So there I was, in the back of a boat, crossing a river to visit the ruins of an ancient temple in Thailand. Once ashore, we disembarked and climbed up a small hill that led us to the top of a brick wall that surrounded the beautifully preserved structure. I stood a few feet from the edge with my back towards the six foot drop between the wall and the foundation and admired the view of the river while our tour guide hearded cats. I was jerked out of my relaxed state when I heard my friend yell from behind me. "No," was all she said for me to know that something was terribly wrong. I turned my head in her direction to see one of our fellow vacationers falling parallel to the ground from the wall to the brick floor. Then in horror, I watched her head hit, bounce three feet in the air, hit and bounce again before she settled still and motionless. Everything felt surreal and in slow motion, but somehow I was moving. I jumped to the base and quickly assessed her condition. Miraculously, there was no blood. She did not have one scratch. Her glasses were still on her face and they were unbroken. I wanted to move her slightly so that I could assess her more thoroughly.
We are all born equal…just some are born more equal than others. A child born in America has more opportunities than a child born in the Congo, but here is one area in which everyone is on the same playing field: time. No matter how you flip it, tweek it, manipulate it or approach it, there will always be 24 hours in a day and 8760 hours in a year (8784 on those glorious leap years). Around the world, transgressing economic, social and cultural differences, we are all born equally time wealthy. When I hear someone say that they don't have enough time, what I hear is, “I do not have the desire.” The "not enough time" excuse is used as a form of self-handicapping. If you don’t have enough time, than nobody will be disappointed that you led a mediocre life. The "nobody" that I'm talking about is you. You don’t want to feel like you are not living up to your full potential, so you create self-imposed limitations, and you create a narrative that you don't have enough time. Cut the shit, raise your personal standards and start managing yourself around time with the following steps:
I had a conversation with a friend of mine this morning that led her to my website. Two seconds later, she came back and told me that there was a spelling typo on my page. I clarified with her which page, and then genuinely thanked her. She responded by informing me that she is the type of friend who tells you when you have spinach in your teeth. The best kind to have, so why did she feel the need to tell me that was her way of being a friend to me? Shouldn't I know that? Our conversation got me thinking about why people are reluctant to give meaningful, constructive, well-intended feedback to their friends, coworkers, subordinates, peers and (never!) bosses. Mainly because people are assholes with egos too big to fit in the front door. Right? Your friends, coworkers, peers, subordinates and bosses are all just assholes. Of course not, but we do fear the reaction they will have when we have to give them negative feedback. Instead, we avoid it and our friends smile away at everyone they see with a huge piece of spinach in their teeth.
You can grind for years as an entrepreneur and still be shy of hitting six figures. I never understand why people spin their wheels trying to figure out the formula all by themselves without the help of someone that has already done it. Think about it. Everything that we are able to do has been demonstrated to us by someone who has already done it. Can you imagine trying to learn to walk without the guidance of someone that's already learned? NO! Why try to earn over $100,000 a year without help? Can it be done? Sure. But, the likelihood of it happening quicker (or at all) increases when you have a mentor. Consider investing in a business coach who has "been there, done that" to show you the ropes. Know someone personally that figured out the code? Even better! They usually come at no (monetary) cost to you. While you're looking for the perfect mentor, get your mind right for raking in the dough:
A good number of my business partners that come to me for assistance are scared to death about making a strategy for their startup. An even greater number are those that are already grinding away doing their thing without a strategy at all. They are building the tracks as they are driving the train...running ten feet in front of the locomotive to lay the tracks, while hoping they don't get run over and praying their train stays on track. On track to where? Nobody knows. Who wants to volunteer to be on that train? It might be fun for those who like to add drama to their lives, but I'd rather avoid it. People are scared shitless about making a strategy because they think it has to be a convoluted math equation that only Einstein can understand. The reality is that a strategy can be as simple or as complicated as you make it. I stick with the K.I.S.S method myself, but either way, all strategies should include the following basic steps:
It never fails. I always have a well-planned strategy before purchasing a house that I intend to put on the market as a rental property. Can I receive 1% its cost in monthly rental fees? Is it suitable for the typical family in the area? How much work needs to be done to make it livable? Is there a demand in the market? What are my annual costs? And a slew of other questions that I ask myself about the property before I purchase it. Once I decide that the property is a good investment, I get my team of experts on board to start construction. The same team of experts that advised me on the "estimated" costs of repairs before I bought the damn thing. If you have ever watched one show on HGTV, then you know where this is going.
I always tell people that I learn best sliding on my face. I have failed so often that I have developed scar tissue so thick that most failures fell fun to me now. In fact, one of my most (over) used phrases is, "I am not making enough decisions if I am not failing at least once a day." Failing once a day. It does not sound as enjoyable as it actually is when I read the words that I just wrote. The rewards make it fun, and the experience creates character.