Winning teams have diversity and perspective

Everyday, I’m learning what my strengths are and who else I need to surround myself with to win in business. What I’ve learned, (The hard way as always) is that you need to know your gaps and be willing to fill them in with people who offset you. Don’t try to be a hard ass and go at it alone…you will fail hard.

When you think about your company and all the things you need like: strategy, innovation, finance, marketing, management, hiring – these things aren’t made up of one person, but you do need these people on your team. If you don’t have them, you lose the game.

There are things that I’m good at, such as vision, strategy, marketing, and getting people fired about a project and the potential that it has to change the game. However, when it comes to things like management or finances, I suck (and I’m happy to say that). This is why you need a diverse team.

The other thing you need is perspective. Perspective is something that all winnings teams have – a team of people all looking at things in very different ways. I might see it this way, when she or he sees it a totally different way. But, as we come together afterwards we can put our heads together and come up with a fantastic solution.

The collective perspective of a group of diverse leaders is what will in the end allow you to win the game. Value a diverse team, value perspectives, and get started building.

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What kind of team are you building?

 

Epically failing on purpose

Are you afraid to epically fail? Not me, I epic fail on purpose. We need more people willing to take risks and epic fail on purpose. Well, epic fails that don’t totally wipe us out, but that make us bolder and more confident in our abilities. Epic fails that teach us lessons about what works and what doesn’t.

Epic failure is something I enjoy very much. Why? Because, each time I fall down and scrape up my knees I learn something very valuable that I wouldn’t have learned before. I learn how far I can go, how high I can jump, and how much money it’s going to cost!

When I fail, it moves me away from what doesn’t work and closer to what does. I like the sound of that – moving closer to what works. We all want to know and understand the things that work, right? But, how can you learn the things that work until we’ve tried and epically failed at the things that don’t work.

Think experiments. We may try hundreds, if not thousands of experiments until we find a solution. The same is true with projects, ideas, startups, dating, and the million other things we try to figure out in life. But, we have to be willing to epically fail at these things.

Parents don’t always teach us this, schools screw it up, and so do your bosses. Don’t listen to these safe boring people, they are going nowhere. You need to epically fail at things, it’s part of the learning experience. You can do it, epic fail. Just don’t wipe yourself out!

 

Why realistic optimism?

Over the years I’ve been an overly optimistic person not always looking at the reality of the situation – it got me into trouble more than once. If you know me personally, you can probably appreciate the above statement. This has since changed (In the last year or so) and it’s treating me very well.

I was the fired up dude drinking the Kool aid not willing to face and embrace that which was real. Why? I don’t know why, really. Maybe  the thought of failure scared the shit out of me. So, instead of focusing on that, I would just focus on being optimistic and hoping and wishing for the best.

I was also raised that way. My mom is probably one of the most optimistic people you will ever meet. And, she was the one making the Kool aid!!! Haha.

Looking back, I use to say things like this, “Everything is going to be fine, we just need to keep going!”. Not taking the time to analyze the problem or challenge and build “several” plans that could be executed. This was so stupid of me to say these kind of things. Idiotic. If I would have only been more realistic with a dash of optimism. Not to drown on that though. There is a fix.

I haven’t given up on optimism, I’ve just decided to lean on the side of realistic optimism where today I say things like, “We are up against some serious challenges and here is how we propose to overcome them. We are not sure any of this will work, these are just the plans we’ve come up with thus far to address them. And, I do believe that together, as a team, as passionate warriors, (You need to be a warrior if you want to be in business today) we will meet these obstacles and challenges and find a way over them. I don’t doubt it for a second.”

This is what it looks like to express realistic optimism. Feels just as good, and, it is realistic!

Have fun and keep it real friends!

 

7 Random Thursday Thoughts

I’ve traveled a lot over the last few weeks and it has given me plenty of time to be by myself and do some deep thinking. As part of this deep thinking, I put together 7 random thoughts that I wanted to share with you. Let me know what you think.

1. Don’t go and start a friggin’ company unless you are going to be absolutely addicted to it. Are you willing to work on it day and night? What about when your friends call you and want you to go out and grab a few drinks? Are you willing to turn them down to work all night to meet a deadline or get an order out? If you’re not willing to do these things, then don’t go and start a company. Keep your job. Seriously.

2. If you want to build a company fast, go alone ( keep in mind companies that are built fast and alone don’t last long…I’ve been there). If you want to build a company that can go far, go together. This means you build a team that can carry the company to places that you only dreamed of.

3. Hire people who are just as fired-up about your idea and your company as you are. If they’re not just as fired-up as you are, then keep searching for the right team members….they are out there.

4. Be intentional about putting together a group of friends who are there for you no matter what. When times are good, they are there for you. When times are bad, they are there for you. No matter the circumstances these friends are there for you. They will drop anything to come along side you.

