Success must be earned. You have to pay upfront and you have to pay in full. You can’t get success for NOTHING. The necessary work must be put in. Because of this, the road to success can be long, frustrating, difficult and even lonely.
For those of you about to take this journey, or if you’re already on this journey and thinking about getting off, let me give you a perspective…
THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE HARD!
You’re not on the wrong path and the “success gods” aren’t sending you signs that you’re doing the wrong thing. Common sense should say that if this was easy, you would see a lot more successful people. That makes sense, doesn’t it?
There’s not 1 successful person walking this planet that hasn’t struggled in some way. There’s not 1 successful person that hasn’t had setbacks. There’s not 1 successful person that hasn’t been rejected, gotten discouraged and even lost something along the way.
I’ll give you just a few examples:
These are just examples from people who have been extremely successful. There are millions of smaller success stories we’ll probably never hear about. But they’re all relevant because they all show the focus, drive and determination that are inside us. It just needs to be tapped into – it needs to be activated.
I don’t like feeling like I'm losing. It’s a terrible feeling. But there are times when that’s going to happen. How we bounce-back is what matters. Only when we choose NOT to get back up is when we truly lose.
This simple reality makes some people cringe. They want things easy. They want things handed to them. They don’t want to struggle and fight. And these are the people who don’t reach success because they don’t put themselves in the position to EARN it.
How DEDICATED and COMMITTED are you? How much are you willing to sacrifice for your success? Are you willing to turn off your television and other things that waste your time? Making better use of your time is just 1 way you have to pay for your success.
Stop waiting and looking for the easiest and fastest way. Success is NOT about finding the easiest and quickest route, but rather continuing through the hardships and scary moments. Where you put your time and energy TODAY determines what happens TOMORROW.
So, is there a secret to success? From my person al study and experience along with nearly 15 years of speaking with successful people from every walk of like, I’ve come to the conclusion, there is. But, it’s not what you may think.
From my perspective, here’s the “secret” to success (which really isn’t a secret at all):
(1) DECIDE clearly about what you want;
(2) DISCOVER how to make it happen – form a flexible plan;
(3) Repeatedly make the SAME decision every day. You have to COMMIT.
Sound too simple? Well, if you have a job, what do you do to earn your paycheck? You’ve decided to get the job, you know what you have to do to keep it and you make the decision to go and do what’s expected of you. And you make that same decision every day you have to work.
Want to lose weight? Decide on a realistic goal weight. Research how you can exercise and eat better to obtain that desired weight. Then make the SAME DECISION to exercise and eat better EVERY DAY.
Want to increase productivity? Decide what needs to be accomplished. Write out a flexible list of what needs to be done and how to get it done. Wake up and commit to doing it every day.
Want to start a business? Clearly decide what business you want to do. Research what to do and how to do it. Commit to putting work into your business every single day.
So, if this is so easy, why did I say success is supposed to be hard?
It becomes hard when people are not CLEAR about what they want, they’re too lazy or scared to make things happen and they abandon their commitment when there’s any form of struggle.
If you’re not willing to go through setbacks, frustrations and growing pains, your chances of success are minimal. You didn’t pay the price, so you didn’t earn it and you honestly don’t deserve it. Think about it.
Until next time…
When I speak to aspiring entrepreneurs the conversation doesn’t take long to get into the subject of money. This is fine of course, what’s the purpose for starting a business if you’re not trying to make money, correct?
However, I think some people overlook something more important than money. And that’s a simple principle. What’s that principle? You have to give in order to receive.
The less you give, the less you receive. If you don’t give at all, you won’t receive very much at all.
You have to earn whatever you get in this life. If you go through life expecting something for nothing then you’re in for a very frustrating life. You’re giving up your power in hopes that things will work themselves out – and they seldom do. Anyway, back to business…
Consider for a moment if someone told you that on occasion you should GIVE away your service (or product) away for FREE. Some people shrink away from that idea. Just the thought of giving away something and not charging a single penny for it is almost an insult. But should it be?
Money comes from other people. And people that don’t trust you (or your company), won’t buy from you. People that are confused about what you do, won’t buy from you. People that feel as though they will be swindled or taken advantage of you, won’t buy from you. So what’s the big issue here?
The big issue here is TRUST.
People that trust you and/or your business are more likely to buy from you. You want more money? Then you must garner more trust. How do you get more people to trust you? You have to deliver an above average customer experience. And every so often, this means giving your service or product away for free.
Why would you do this? Because you want to build SOCIAL PROOF. People already trust other people they know, isn't that true? People enthusiastic to share their experience about you, with others, is what we want. When we're satisfied, don’t we share that enthusiasm with others?
When you eat at an excellent restaurant, don’t you tell other people? When you see a great movie, don’t you tell other people? When you have a good experience, don’t you share it?
Entrepreneurs want to make money, but they skip a few key steps. And one BIG key step that’s usually skipped is the building of trust.
So they key here is to give. But you can’t just give ANYTHING. You have to give the correct thing. The thing that will allow you to EARN the trust of your potential customers or clients. The bigger and more known you are, the easier this is. But when you’re just starting, you have to MAKE this happen. You have to consistently build trust and garner social proof.
We can talk a lot about branding yourself correctly, having the right price points, how to create stronger marketing and advertising campaigns. We can also discuss correct presentation, thinking outside of the box, how to rise up in the search engines, and how to make better use of social media.
And while all those things are important and necessary, if no one trusts that you can deliver on your promise, then what good are those other things? Let me repeat, people that don’t trust you or your company won’t buy; and a confused customer won’t buy.
