With 37 years in business, I feel old! In my day-to-day conversations with business owners generating as little as $6,000 a month and as much as $1,000,000-plus per year, I’m continually reminded of both my arbitrary line to the target and the typically tumultuous line to the top for most successful business people. Success is never a straight line.
I have always been a huge fan of reading biographies, autobiographies, interviews with, and profiles of, successful people — as well as books which analyze and describe the route to success for many millionaires, billionaires, successful politicians and scientists. It’s obvious when you read about just about any successful person — from Howard Hughes and Walt Disney to Ray Kroc to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates — that no one had an uninterrupted ‘straight-line’ to success.
Down but not Out
Many forget Steve Jobs, just a few years ago, as Apple’s co-founder, was fired by the board of directors and universally reviled inside and outside the company. Now? He’s the genius behind Pixar, the largest single shareholder of Disney, and is the genius behind ‘Apple’s return’, including iTunes, the iPod, the return of the Macs, and the iPhones.
How about Donald Trump? A favorite quote of his would-be this, which he said to Marla: “Marla, see that bum on the grate — he’s $300,000,000 richer than I am.”
Marla said: “How can that be — he doesn’t have anything?”
Donald said: “That’s right, he has nothing — I’m $300,000,000 in the hole.”
Now? He’s back on top as the President of the United States. However, it’s important to remember that success is not a straight line. During the last year to 15 months, many businesses have closed their doors, while others have learned the economy has changed so much they must implement a different set of business systems and rules to survive which, in turn, has led to huge growth despite the recession.
Those who have stumbled have received the same universally, repetitive speech:
It’s not as bad as it looks; it’s not nearly as bad as it feels; stay focused on 2, 3, 5, and 10-year objectives; decide where you want to go and start working.
Those who have had success have typically received the following usual feedback: It’s now time to expand your thinking to the next level; decide how you want your life to unfold and create your business to fully support that direction.
In some cases — a business owner who was making $30,000 net a year ago, is making that much in a quarter now and in some cases, they are making it in just one month; that’s a big change in lifestyle they need to recognize. It’s time for an expansion of thinking to move to the next level of success. Where do you go from here?
I’d like to suggest you pick a success study project. One that might be useful is to read biographies or to read one of the books out there which will help you with understanding the successful person’s personality.
Some suggestions of these types of books include:
- Profiles of Power and Success: Fourteen Geniuses Who Broke the Rules by Gene N. Landrum
- Profiles of Genius: Thirteen Creative Men Who Changed the World by Gene N. Landrum
Furthermore, here are my suggestions for great business biographies to read:
- Pizza Tiger by Thomas Monaghan
- McDonald’s: Behind the Arches by John F. Love
- Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire by James Wallace and Jim Erickson
- iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business by Jeffrey S. Young and William L. Simon
- Accidental Millionaire: The Rise and Fall of Steve Jobs at Apple Computer by Lee Butcher
- Citizen Hughes: The Power, the Money and the Madness by Michael Drosnin
- Pour Your Heart into It: How Starbucks Build a Company One Cup at a Time by Howard Schultz
- Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler
Set your goal and GO!
I’ll leave you with a goal statement written by Bruce Lee in 1969. This can apply to the general business industry as well as his industry:
“My Definite Chief Aim:
I, Bruce Lee, will be the highest-paid Oriental superstar in the United States. In return, I will give the most exciting performances and render the best of quality in the capacity of an actor. Starting in 1970, I will achieve world fame and from then onward till the end of 1980, I will have in my possession $10,000,000. Then, I will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony and peace.”
Bruce Lee, January 1969.
Success isn’t a straight line, but you can get there more quickly with the right support. Schedule a free evaluation for your practice to learn how we can help you move more quickly to your success.