Can you imagine how long it would take to roast 500 chickens over a candle? There's really no need to send me Salmonella Enterocolitis warning emails, it's just a mental picture I would like you to conjure up. The hypothetical task would require superhuman feats of patience, combined with mental endurance and a seriously deep seated determination to complete the cook off.
If you were to ever ask someone to actually roast 500 chickens over a candle, they would assume you'd gone mad, call you crazy and perhaps even tell you to go forth and multiply. Who in their right mind would attempt such a thing; such a mammoth, thankless task? Who would spend vast swathes of their finite lifetime roasting 500 chickens over a candle – with absolutely no guarantee of success? Well, this is the same high level of incredulity a great many entrepreneurs encounter, once they decide to embark upon their dream: “You're mad to leave the security of your job!”, "It'll take you years!", “You risk losing everything!”, “It can't be done!” - amongst a great many other variations.
BEWARE, SUCCESS MAY TAKE LONGER THAN YOU THINK
I recently met with a young couple - “Mark” and “Jenny” - who started their business in March 2015. During our introductory discussions, Mark and Jenny were genuinely upset and bemused with how they were still unable to afford their matching Mercedes cars; only eight months from the birth of their business. I hit the conversational brakes, reversed back at speed and searched for a hint of twinkly-eyed exaggeration in their Mercedes expectations. There was none, they meant it.
Unfortunately Mark and Jenny were operating under the common, misguided belief that owning your own business is a licence to print money; that a flood of abundance would somehow begin flowing towards them immediately, when in fact the reality is more comparable to our slow roasting chicken-a-thon. Whilst there are exceptions to every rule, and you never can tell when your big break will present itself, entrepreneurship is generally a marathon not a sprint: you should expect to dig in for the long haul. I've often said in half jest that the first ten years are the hardest, with the steepest of steep learning curves to surmount, before success can be wrestled from the jaws of multiple defeats. Sounds arduous doesn't it; but it is!
The harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph.
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly;
tis dearness only that gives everything its value
- Thomas Paine
Thankfully, Mark and Jenny are not discouraged by the sheer volume of work and learning ahead of them; they were positively champing at the bit to progress as efficiently as possible. They were ready to implement their learning and win. This is where the wheat gets separated from the chaff, as weaker characters would surely have been threshed in the process. Your thinking creates your reality, so keep it positive and moving forward at all times. Having a mentor on your team helps to keep you focused, grounded, energised and motivated when times become tough, and tough they will be...count on it!
TRIALS ARE SENT TO TEST AND TEACH
You do not achieve anything without trouble, ever. The trials and hurdles of life are sent to test and teach; but the guidance of a strong and experienced small business and personal development mentor will support you. The great Napoleon Hill wrote: “Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle”. This is how we learn; by doing, persevering and refining. Way back in the beginning, our parents could have given us picture books on how to tie our shoe laces, but until we actually engaged in the physical practice of tying our shoelaces, the book would have been a poor substitute at best. The best way to learn is to do. The theory is always there, and we should never stop reading or learning, but more importantly we should do, because that's where the growing is done.
DREAM ON AND GO DO
In John Richardson's book Dream On, John describes how as a weekend golfer with a 24 handicap, he decided to break par within a year. Sam Torrence told him to “dream on”. Darren Clarke advised him that three years was a more realistic time frame to achieve this goal, but John got it done - despite many obstacles in his path. I would urge you to read the book, if you haven't already, as it's hugely insightful and instructional, whether you play and appreciate golf or not.
My point is this: to achieve what you want, you will need supreme and uncommon levels of focus and determination. You will need to understand and accept that some things take time. Warren Buffett makes an excellent point when he teaches us “No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can't produce a baby in one month, by getting nine women pregnant”.
Do you suppose John only practiced when he felt like it, when the stars were aligned, or the weather was fine? Nope. He details in the book his exact methodology for achieving his goal, but one thing is certain, it took a lot of John's time – and a great deal of latitude from a wholly supportive Mrs Richardson. John's work reinforces the universal principle that if you want it, you have to work for it - even when it looks and feels as though nothing is working, you must dig in and keep going. It is often an agonisingly slow process for sure, but quitting won't speed it up!
So, when your progress and targets seem nothing more than a small speck of possibility on the currently stormy horizon, just be thankful that your results are more likely and meaningful than the poor sod who ever starts roasting chickens over a candle!
There are times when we all feel stuck, static and stagnant. We know that if something isn't working, that something needs to change, but we can often be at a loss to know what. This is where a fresh, objective and experienced perspective, and accompanying skill set, can help get you unstuck. A mentor is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.
I'm here to help you and would like to offer you the first hour's consultation free, by way of demonstrating my commitment to helping you. I've only a couple of time slots free now before I take my family Christmas holiday, so please contact me as soon as you can so we can line you up for your energising slingshot into 2016 and beyond.
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