We give in order to serve our market (potential customers and/or clients). And while we’re doing this, we gain the TRUST of our market and accumulate social proof.
Yes, there’s more to this formula but this understanding is essential for anyone thinking about starting a business – or someone who has just got their feet wet.
If you can master this skill, because it is a skill – it’s something that can be learned, then you position yourself to receive more money. Money should not be the ONLY focus of your business. In fact, money is the effect of specific causes; it's the result of certain actions. And earning trust is one of the most important of those actions.
For those of you coming out this Saturday, see you then! For everyone else, see you next post...
Tickets only $10
During the course of my life I’ve had my share of ups and downs, and still do, but I accept that most things that happen to me are the results of my own actions, or inaction. I’m the first person to say never place yourself into a “victim mentality” – the mindset that dictates when bad things happen to you, it’s someone else’s fault. A state of mind that keeps you weak and feeling helpless.
In other words, dis-empowered.
Sometimes though, there are “forces” against us. “Gatekeepers” that block us from what we’re striving for. These gatekeepers are the most common form of bully you’ll come across. In fact, they’re everywhere! At our jobs, in our school system, in law enforcement, working in government buildings, and even at the local Walmart.
Who is this mysterious "oppressor" that is right in front of your face? That oppressor is MIDDLE MANAGEMENT. It’s their job to protect the power structure above them by ensuring those below them are kept in-line, so to speak.
Perhaps you’re one of these gatekeepers yourself? Especially if you hold the title of Supervisor or Manager or Director. Your obligation (if you want to keep your job) is to make sure the company (the power structure) maintains its upstanding appearance while pacifying dissatisfied customers and/or clients.
Also involved with position of middle management is ensuring that employees below you are doing their job – which is to provide the products or services the company offers and do it in a way the customer will find pleasing. Today they call it a ‘Customer Experience’.
It's middle management’s position to shield upper management and the ownership from harmful arrows that may be shot at them. This includes protecting them from legal liability and ramifications, to shutting down any attempts that will waste upper management’s time.
It’s middle management that milks the car buyer for extra dollars. It's middle managements that will prevent a “nobody” from speaking directly to their bosses and/or owner. It’s middle management that will deny loans, refuse service, shoot down ideas and halt progress if they deem it necessary to protect the power structure they work within.
This is their place in The Game and most people who get into these positions will defend them. This means that, if necessary, they will oppress the common person to appease those higher up the pyramid than themselves.
We are directly held down by middle management.
While most people point a finger at the powerful, they’ll probably never encounter them. The people they do encounter make up layers and layers of middle management. And the reality is, upper management is usually more patient, more understanding and more willing to help than middle management is. They have more power partially because they have fewer people to answer to (among other reasons).
As a Player, we’re well aware of this and don’t take it personally. Despite how negative it may sound, there’s no other way for an organization (power structure) to function. There HAS TO BE those on top, those in the middle and those on bottom. The concept of everyone sharing equal power sounds good, but that’s like having a car full of people and everyone is in the passenger seat. No one wants to drive so the car is not going to make it anywhere. Why? Because no one is leading – no one has a set destination.
On the opposite side of that coin – if EVERYONE wants to lead, the car still won’t get anywhere if there’s disagreement about the destination. Such is The Game.
The next time you’re up against middle management and they can’t provide a satisfactory solution, you’ll have to push the UP-BUTTON and go over them or around them. Be a Player and don’t hate The Game – learn to understand it and work through it.
Consider yourself laced. Until next time.
On Saturday, June 24th I’ll be LIVE in Garland, Texas! I’ll be speaking about how to start a business from almost NOTHING. Check out the details on the flyer below.
Not too many people would say this to aspiring entrepreneurs (in hopes of not discouraging them), but business can be a lot like life. Sometimes you’re up, and sometimes you’re down. One day you have the upper-hand, the next day you don’t. One day you’re sitting on a goldmine, the next day you feel things around you spiraling downward. Unfortunately, most people just sit back and wait for the crash.
This can be called a ‘reversal of fortune’. Other times it's just blatant not knowing WHAT to do.
I personally had my share of not knowing what to do:
And these hard time stories are just in the business arena, I could make a HUGE list of personal and relationship setbacks!
It's never easy to hold yourself mentally and emotionally together when things like this happen. We don’t always have someone that understands – someone at the very least we can vent to.
When I teach business I do my best to keep things very realistic and practical. As much as some people attempt to sell the “dream of owning a business”, I know from personal experience and from stories of hundreds of entrepreneurs I’ve spoken with, that things will be up and down.
If you can let go of what ‘could have been’, you can pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get yourself back on the road to success. Then move forward from where you currently are.
When you’re down, you can’t allow yourself to get caught up in excuses about how things are so much harder now – or play the victim role, asking yourself, “Oh, why did this happen to me?”
Life doesn’t have a “do-over” button. At some point focusing on what might have been is just draining you of the energy necessary to move forward.
It’s not your setbacks and hardships that define you – it’s how you bounce back from them. We all have hard times, but not all of us find a way through them or past them. If you’re still able to breathe and think rationally, it’s not over!
I want you to know that I’ve been through a lot of what many of will go through (or have already been through). I have the bumps, the scrapes and the bruises. I’m still here and now I’m able to share with you tips and strategies that will help you navigate through the realm of business more smoothly than I did. And my sincere hope is that one day you’ll be able to share your experiences and be able to do the same for them.
But first, you have to get started!
I’m here to help give you the mental and physical tools to start out with confidence!
Hope to see you in Texas on Saturday, June 24th.