What’s holding you back?
That thing you have been talking about, that idea that comes out each time you have got halfway through your second pint, the dream the guys at work are sick of you going on about. The concept you keep asking your accountant advice on. Imagine if you just did it. Imagine if it worked. It is possible, I promise.
I get a lot of emails everyday from some cool people. Most of the time they are asking me if I can give them any advice, asking me “What is the best product to import from China” or even inviting me for dinner. Ok no one has ever invited me to dinner.
This post isn’t really anything to do with importing from China, it’s just about the mindset I feel you need to succeed in this or any other business. There is a whole bunch of information online and various pay per view websites which offer you the various keys to success. Really there are so many that pretty soon you’re going to need another keychain.
I want to share with you some things that have worked for me. Nothing mind blowing here and the tips might not work for everyone but I know that they do work for me so maybe something here may be useful? In all cases I’m on a flight for 3 hours so I have time to burn.
I have been lucky to meet some great and influential people in my life who have shaped me as a person both in my personal life and business life. Sometimes all it takes is the smallest piece of advice to really change your perspective. Some of you may not have met these people yet but you will in time, likely where you least expect them to appear, my advice to you is put yourself out there, get in the mix, look to build relationships with people who can help you succeed.
People call this a power group or a success network, I mean you can call it what you like but essentially be around positive like minded individuals whom you can help reach their potential and in turn they will help you. That’s a pretty key point, are the people around you helping you or hindering you? Sounds cut throat I guess but then you came here looking for honest advice right. My mother always told me if you lay down with dogs you will catch fleas, who wants damn fleas?
I honestly believe that this whole thing, this burning desire to succeed comes down to just one basic principle. But the problem is that it‘s so basic that it does not satisfy most people when you give them it as probably the best advice they will ever receive. Perhaps it‘s a psychological thing, we are always told that if it‘s too good to be true it probably is – how negative does that sound?
Maybe people don’t hold much value in free advice, I suppose if you pay someone a thousand pounds for an e booklet or a DVD box set your going to try convince yourself pretty hard (and the other half when he or she reads the credit card statement) that it‘s the best advice you ever heard and is worth it‘s weight in gold. Maybe you will listen to this advice more if you send me the money? Feel free.
Those of you who are hardened veterans of reading business advice will know you need a positive mentality and self belief, it‘s a mindset you need to get into. We all get into that mindset in our own way and what works for me might not work for you so walk with me a bit on this.
So….imagine you want to learn French, I don’t know why you would but lets just say you have some time on your hands after floating your first company. You enroll into some private French school and spend the next 24 months studying the language with diligence, reading every text book supplied by your tutor and attending every class without fail. You do this because you believe that doing so will allow you to speak French. You keep yourself motivated and positive by thinking of the cute French girl you have met on MatchdotCom and dreaming of the day soon you will visit her and swoop her off her feet. You believe and you are positive. Sure enough that hazy summer evening arrives one late September and you land at Charles De Gaulle airport finally to meet your sweet Olivia when it happens, you open your mouth and French comes out. Now this isn’t surprising. You now know you can speak French, you studied hard and when your mouth asks your brain to send it some serenading French tones it obliges only too well.
This is a stupid way of explaining it but this is how my brain works, I ask my brain “can I do this” it replies “of course, just get with it” and so I do it until it’s done.
You have already done this countless times in your life. When you learnt to drive, when you learnt to swim, when you started salsa dancing, when you worked out how to put your own foot in your mouth. You wanted to do something, like really wanted to, so you started it and kept doing it until one day it just happened. So what’s changed, why now are you searching for an answer that you already know? There is not one person reading this who has not achieved something amazing which required hard work and determination. You know the formula, now scale it up.
I promise you and I would bet everything I have time and time again on this advice;
Start doing something and don’t stop until you have done it.
Has that hit home or still it sounds too simple? I’ll try jazz it up a little – “Thine secret to prosperity lies in ones commitment to commence and persevere until all rewards are reaped”. You have heard this before, time and time again, but last time you heard it you didn’t listen to it or you would not have goggled “how to make money” and ended up here.
You can read all the business how to books you want but I guarantee each time you close that back page and put it into the “Stocking fillers for relatives” box you will have wound up with the same message. Start doing it, don’t give up, believe in yourself, be positive.
