Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Passion vs Effort!

Dont Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Effort

What a bunch of BS. ”Follow Your Passion” is easily the worst advice you could ever give or get.

Why? Because everyone is passionate about something. Usually more than 1 thing. We are born with it. There are always going to be things we love to do. That we dream about doing. That we really really want to do with our lives. Those passions aren’t worth a nickel.

Think about all the things you have been passionate about in your life. Think about all those passions that you considered making a career out of or building a company around. How many were/are there ? Why did you bounce from one to another ? Why were you not able to make a career or business out of any of those passions ? Or if you have been able to have some success, what was the key to the success.? Was it the passion or the effort you put in to your job or company ?

If you really want to know where you destiny lies, look at where you apply your time.

Time is the most valuable asset you don’t own. You may or may not realize it yet, but how you use or don’t use your time is going to be the best indication of where your future is going to take you .

Let me make this as clear as possible
1. When you work hard at something you become good at it.
2. When you become good at doing something, you will enjoy it more.
3. When you enjoy doing something, there is a very good chance you will become passionate or more passionate about it
4. When you are good at something, passionate and work even harder to excel and be the best at it, good things happen.

Don’t follow your passions, follow your effort. It will lead you to your passions and to success, however you define it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fall down 6 times, get up 7!

Greatness is in the Comeback

“I must be the greatest.”

That is what 22-year-old Cassius Clay (who would become Muhammad Ali) said after defeating Sonny Liston in 1964 to become the heavyweight champion of the world.
But as Ali would prove to us, greatness is not defined in moments of victory; it is defined in the moments after a defeat. Greatness is in the comeback.

Three years after winning the championship, Ali was stripped of his title, had his license suspended and was not allowed to leave the country because of his refusal to be conscripted into the U.S. military.

Without a license to earn a living for nearly four years, Ali went broke. His rival, Joe Frazier, who succeeded Ali as champion, had to loan Ali money to fight his court case to get his license reinstated.
That set the stage for “The Fight of the Century” on March 8, 1971, at Madison Square Garden (even Frank Sinatra couldn’t get a ringside seat, although he did see the bout while shooting photos for Life magazine).

In the 15th and final round, Frazier floored Ali with a hard left hook. Ali struggled to his feet, his jaw badly swollen, only to suffer several more stunning blows. The decision was unanimous: Frazier retained the title, dealing Ali his first professional loss.

In 1972 and 1973, Ali lost twice, to Elmo Henderson (who?) and Ken Norton (who broke Ali’s jaw). Where’s the greatness?

Later in 1973, Ali defeated Norton in a rematch, and in 1974 he would beat Frazier in the “Ali-Frazier II” bout. But Frazier had already lost his title to Big George Foreman.

Then came “The Rumble in the Jungle” on Oct. 30, 1974, pitting Ali against Foreman.
Almost no one gave the former champion a chance of winning. At 32, ancient in boxing years, Ali had previously lost to Norton and Frazier, while the fearsome 25-year-old Foreman had knocked out both men in only the second round.

In one of the biggest upsets in boxing history, Ali knocked out Foreman in the eighth round to regain his title against all odds.

Ali, once again, was the greatest.

And he kept on fighting, losing his title in February 1978 to 24-year-old Leon Spinks and then defeating Spinks eight months later to become the first three-time heavyweight champion of the world.

While overcoming terrifying boxing opponents, Ali’s greatest foes were outside the ring—the boxing commission, the U.S. government, the media. Standing true to his principles, Ali became a catalyst in opposing the Vietnam War, racism and religious bigotry. Today, as he fights his own battle with Parkinson’s disease, he’s a champion for research and awareness.

Muhammad Ali recently celebrated his 70th birthday and, while he’s lost his share of fights, what makes him the greatest is that he kept on fighting. He inspires me to do the same.

No matter whether you are standing tall in victory or can still taste the blood of defeat in your mouth, I hope this special comeback story inspires you to keep fighting, too.

