While driving somewhere in Tennessee, heading back to Chicago wrapping up the Go-Giver Tour, I was having a deep conversation with one of the winners of the contest, Emanuel. We spoke on topics ranging from prospecting to spirituality. One question he asked me stuck with me and fueled this blog post. “What do people need to become successful?” he asked. I paused…
Of all the success books I read, what advice can I give this young entrepreneur that he has not heard before to help guide his journey. I am rattling off a list in my mind starting with goals, persistence, self-education, capital, vision, enthusiasm, etc… I quickly hit the breaks on my thoughts. I realized all of these things stem from two attributes: DISCIPLINE AND DESIRE. So that’s what I told him. He paused analyzing my words as I began to reinforce my decision.
#1 Why Discipline? (def: Training to act in accordance with established rules; accustoming to systematic and regular action)
It is a very difficult thing to align yourself with your vision and passion as an entrepreneur. Many of us are motivated by money and have not the slightest clue about business. One of my mentors always used to tell me “Ignorance on fire is better than knowledge on ice.” Which I believe in wholeheartedly. Taking action is what separates the good from the great. I operated my business for the first year of my entrepreneurial career in this fashion. Just go out and hustle.
What I realized is that there would be serious peaks and valleys in my business. I would have times of great success offset by tremendous failures where I feel like my life is coming crashing down. It was comparable to watching someone yo-yo on their diet (Mike Monty – no pun intended). They will become a nazi when it comes to the strictness about their diet. They are plowing forward and doing better than they have ever done before, then…..CRASH! They do not have the mental strength to continue and they are burnt out and things take a turn for the worst and they are sucked back in to the simpler times.
Discipline may be the biggest challenge I face in business and I am telling you the diet story from experience. Here is the problem we have with it. Your inner thoughts correspond directly your outer life. Neglect of the foundation of our business to go pursue a paycheck may seem like the best option in the moment. That’s what I did and I learned some VERY EXPENSIVE lessons. You must find a balance that works for you between the time spent working in your business verses working on your business. For me, I work ON my business 2-3 hours a week. Focus on the fundamentals. Let’s look at managing our money. If we cannot manage money now, how can we ever become successful? It’s not the fact that you can’t manage money (you can hire someone to do that), but more over your views toward it and your willingness and DESIRE to budget and report your expenses every week. Do you have the discipline to build good habits into reflexes which become part of your life?
#2 Why Desire? (def. To long for; to wish for earnestly; to covet.)
All of the principles of success must be fueled by some force. Some call it their “WHY”. What is the underlying reason you to get out of bed every day and take action? Maybe it’s to help your family or build homes in Africa or to educate other young entrepreneurs. Or maybe it is to make millions and sit on a yacht sippin’ margaritas. Whatever it may be, it must be strong and clearly defined. Once you have that burning desire, it will motivate you to learn how to discipline yourself in all other areas of your business like setting goals, bookkeeping and so on.
The most important desire you can have is the desire to learn, grow and improve yourself. A good friend once told me “If your not growing, you’re are dying.” If you think you know it all I have some advice for you. You’re Right! Go sit your butt in a cubicle every day and waste your life away. Business is not for you and for the rest of us, get clear on exactly what we want. You may be thinking, “well helping kids in Africa is a stronger desire for me than keeping my face in the books”. And you are right there is no better thing than to help others, but to get to the point where you can serve others best-start by serving yourself.
Spend time increasing your value by educating yourself so you can better serve the world. That’s my motto and I am sticking to it!