The problem is that life can be a bitch, curve balls are hard to hit and what seems like simple advice can soon end up buried under a load of other crap in your head until eventually you forgot it. Then you find yourself back in WHSmiths wasting money, desperately looking for a new book from the latest entrepreneur that the media have latched onto. You really need to try hard not to keep slipping into that cycle. Put things in place to keep you on the right path.
The black magic secret ninja circle power group I mentioned earlier is a good idea to help you with this. Like when racing a bike if you’re tucked in behind the leading pack inside the draft then they will pull you on with them. If you’re in the gym training with Big Mick who has shoulders like boulders he’s going to help you push your game too. Just remember that when Mick needs help doing an excel spreadsheet to keep an eye on his kebab shops books you give him a hand there – that’s what being in a positive circle is about. Pushing each other forward.
You’re going to need some constant reminders around you, I don’t recommend a tattoo saying seize the day written down the inside of your forearm in Latin, Greek or Arabic. Think of a word that sums all the “believe, think positive, do it till it’s done” mentality and use it. Maybe the word “can” marker penned on your mirror is enough? Or maybe you need a toy Lamborghini on your desk? A motivational phrase written on the top of your monitor? For me it’s “Make it count”. When I used to race bikes I had a phrase I used to say to myself at the start of a race and often scream to my team mates while trackside. “Make it count”. Back then I guess it meant to make this race run count, make your race time good and don’t crash. I still say this to myself now, I guess it‘s important to make each action of each day count towards my long term goals.
This kind of mentality has helped me through many problems in my life, I simply would not be here without it. Not many of you will know that I almost lost the use of my arm a few years ago, it’s the reason I had to give up racing bikes. I had a very bad crash, was stranded on a mountainside for 4 hours and ended up completely shattering my entire left arm taking the nerves and ligaments with it.
I had to have the bones from the elbow joint down replaced with Titanium, ligaments transplanted from my upper arm and was told I would never be able to use my arm again. A scary truth that came home hard after they removed the cast following my third operation and my arm was just completely dead. Looks pretty bad right?
I told myself repeatedly over the course of a 6 month intensive physiotherapy program that I can do anything, I can make this arm work again. I could not move or feel my arm at all for maybe 2 months but I just kept my head down and I got there, because I just kept going. In Reality people face much worse things than losing the use of an arm but i am sure its this mentality that drags them through to the other side.
If I decided to give up because the physio hurt too much being strapped to a machine that forced my arm to move for an hour a day (without a doubt the worst pain of my life) or the fear of another operation making it even worse made me sick I would not be able to use my arm now, and that would suck. Trust me, I know that keeping going works.
Whatever it is, it needs to be something that every time you glance up it reminds your brain in a no bull shit way that you need to stop being a pussy and keep going. You have the map, you know where you want to go now keep walking till you get there. If it gets dark buy a torch, if it gets cold put a jacket on but whatever you do keep walking, you will arrive where you want to.
You have no excuse for not knowing this advice, each one of us has a Nike justdoit t shirt stuffed in the gym bag. How many times have you seen an advert and read that can’t is a four letter word only to think “yes it is a four letter word what exactly are you getting at?”
Who is your favorite athlete? Read how they got there. You will start seeing a pattern. “It was hard, I missed my family, I had a dream, I kept working hard, now Oakley send me free stuff and my Lamborghini has my name embroided in the headrests”
Ok I like to joke around, I live in China and it‘s slowly making me lose my mind, but what I’m telling you is deadly serious advice and Is how I live my life. I hope that just some of you who read this can take what I’m trying to say onboard and really make a positive difference in your life, I’d love you to.
You have to really want this, the advice is easy to give but hard to follow. I’m sure your inner can think up all manner of excuses as to why it’s not that simple. It is very lonely in an office at 3am while your mates are out having a laugh, it‘s hard spending money on a new piece of machinery when you would much rather be buying an Audi R8, it‘s hard getting out of bed when you know all your going to face is an onslaught of stress and problems. I bet though it‘s also hard working a night shift at Asda 6 days a week, hard taking crap from a boss who doesn’t understand what it means to be human, hard working an executive job with no room for compassion, hard driving a wagon the length of the country and back when you would rather be at home playing with your son.
You have to pick your battles I guess, ask yourself what’s really stopping you picking yours?
I’m telling you, if you think you can do it just start doing it, do it like it’s the only thing in the world that matters to you, just keep going, never give up and to you might surprise yourself. I did.
Do you have any motivational advice or stories you would like to share? It would be great to from you in the comments below.