Tag Archives: business training

If They Ever Tell My Story, Let Them Say…

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A legacy is about more than what you leave behind for your children. It’s a story about you, gifted to the world.

The Past…

It was an early spring morning not long ago…I was sitting on our old wood porch behind the house.  The cool spring air upon my skin went well with a hot cup of green tea. Holding my cup tight with two hands, the steam tickling my nose, I stared off into the woods; taking in all its beauty.

I marveled at birds singing, “dancing” squirrels and the sun breaking through the tree canopy. As my mind wandered, away from the hustle and bustle of today’s agenda, the peace and tranquility set in. It sent me down a perfectly timed path of broken thoughts pieced together in a question…

What will I leave behind?

History and Legacy…

I’ve considered this many times and in many ways, from Stephen Covey’s philosophy of “begin with the end in mind” to Darren Hardy’s exercise for writing your own epitaph. For me, this philosophy had always felt as though something was missing. I began to question that if I give my all to this world – the people, the community, my friends and family – for 50, 63 or 97 years, is that all I ever give?  If I live full, is the day I pass or the day I’m buried really the end?

My mind began to whirl and wonder if my family would soon forget about me. And if not my kids and grandchildren, what about their children? Would they know of me? As I pondered this question I began to mine through dynamic thoughts and emotional fireworks searching for clarity.

I continued to analyze this…digging deeper and envisioning bigger.  More questions stirred…

Will my actions echo across eternity?

Will strangers hear my name and wonder?

Will colleagues mention me when they say they’ve walked with giants?

I explored each ambition and examined every sentiment that saturated my mind. There it was…a vision of life in the world of my great-great grandchildren.

Once again, more questions…

Men rise and fall like the winter wheat, so how does a name live on?

How do I plant seeds, the experiences, the connections, the qualities, I hope my lineage harvests for years to come?

One more question hit before my cup of tea ran dry…

What could be?

A seemingly daunting and overwhelming question, but one that helped me to gain context and perspective.

Immortality…

Most people’s dreams and ambitions are a vision well below their potential. What I mean is, each and every moment we spend today is the creation of my very own history. Every path I take I’m leaving my legacy. Why not live it as though I will be remembered for centuries?

More questions arose…

How could I expand my great-great grandchildren’s vision? How could I amplify their ambition and help to cultivate their confidence? How could I paint a picture of the possibilities life truly holds for them?

Short phrases came to mind such as:

  • Live Better
  • Why Wait
  • Make Lasting Change
  • Have Fun
  • Solve Problems
  • Together
  • Be Radically Different

On and on I juggled the thoughts of how I’d like to be remembered.  There it was…

Immortality lays in unforgettable legend; a story that stirs the heart and sparks the mind.

The Legend Story…

If they ever tell my story, let them say…

How Tenaciously He Learned

He was inspired by a vision of future and what was he believed was possible. No matter people’s opinions or what obstacles along the way he was destined to find the answer. His deep desire to learn and the burning fire to excel would blaze the way to success.

The rich learning environments, progress checks and celebrated milestones were symbolic of his thirst for knowledge. Even when his life seemed “normal” he was constantly walking the line, on the edge of comfort, searching for spiritual depth, theoretical insight and practical solutions. He would seek new experiences to stretch, grow and bend the status quo.

New horizons were the answer to his inner needs, taming his passionate curiosity. The more he discovered the more he wanted to master. It provided him with a unique perspective, freedom and authenticity that sparked people interest.

How Bravely He Lead

He was a rebel, but not reckless, congruent and authentic. It didn’t matter how heavy the load of responsibility was he had an unbreakable aura of certainty and stability. He knew with confidence that he could solve problems, even the biggest and toughest ones. and intuitively new when to lead. And when to follow.

He didn’t fear change, he embraced it – it was the alley way to growth. Despite discomfort, he was poised under pressure and would inspire change; it’s like he knew how to engineer it. He would curate and cultivate ideas, create new paradigms and connect the dots. He’d lead others – his family, friends, his team and community – to possibility, shifts and awakenings.

He was energizing and enchanting, but was rarely hype. He was raw and real, unapologetically honest. He’d shoot you straight, with honesty and integrity, and it provided others with a sense of strength.

How Fiercely He Loved

He was sensitive to the emotions of others, but not enabling. He could instinctively sense the feelings of others, imagine their position, and step in their shoes. It’s how he would listen, its how he would connect.

He would transform and empower communities purely from love. He wanted everyone (and I mean everyone) to have fun and enjoy themselves. He helped them to experience health, wealth and happiness. He would say it’s his, “Quiet madness, and passion was the influence of a soul that’s mad to love.”

He loved the scent of freshly washed linens, life and laughter. He loved play. If it wasn’t fun it wouldn’t work out well for him. But most of all he loved his wife and family. They were his garden, baring luscious fruits of trust, care and support; all feeding his dreams.

