwhelmed.
Third, automate your success. In every way possible, you should strive to remove roadblocks or obstacles that you percieve will hurt your chances of leveling up. For example, if you know that you need to get up earlier and eat a healthy breakfast to get you on the right path to reach your goal, you can automate this by scheduling breakfast to be delivered to you at your home or office at 7am. By doing this, you give yourself a deadline to get up by and get going and take the hassle of preparing a healthy breakfast off your plate. Another example would be freeing up time in your day to focus on the tasks needed to reach your goal. You can do this by blocking off time on your calendar so no one can take that time and setting a reminder alarm to focus on your important task.
As you start to think about it, there are a lot of ways to automate and remove the lower priority items or busy tasks in your life, so you can focus on the most important. You know what your time is worth, so make sure you are maximizing your time for your value. Getting clear on what you want, focusing on the most important things to get you there, and automating and outsourcing where possible makes it much easier for you to level up and reach your true potential.
Entrepreneurship is an amazing, wonderful, awesome thing. We have so much opportunity, possibility and capability at our fingertips.
In fact, we have so much opportunity and possibility that many times, we fall into the biggest trap or hardest thing about entrepreneurship. The hardest thing about entrepreneurship is being able to see the true opprtunity through all the ones in front of us and focus on it.
As entrepreneurs, many times we take on so much that we aren't as successful as we could be if we just took the time to think deeply about the best opportunity for us and our goals and then devote ourselves to it - saying "no" to the others. Saying no is hard because as entrepreneurs, we are wired to see the opportunity and attempt to capitalize on it, but sometimes we don't stop to think if we really should do so.
Thee challenge has always reminded me of the movie Jurassic Park where the founder is so proud and excited to show off the incredible things they have created and is so caught up in "the magic of it all." They fail to think about all of the ramifications of what they are doing. Jeff Goldblum's character tells him, "You were so pre-occupied with whether or now your could, you didn't stop to think if you should!"
It is the same way for us as entrepreneurs - in fact, the founder of Jurrasic Park is an entrepreneur going through this same issue. Many times, we see the possibility and opportunity, but fail to see the incredible opportunities we already have and already working on. The secret of successful entrepreneurship is to pick the best 1 or 2 opportunities and then devote yourself to them to see them through to their highest potential. Sure, you can have multiple things going at once, but you must stay in your zone of genius and get help in the areas of outside of that really be successful across the board. You will always do well to simply, focus, and execute. And make sure you stop to think if you should!
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