YOU are the greatest.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Entrepreneur's Mindset

Develop an entrepreneur's mindset – the first step to succeeding in business
As the creator and producer of a television series on business success, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to interview over 120 of Australia's leading entrepreneurs.

One of the most common questions I am now asked is why are some business owners extremely successful, while others struggle to make ends meet and never move beyond the four walls of their home office? Before I answer this question, I always ask them why they think some people are successful and others struggle. The common responses include: rich parents, good luck, higher education, smarter, great sales people, hard working and risk takers.
The answer could be any of the above, but no one has ever come up with what I believe is the main reason, which has everything to do with attitude.
When the successful entrepreneur first decided to go into business, many people wished them well but others told them all the reasons why they would fail.
So before they even started their business, they were busy defending their ideas to friends, family, banks, accountants, suppliers, customers and employees.
As the business owner they were responsible for everything. Even if they didn't know the answers, they often had to feign knowledge, stand by their decisions and get the business moving.
So, what is the most important reason why some entrepreneur's succeed and others don't? It is attitude to learning and knowledge. I call this the Entrepreneur's Mindset.

What is the Entrepreneur's Mindset?

Most people just don't get what is required to succeed in business because they focus on the wrong things.
A good starting point for understanding where the owner's focus should be is explained by Michael Gerber who wrote a book called The E-Myth.
The E-Myth is short for the Entrepreneurial Myth and Gerber writes that most small business owners aren't really entrepreneurs, they are technicians suffering from an entrepreneurial seizure. The plumber, hairdresser, accountant, butcher, baker and candlestick maker all wake up one morning and decide they are sick of working for the boss. So they quit their job and set up their own business doing the technical work they did as an employee. It is only on the first day in business that they realise the being able to do the technical business work has nothing to do with running the business.
Sales, marketing, human resources, management, money, strategy, technology etc. is all learnt on the run. However, this is the road to mediocrity and often failure.
At some stage successful entrepreneurs realise that they 'don't know, what they don't know' and most importantly, they understand that it is OK not to know. Often after losing money, going broke, or poor health, they realise that although they were the best person doing the work, that wasn't good enough. They needed to develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset and learn how to run the business without doing everything.
The first step to doing this was to admit to themselves (and to others) that they 'don't know what they don't know' but want to learn. They were prepared to ask the 'dumb question', employ people better than themselves, delegate to others, attend seminars, watch DVDs, read books, employ business consultants and ultimately leave behind the technical work they know so well and move on to managing and driving the business.
Based on all the interviews I did and working with hundreds of business owners as a business coach, here is a proven method for creating an Entrepreneurial Mindset.

Prepare your mind

  • Admit that you 'don't know what you don't know'.
  • Accept that it is OK (Often people can feel the weight lift off their shoulders.)
  • Be prepared to start learning.
Do your research, learn and 'Just Do It'
1. List your three key challenges or frustrations.
2. Decide if you REALLY want to fix ONE of them. Focus is the key.
3. Pick the one you want to tackle first and write it down in a notebook.
4. List what you need to know to give yourself a chance of solving it.
5. Start looking for information and record it in the notebook as you go. 6. Start making changes. (There is never a right time — just do it!) Within one week you should be well on the way to finding an answer by spending 30 minutes to an hour each day doing some research in any one of the following sources:
  • Ask an employee
  • Use your network. Call your accountant, lawyer or another business owner who has had a similar challenge. Then, ask them if they know someone else you could talk to.
  • Search engines i.e. Google
  • Television
  • Business magazines or newspapers
  • Seminars
  • Books, audio or DVDs
  • Industry association
  • Find three experts — meet with each one, discuss your issue and ask for a proposal.
The first step in developing an Entrepreneur's Mindset is to admit that you 'don't know what you don't know' and ask for help. Once you free yourself up and stop pretending you know, you will be amazed how open your mind becomes and what answers, people and success (and potentially millions of dollars) will come your way.