Your Inner Persistence

Ever since I was youngster, my Dad trained me to be persistent. To never give up. To fight for what I believe in. And to go for it. I’m very thankful he drove these points home and I carry them with me today. Persistence is a big part of my life and it should be a big part of yours as well.

The days of racing and crashing in the first corner and my Dad screaming, “Get up boy and get going, you can fight to the front”, are all part of my inner persistence being developed and honed.

All while he was screaming, I was thinking in my head, “How am I going to fight to the front when I’m in dead last place?”. It’s possible. I won several races by getting right back up and fighting to the front and I have the trophies and stories to prove it.

This inner persistence remains with me today and it’s stronger than ever. It’s what wakes me up everyday to pursue my dreams, my relationships, my companies, my investments, my projects, and all the things I wholeheartedly believe in.

My mentality is this: never give up on anything….no matter what. And, do the things that others aren’t willing to do so that one day you can wake up and appreciate that you did it.

Do the right thing and stay at it. Don’t give up, don’t back down, and don’t take no for answer.

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How about you? 

Are you developing your inner persistence?

 

Don’t wait for your first win to start sharing your thoughts

I am confident you’ve thought this before, “Does anyone really care about my thoughts before I get my first win?” No, no one cares. Just kidding. People do care. But, the only way to get them to listen and care is for you to grow some balls and get out there sharing. If you wait for your first win, you could be waiting forever.

A win is gained through consistent confidence. If you can consistently be confident, even in the times when you feel like you are a loser, you will eventually wake up one day with a win. A win doesn’t happen overnight.

These pathetic thoughts are in your mind. You need to extract them before they kill you. You’ve convinced yourself based on what you’ve seen, read, and listened to that you can’t share your thoughts until you get a win under your belt.

You don’t need a win. That’s in your mind. You need confidence. Be confident in yourself and start sharing. And don’t be afraid of other people and what they think of you. People are going to tear you down and people are going to tell you that no one cares what you have to say until you get a win. Don’t listen to these people.

Start sharing and start winning today.

 

VISION OVER CUSTOMERS

Are you placing a higher value on listening to your customers over creating a vision of how business and products can be done differently? If this is you, as Mark Cuban would say, “You need to have your ass kicked.”

Customers aren’t always the smartest person in the room, so stop building your organization around them. I’m not saying you shouldn’t conduct focus groups and customer insights (these are super important), I’m just saying you shouldn’t build your entire organization around them.

Talking with lots of companies and entrepreneurs, I’ve learned that one of the biggest mistakes you can make is asking your customers what features or services they want to see – this isn’t always the case, just the majority of the time.

Instead of asking your customers what they want, come up with a vision of how business can be done differently, how the game can be changed. Customers don’t always see the value or need until they are slapped in the face with it. And when they try it, they love it and tell their friends!

It’s not the job of your customers to know what they want or need. That is your job. It is your job to study, predict, and create the future. Be a futurist, a visionary, a Steve Jobs.

When you think of customers, you think of people who work a full time job, run their kids around, go to school, along with several other things all wrapped into their day. They don’t have the time to do your job too.

It is your job as the entrepreneur to invent the future and stay ahead of the curve. Look high and low, around corners, inside the box (I will blog about this later), whatever it takes.

Now, go make your customers happy, take care of their needs, and listen to them. Just don’t build your entire company around them.

 

GUIDE TO A GAME CHANGERS LIFE

Do you want to be a game changer? Are you already a game changer? Either way, we need more game changers in the world today. We need people just like you to step outside the tent and do something so big, so impactful that it literally changes the landscape.

There isn’t nearly enough game changers in the world today. Let me rephrase that, there aren’t nearly enough people stepping outside their comfy tent to activate their game changer. Everyone has it inside of them they just need to activate it. I am writing this to help you activate your game changer – that is if you are serious about being a game changer.

No rehashing of old outdated ideas. I am talking to game changers: people who want to come up with something new, something brilliant, something game changing. A game changer doesn’t maintain the status quo, they blow stuff up and get excited about the outcome.

If your sitting at your desk reading this right now thinking, why can I not be a game changer. You can, and I am going to show you how. It’s not nearly as hard as you think. In fact, I’ll let you in on a little secret, it’s simple. All it takes to be a game changer is determination, insanity, and faith that you can do the impossible.

I’ve put together a guide for those of you who want to be a game changer. I only want people who are serious. If you’re not serious, please move along and don’t wast anyone’s time.

Now, if you are serious you can Click here to download the Guide to a Game Changers Life.

After you’ve downloaded the document, read through each question, and fill in your answers in the space provided. Simple. After you’ve filled out the doc, and you 100% believe in what you’ve placed there, it’s time to post it everywhere.

Post it on your bathroom mirror, on your dash board in your car, and anywhere else you look everyday. If you truly want to be a game changer you need to keep your game changing guide in front of you. It is also a god idea to read through your game changers guide each week to make sure that you are on track and holding yourself accountable.

Game changers do the things that others aren’t willing to do. Go and be a game changer.

 

SCREW THOSE WHO SAY YOU CAN’T

Do you have people in your life that tell you, you can’t? How does this make you feel?

The reason people will tell you that you can’t is because in reality they are the one’s that can’t. Instead of them getting off their ass and going out there and trying something, they would rather sit around and tell you, you can’t. These people suck in my book. You know what I tell these people? Suck it.

Quit listening to the negative Nancies and dream killers and start listening to God and your Gut. You can do anything that you put your mind to and there is nothing, and I mean nothing that you can’t do in this world.

As we come up on 2012, I challenge you to put all naysayers aside, dream big, and go for it. Yes, you are going to fail miserably (I’ve failed so many times I lost count) but that’s just part of the game. You will get back up, brush yourself off and keep going. And in the end, you can look back and be thankful that you stepped out and did something incredible.

