How Would You Know If You “Lost Your Mind?”
Last week wasn’t the best week. I returned from an annual business retreat in Breckenridge, Colorado, where more than 500 business owners attended. Several new businesses joined us this time and there were many tremendous success stories. Business owners from throughout North America were in attendance. Jeff Smith, one of our coaches, and I conducted operations training all weekend. It was truly an uplifting experience (and all at 9,000-foot elevation).
A couple of days later, we had approximately 10 business owners in training for the week, which was when Denver was hit by a massive blizzard. Next thing I know I’m headed home after being stuck on I-70 in our new BMW just as an ambulance pulls into my driveway with EMTs looking for the baby who’s not breathing.
The next couple of hours were hair-raising.
My 18-month-old son was transported in the ambulance to the hospital in a blizzard. Mom was in the ambulance; I’m following in our SUV (Volvo XC-90 the ‘Soccer Mom’ Mobile). I didn’t know how scary it was until I arrived at the hospital. Chase did stop breathing in the ambulance. I walked into the emergency room with what looked like the entire hospital staff hovering over my terrified son who was screaming. After two days in the hospital and numerous visits from doctors, he was fine but undiagnosed. It was a combination of asthma and allergies which caused him to have difficulty breathing and to stop breathing on the way to the hospital.
Now, I’ve had tough days, months, and weeks before, but nothing tops following an ambulance with your 18-month-old in it in a blizzard. I was trying not to slide into the ambulance or become stuck on the way. I then walked into a scene from the television show ER, with my screaming baby at the center. I’ve always been great at handling a crisis, so the effect didn’t hit me until Friday or Saturday. (Wednesday was the ambulance run, so it was a few days later). In the meantime, during some downtime at the hospital, I made the mistake of checking my email. I discovered a little war of words was actively in progress for a couple of days. An old friend of mine seemed to have finally lost his mind.
It’s a terrible thing when you lose your mind.
Toby sent an email, sharing a couple of ideas Bill Clark presented at the event. Tom Callos had a meltdown from Hilo (HI) which resulted in blog posts, emails, and a raft of back and forth between him and Toby. I always hate to ‘swing at pitches in the dirt’, but the whole thing became ridiculous. Tom starts calling out everyone involved, including myself, saying we were unethical, underhanded, and teaching concepts that are “beneath the dignity of” a business owner. Remember, Toby shared a shorthand explanation of Bill Clark’s idea, and not our idea directly.
For obvious reasons, I didn’t intervene other than to send Tom a short note that he really should (and does) know me better after 20 years. He might think before ‘flaming’. He did, after flooding the Internet with this, apologize to me.
With all that aside, what’s beneath the ‘dignity’ of a business owner? I certainly believe being broke is beneath the dignity of any business owner. I believe you should do nothing that creates exposure but hurts your image at the same time. For example, things like The Jerry Springer Show, guest passes distributed at a strip club or liquor store, etc.…it’s a long list. However, most business owners sit on their asses and do nothing. Rather than risk going too far, they do nothing, which isn’t the answer either.
Something is better than nothing.
I encourage all business owners to be “raging thunder lizard evangelists” for the value of training in business. The marketing concepts I typically teach include everything from websites and search engine optimization to direct mail, television infomercials, and community outreach ideas. Basically, it was anything that could be presented to 300 to 3,000 people at once. I prefer ‘high-leverage’ activities to one person or two at a time. However, rather than sit at your desk in the office and bemoan your lack of results, it would be better to go door-to-door or stand in the cold and talk to people. Ask them for feedback in the city center, or distribute offers and discounts at the shopping mall.
Tom, in his misplaced indignity, missed the point that the majority of business owners don’t do anything. Those who are growing rich have one thing in common: ‘massive action’. They also share another common trait: They ‘take the credit or the blame for their results’, rather than looking for someone or something to blame.
Success requires work.
Unfortunately, too many people who advise in the industry aren’t running profitable businesses. Some never have; for others, it’s been a long time since they have. Trust me when I say my objective for you is success most easily and efficiently, but it’s not ‘magic pixie dust’. You must wake every morning, go to work, and work hard.
If you’re not sure where to start or how to get your business in front of hundreds or thousands, I’d like to help. Take the first step today by scheduling a no cost, no obligation business evaluation. Click here to get started.