5. Sell, sell, sell, or watch your company go to hell. If you can’t get sales coming in, you will watch your company be cast into a fiery place of torment.

6. Get out their and G&G (Grip and Grin). Attend events, go to conferences, setup lunch meetings, do whatever you need to do to meet people and share your company story with them. Don’t expect people to come knocking on your door – people have no clue who the heck you are.

7. Don’t be lazy, do your own PR. You are the best one to tell your story. Why would you hire a company to follow-up with the people you read and see in the publications? Those people publish their emails. Next time your reading or watching something, capture the person’s name and their email address. Once you have that info, follow-up, introduce yourself, and tell them your story. It is their job to find great stories. And if your story sucks, it would be a waste of time either which way.

 

Make your own way and own it

Is there a right or wrong way? No. It’s your way and you have to own it. Yeah, you can learn from others and take that and build it into your way, but it doesn’t mean that there is a right or wrong way to do it.

I might brush my teeth before I shower, you might brush your teeth after. I shave before I get into the shower, you shave after. There isn’t a right or wrong way, just as long as you reach your destination.

I see people all the time that think there is this “right way” to reach their destination. And because of this, never end getting anywhere but depressed and lonely. Why? Because they sat around waiting for this right way to come along and it never did. You can’t wait for the right way to come along. You have to make a way and own it.

Maybe you want to start a company. Do it now. Get crazy and go figure it out. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do it. Maybe you want to go to school or maybe you want to wait and travel the world. It doesn’t matter. As Nike would say, “Just do it”.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter what: starting a company, marriage, dating, whatever. There isn’t a right or wrong way, there is your way and I urge you to go figure it out. It will be blast…I promise.

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What about you? 

Are you making your own way and owning it?

 

How to stop caring what thrash talkers think about you

Do you care to much about what people think of you? Do you care so much that it paralyzes you?

I get this. Sometimes when I hear the things that people say about me, it gets me down. But then, I get myself right back up and I think to myself, “why do I care so much about what these people think of me?” I really don’t, I just think that I do.

When I do search for myself or a search around some of the ventures I’ve started in the past, I can find some pretty negative things. Do I allow this is affect me? I shouldn’t and most of the time I don’t. It takes time though and it’s a process of developing “thick skin”. Dave Ramsey talks about all the negative mail he gets everyday – piles of it. James Altucher also talks about all the negative comments you can find online about him.

Here’s the deal. The higher you reach in your leadership and influence, the more people are going to talk about you- both positive and negative. You have to choose what to listen to.

So what do you do with all this crap out there about you? Nothing. Let it happen and let it make you stronger. It is going to hurt, but eventually you will get to a point where you really don’t care. In fact, you might even find it humorous and entertaining – my wife and I laugh all the time about these things.

Don’t stop doing what you do because people have some negative things to say about you. Keep doing it. Don’t revert to doing something else just because people aren’t nice. This is exactly what they want to happen – for you to submit to them and fail. These people are nothing in my book other than motivators. Let them be the same in your book.

The other thing you need to do is hang around people who appreciate you and respect you for what you have to say right now. I’m not saying yes men, just people who love and care about you enough to not talk thrash.

Find good, positive people who inspire you, challenge you, and are always there to lift you up. And for the ones that talk trash….let them be thrash.

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How about you? 

What do you do when people talk thrash about you?

 

It’s one thing to set goals, it’s another to take action

Every year, right around this time everyone starts setting goals. Not everyone I guess, just the people who want anything out of life.

I really enjoy the process of setting goals. In fact, this is what I’m working on this week. I’m taking this years (2011) goals and giving them a good audit. What went right, what went wrong, and what can I do better this coming year.

2011 was a good year for me. Actually, it was an awesome year for me! It was a year of reflection, growth, and tapping into who God wants me to be. I spent time going in one direction, turned around and went another, and finally after years of trying different roads, I feel like I’m going in the right direction. 2012 is going to be a great year….I can feel it!!!

If you’re afraid to travel down different roads, you might not ever find the road you’re supposed to be traveling down.

With a new year just ahead, people get fired up. They want to put the past year behind them and start fresh.

Note: Whether it was a good year or a bad year, take it and build on it. Don’t let it go to waste.

People set goals for everything: 

I want to lose weight.

I want to exercise more.

I want to further my relationship and walk with God.

I want to read more.

I want to start a business.

I want to raise money for my startup.

I want to be a better parent.

I want, I want, I want.

The problem with setting goals is that you can’t just set goals, you have to take action. The difference between someone who accomplishes their goals and someone who doesn’t, is action. And not just “one time” kind of action, daily action that moves you closer to reaching your goals.

What is a goal if it is never accomplished? How about just a goal. Don’t just set goals, take action and move your goal down the field and into the end zone where it belongs.

Make 2012 a year of action. Go.

 

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.