 

STOP WAITING FOR A RAISE: 10 TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED ON YOUR OWN

Sitting at home on the couch complaining about your worthless job? Is it time to step out on your own? I took the time to put together 10 tips to get you started.

1. Create a business model canvas: Research, design, and build one if you want your idea to work. Having a business model is one of the fundamental building blocks of any start-up and necessary to protect your idea, invention and proprietary information.

2. Know Your Market like the back of your hand: Who does your product appeal to and are they willing to buy? Do you appeal to several different customer segments in the market? Are you solving any major problems?

3. You need an idea – What is the idea?:  Have a well designed plan that is executable. It is okay to think big (I prefer you think big), but how are you going to get there, one step at a time?

4. Research and list all Competitors and competitive advantages (Be honest with yourself too): Taking the time to do a competitive assessment can take time, however the time spent here will be well worth it – this is vital to your success. Also, while looking at your competitors define where you sit and how you are going to be different.

5. Financing and budgeting is critical: You need to know what you personally have to spend (Without hurting you and your family), how much you need, where are you going to locate the capital, and how is your idea going to scale – this means revenue streams and a smart business model.

6. Have an exit strategy in mind: Are you planning to sell your company and move onto the next thing? Are you going to pass it on to your kids? Or are you going to try and position your company for an IPO? Think about it.

7. Pick a course and run with it:  Picking a course is always better than swimming around in a circle like an idiot.

8. Protect Yourself before you wreck yourself: How are you going to protect your idea, invention and your proprietary information. Can your idea or product benefit from a patent? If you have the right projection, it can give you an edge in the marketplace.

9. Process makes perfection:  A company without the systems in place to fulfill what it’s selling or producing is preparing itself for a fall – believe me I’ve been there.

10. How is your company structured?:  Think about whether you want to be a shared corporation or a limited liability company. Also, think about where your company is going to operate and where you want to incorporate. What are your future plans for the company?  How do you intend to raise capital?  What is the exit strategy?

Now have fun and get after it. What are you waiting for….a raise? You could be waiting forever.

 

BUSINESS EXERCISE: THE SILLY COW

Are you in need of getting your team’s juices flowing about a new idea, business model, or startup? If you are, you should try out an ideation session with a silly, fun warm-up such as the Silly Cow exercise from the book Business Model Generation. It’s a great exercise to get you thinking beyond the typical constraints of old, outdated ideas that honestly..suck.

Here’s how it works:

Instruct participants to sketch out three different business models using a cow. Ask them to first define some characteristics of a cow (produces milk, eats all day, makes a mooing sound, etc.). Tell them to use those characteristics to come up with an innovative business model based on a cow. Give them three minutes.

Keep in mind that this exercise can backfire, as it is indeed quite silly. But it has been tested with senior executives, accountants, risk managers, and entrepreneurs, and usually is a great success. The goal is to take people out of their day-to-day business routines and show them how readily they can generate ideas by disconnecting from orthodoxies and letting their creative juices flow.

I have found the silly cow exercise to be a huge hit and it’s always a good time too. If I were to guess why it works so great, I would say that it challenges you to look at things in a different light. The other cool thing, it even works with serious business people like accountants and attorneys!

Try it out with your teams and let me know how it works.

 

18 QUESTIONS FOR YOU AND YOUR START UP

It’s fired up Friday and I’m off to spend a beautiful weekend with my family and friends, but before I do, I wanted to share 18 questions that can help you and your start up get on track to producing loads of fruit!

Have fun and I hope these help! Peace.

  1. Can you summarize the purpose of your business on the back of a business card?
  2. What is the size of your market and is it poised for rapid growth?
  3. What is happening in your target market?
  4. What kind of margins are available in your industry?
  5. Are you targeting a market on the path to $1B potential?
  6. Are you targeting rich customers who will move fast and pay a premium for a unique offering?
  7. What is your customer focus?
  8. Are you providing your customers a simple product with a singular value proposition?
  9. Are you focusing on the one thing that is of burning importance to the customer and delighting them with a solution?
  10. Are you thinking differently and challenging conventional wisdom?
  11. Are you rejecting what is original and creating new novel like solutions?
  12. Are you outwitting your competition?
  13. Are you building a winning team?
  14. Are you attracting an “A” level team?
  15. Are you building an agile plan that allows for flexibility, stealth, and speed? (This is what will help you beat our the big players)
  16. Are you being frugal and only spending on what’s critical?
  17. Are you spending capital on priorities that drive maximum profitability?
  18. Are you seeding your company with little capital so that it forces you to stay discipline and focused?

SHOW UP AND WORK

From the time I was able to work, my Dad taught me a very valuable lesson, he said, “Son, if you ever want to have anything in your life, you have to show up and work for it”. And I remember those days showing up to pour concrete at 7-am in the morning – that sucked, but we did it and got it done.

Would you agree that every successful person knows that, more than a positive mental attitude, you have to show up and work for it? Zig Ziglar teaches this important tip and he says, “SHOW UP AND WORK!”

Showing up is hard, and sometimes it flat-out sucks (well most of the time), that’s the reason you don’t want to do it, but the truth is, that is why most people never succeed – they don’t want to show up and do the work.

You want a simple tip that can help you get over this whole work thing and help you get more done? This is what I’ve tried to do lately. Segment all your action steps and then do the hardest ones first, you know the ones that you usually avoid. If you can do this, I believe that you, at some point in your life will end up with things that most people will never have.

If it were easy everyone would be doing it. Art is hard. Selling is hard. Writing is hard. Making a difference is hard. Show up and do the hard work that others are unwilling to do.

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DISCUSSION QUESTION? 

Are you showing up and doing the work?