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.
It never ceases to amaze me what can inspire a series of thoughts. The morning before I wrote this, the sky was overcast and pouring down rain. I watched as the drops hit my window and rolled down ever so nonchalantly. Going off appearances, I would have said we were in for a long rainy day. But as the hours rolled on, the rain slowly stopped and the clouds dispersed.
By 1pm the sun was shining brightly and the sky was literally clear blue. I couldn’t spot a single cloud anywhere. That drastic weather change made me think about life and that old cliche of, Weathering the Storm.
We all have our share of “bad-weather”. When things just seem out of our control and even unfair. Many people feel like a victim the worse things get. As if some unseen hand is tormenting them – making what they touch turn to ashes. It’s an absolute feeling of POWERLESSNESS. No matter what we do to make things better, the effort just seems futile.
But just like the rain storm I described, all of that “bad weather” could be gone in a short amount of time. Things can take a turn for the better and next thing you know, you’re riding in the seat of positive momentum. The rain stops, the clouds dissipate and the sun shines in its full glory.
Around this time last year things for me were rough and slowly getting worse. I survived just fine, but not without some very careful navigation. I made a number of sacrifices with only the hope of a beneficial return. I was operating in the unknown – trying to bring order out of chaos.
I never blamed anyone else for my circumstances, I just kept in motion. I kept moving toward things that would put me in a better position. Without trying to sound preachy, I just KNEW that EVENTUALLY the rain would pass. And it did. Things didn’t get better many months but all my efforts started paying off. In some ways, I’m in a BETTER position now than I was over a year ago when things slid downhill.
For those of you that take the time to read my blog and my books you know I constantly say that, “Life is a series of problems that must be solved,” and we all have our share of problems. Some serious, some minor but none-the-less, still problems. Life continues to throw them at us for our entire stay here in this world.
I advocate self-empowerment but that doesn’t mean my life is perfect. The reason I teach a lot of what I do is because I’ve been in situations where I had to make use of what I knew. If it DIDN’T work, I found out quickly. If it DID work, it didn’t take long to discover that either.
Yes I study, I read, I sit and contemplate on life’s grander meaning (at least my life), but at the end of the day I do analyze the results of my actions and take responsibility for the outcomes. Whether good or bad.
I think on some level we’re all are very quick to covet the good. When we succeed at something, we immediately claim it. It fills us with sensations of pride and accomplishment. It just feels damn good to say, “Yes! I did that!” But, every coin has 2-sides. While we ALL claim the good, FEWER of us claim the bad. When we make a mistake, we don’t always own up to it. When we make a terrible decision, we’re not so quick to state it. When we destroy something fragile, like a relationship, we don’t go around telling our friends about it. We’re either ashamed or running from the truth. And part of that truth is, we’re not as perfect as we would like to believe. We don’t always have it all together. In fact I would go so far to say that we screw up MORE than we don’t. It’s the human way.
To reach a level of self-empowerment (and I do mean a state where you actually feel powerful) you have to do a few things:
(1) Own both your successes AND failures;
(2) You have to accept all your strengths and all your weaknesses – the good, the bad and the ugly;
(3) Not only that but you also have to make peace with them too;
(4) After that, you have to work on your weaknesses because you can only be as POWERFUL as your weaknesses.
Weaknesses are your limits because you can’t OUT PERFORM them. Don’t take my word for it. Try to get someone frightened by public speaking to give a speech in front of 5 strangers. If you can even get them to try, watch how poorly they perform.
Many of our weaknesses are rooted in our FEARS. And most fears only exists as imaginary movies we play in out in our minds. Many times, they’re not based in reality. So “bad weather” in your life is only as bad as you make it – it’s only as bad as you PERCEIVE it to be. It will eventually pass. Why not get an umbrella to weather the storm and prepare for the sunshine to follow?
Coming June 24th, 2017 To Garland, Texas