How Consciously He Lived

He was a man of high self awareness and a strong inner compass. He didn’t allow himself to undertake in things that made him discontent or long for something more in his life. Instead, he lived in the context of his deepest ambitions, finding and creating impact along the way.

He challenged himself from beginning to end, through trials and tribulations, in the essence of adventure. He would make the important choices to detach self from the noise and live consciously. No matter the level of success he was a man of humility. No matter the depth of struggle he was a man of gratitude.

His deep appreciation for life some considered eccentric, but his humble heart, noble actions and high integrity is how he is remembered.

 

Please comment and share below how you’d like to be remembered.

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Don’t Envy the Competition, Respect the Customers Decision

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Every day is a battle to earn business as an entrepreneur. That’s why it’s called, “The Grind”.

Day in and day out we create, give and share in hopes to gain attention, interest and a deeper connection with potential customers. And every day I get reminded just how much competition there is in this business.

The internet loves to show me just how well my competitors are doing. The five, six and seven figure success stories roll through my social media feed hourly. I’ve even seen how quickly my audience, customers and clients can be swayed and switch from my community to the “other guys” (or gals).

Did you feel that…The confusion, disappointment, and anger?

Perhaps it’s envy you feel?

OUCH!

Yeah it hurts, when the time, energy and resources we give to building a relationship doesn’t go our way. It feels as though we’ve failed…ourselves, our families, our employees, even our customers. It’s easy to beat ourselves up, get pissed at a lost prospect and feel jealous towards our competitors. I’ve fallen victim to this many times (can you relate?).

Truth is…the customer is right.

Here’s why you should support and respect the customers decision:

The Competition is Better– You cannot fault your audience for recognizing a competitor who has better skills than you. Truth is we all have mad strengths and bad weaknesses. In this round of competition your opponent just happened to shine a bit brighter than you did. Although we may perceive this as a bad thing. The great thing is…their success is showing you there is room for you to get better.

If you’re brave enough, I recommend you hire them. Yes, I said hire your competition. This is an excellent way to shorten your learning curve from someone who’s been there, done that (I’ve hired several over the years, Michael Hyatt for platform building, Jennifer Kem for marketing, Kimanzi Constable for writing and Marty Bhatia for productivity). Own your deficiencies, work to make improvements, and you’ll see you’re not even close to your “glass ceiling”. You’ll realize that much more is possible for you, your business, your pocket book and those you’re soon called to serve.

The Competition is Different– Sometimes it has nothing to do with being better at all, talent is a dime a dozen. Instead, how you are unique can be what wins your customer over. How many times have you heard a client tell you, “You’re just different then others” (Or something similar). We all have something special we offer to the world and this gift is experienced by each person in a distinctly different way.

We can’t be everything to everyone and you shouldn’t try to be. If your competitor wins a client because they’re different don’t think as though you’ve lost a client, instead support others who bask in blazing their own trail. And you keep blazing yours.

The Competition was Aligned– Entrepreneurs easily get caught up in the mentality that being better or being different is what wins. We believe these factors alone are what win more fans, followers and paying customers. Simon Sinek shares in the book, Start with Why, that customer’s also make their decisions based on what you, as a business, believe.

Customers will choose the business that aligns best with their values, principles and purpose. If that’s your competitor, respect them for choosing a business with depth. Don’t get so caught up in winning that you lose sight of your “Why”. Build a business of meaning and impact first, the winning will follow your truth.

The Competition was Complimentary– Although you may feel you and your customer are on the same page, alignment isn’t always what your customer needs right now. Acknowledge that your competition provided complimentary services to their skills. If you’re open to helping others, then help them. Even if it means giving your competition a customer.

Be conscious if someone else would be the right fit for your customer. Connect them to someone in your network that you know and trust. When your customer is stuck, your decision to guide them rather than “sell” them may be just the light they needed. They will never forget you helped them. Ever.

It’s not the Competition– It’s tempting to beat ourselves up, have a negative reaction and envy other’s good fortune. Just like you and I, customers base their decisions on a variety factors (both rational and irrational). Paulo Coelho once said, “Know that the universe is conspiring in your favor, even though we may not understand how.” You may never know why a customer truly went elsewhere and you don’t need to.

Respect the customers decision wasn’t only about you and your competitor, there could have been any number of other reasons for their decision. Keep living your purpose, meet the demands of reality, and take action towards achievement. You will be found.

Here’s how I see it…my competition may win a customer, but we all win if I give respect, support and love. It’s NOT a zero-sum game. It’s a game of possibilities.

What can we win when we choose to lift each other up?

I challenge you to explore, advocate and innovate. Come together. How can you support and respect your customers decision in a way that continues to help others, the community and the world?

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