When I look back on my early days in business, I see elements of myself that in some ways have diminished and some elements that are no longer within me. Most of that which I no longer nurture as an element in my life, and is gone from my life, were behaviours and indulgences that were/are destructive, or unproductive, unhealthy, unwise, or otherwise foolish and unnecessarily risky. Presently, I can say that I naturally eliminated those elements through simple growth.
This isn’t an epiphany for me, I’ve monitored this in my life for decades, but I have to admit I would be further along to some of my goals if I was more diligent about initiating theses types of changes. You see, as we get older, as we age, we try to impart our wisdoms (old and new) upon those whom have not acquired them for themselves, no matter their age, no matter their level of success, we all have great and wise knowledge to impart on one another, including ourselves through discoveries. What happens is most times this sharing of highly pertinent and wise data is lost on those we share it with (including ourselves) because few actually take action to bring this wisdom to bear.
Now, here is what I say to all of you about taking action. There are NO EXCUSES that are real. Don’t settle for letting wisdom come to you, seek it out and research it. When it is offered by others, evaluate it. Be sure to write it in a journal, and most importantly share it at appropriate moments. Then, and this is where the rubber meets the road, TAKE ACTION!
I keep reading posts here, and our additional forums, where a member says “I can’t do it now because I have no money”, and then ask the question “how can i get the money?” or I’ll start as soon as I can save up enough money”. The money never gets saved because there was never a plan to take action for saving money, or earning it to save in the first place. What happens then is that the dream to accomplish something is lost.
The action principle is simple, not convoluted, not difficult, not impossible, not dangerous, not horrible, not hurtful, and not painful. The action principle is taking a step forward. Nothing less, nothing more. Then taking two steps, then four steps, and so on!
Need money for a project and have none? Hop online and find a plan someone else has used and build a quick plan to put their model into action for yourself.
Need to build a prototype, spend a week researching and designing the first model of your widget. Need help, seek out and interview prospective junior partners that have the materials and the skills to build your prototype.
Don’t know how to organize yourself to develop an idea into a reality? Find someone that has done it, make them a partner!
All of this is simple economics of time. Instead of telling yourself you can’t, start communication with those that have accomplished something similar and find out what your next ACTION is!
The Action Principle: If you fail to take action, you lose the right to say “I can’t” about anything. Simply Take A Step, I Dare You!
Among the many very important elements in this universe of business entrepreneurship we are here to embrace and struggle with are the strengths and skills we have and the strengths and skills we need to develop.
Struggling With Strengths
Most rarely do we think of a current strength as something we struggle with. However, what we know is actually among that which may be the cause of quitting a project immaturely.
When I was a young man (late teens), I took up whitewater kayaking. I adapted quickly and was negotiating class four rapids by the end of the summer that year. Around that time, I went out to Lake Ontario on a particular windy day. All of my kayaking buddies were going and said it would be a blast. We loaded our boats up on a special trailer we had built for group trips and headed off to the lake.
Upon arriving, we saw eight and ten foot waves. Very unusual for this lake, it gets some big storms and during those storms these waves would not be unusual, but to have them on a beautiful sunny day with no rain and thunder was something we only would encounter for only a couple of days every few years.
I wasn’t the only rookie in the group. There were three of us (of about 14) that had less than a years experience. The three of us had developed our skills quickly, but all of our experience at that point was running rapids. We were really excellent as rookies doing enders in holes, dunking off of twenty and thirty foot waterfalls, running class four rapids for great distances, and had developed our rolls. However, the three of us rookies had never done waves on a lake or in the ocean at that point.
We had unloaded our boats, lined them up on the beach, and were admiring these beautiful monster waves. All at once, we went charging for the water, hopped in our boats, and started paddling out through the waves. The idea was to learn to surf with our kayaks. As we got out past the waves and into the rollers, we saw the more experienced guys getting right into it and so the three of us rookies caught the next wave and all three of us were immediately thrown from our boats!
As soon as I was thrown from the boat, I knew to float horizontal so the rip current wouldn’t take me out. The other two quickly realized to do this as well and we nursed ourselves to shore where all the others were waiting to have a good laugh on us. They knew this would happen and it was our initiation to crap out of the first run on those monster waves. They told us, you’ll get it on the next one. We went again, and bounced out of our boats again, and again, and again. Finally, the three of us, after eight or ten attempts, sat on the shore looking and watching as the others played gleefully in, around, and on the monster waves.
We had a couple of members of our group that were competitive kayakers at the olympic level. They had taught most of us. As we sat there on the shore, one of them paddled in off a monster wave and landed perfectly at our feet. Still in his boat, he took off his helmet, looked up at us and said, “The water on the rivers is moving water, the water in the lake never moves”! All three of us knew immediately what he meant. It wasn’t our skills that were failing us. We had quit trying, we sat on that shore feeling defeated when he paddled up to us and made his pitch, his statement, his offering of an epiphany, and in that moment a single thought he related to us made us realize we had not applied our skills to the environment. The water wasn’t moving!
You see, in a river or a creek, the water is moving and the waves are stationary. In a lake, or the ocean, the waves are moving but the water is stationary. As soon as the three of us had this new information, we knew our skills were fine, it was how we applied them to the new information that gave us the ability to conquer the waves.
We had quit, we had made eight or ten attempts and had our butts creamed. We simply gave up and sat on the shore watching our buddies doing what we thought we could not. It took one sentence, just one epiphinal thought, and we were back in the game.
I see this every day in our forums. I see perfectly capable people giving up, just quitting! Why, because they simply don’t have that one piece of information that adds the clarity they need to push a campaign over to a positive ROI, or a new business plan into action, etc., etc. I also see members lamenting thoughts of “I don’t have any money, I don’t have a mentor, I don’t this, I don’t that, etc. These are all of the wrong reasons for quitting. All of these reasons are the very obstacles other people and members here figured out how to surpass and did it with no new skill sets, instead, they figured out how to apply their current skill sets to the problem by realizing the problem simply needed them to apply their skills in a different fashion.
I gave up that day, even if it was for only a few minutes, I gave up. I don’t up on anything these days. You see, as an entrepreneur, you must be a monster of faith in your skill sets. Keep developing your skills, and understand that as the universe grows, as our immediate environments grow, there will be new means by which to apply our skills. New approaches, new angles, new perspectives, are not really obstacles but rather new environments to apply our current and developing skills.