When I walked into the office on a Monday morning and looked at my funnel of future deals, I felt really good. Like “get another cup of coffee and chat about the weekend with the receptionist” good. I had over 50 open deals. 50! Far more open deals than anyone else in the office and I walked with corresponding swagger.
Now, fast forward three weeks. I’d only closed two of those deals. All of that possibility had only materialized into results twice.
That comfort and glut of potential had robbed me of the urgency of converting possibilities into results.
Turned out I’d believed my own hype and that blankie of possibility was robbing me blind.
So I got rid of 30 deals in three days. I asked the honest question: “Is this actually a deal, or does it just look like it could be at some point down the road?” I called and turned the screws on the prospects I thought were open deals and directly asked for the business. I applied enough pressure to learn if they were just being nice or actually seriously considering my proposal.
You know all of the possibilities that the world has presented to you? All of the things that lie ahead of you and all the amazing things that you believe you’ll do with your life? Rubbish. You probably won’t do them. You probably won’t put in the work to close the deal. You probably won’t lean into the pain long enough to break through. You might, but, let’s be honest, you probably won’t. You’re used to getting participation trophies for trying and that is how we’ve been trained to look at results. “We gave it our best shot.”
There is a very real chance that this amazing feeling of having all that potential, all those possibilities ahead of you is the reward that will be enough for you. That feeling is intoxicating and is so much easier than actually realizing your potential.
But a feeling is all it is. And for some, that will be enough.
But, for others, that feeling will be demon they wrestle for years, for decades to come.
The demon that says, “you don’t have what it takes to actually do those things, do you?”
The demon that says, “think about how much you’d have to give up to even try, just to TRY, when you know you’ll probably fail!”
The demon that says, “your possibilities are your reward, those results are for people with more talent than you.”
But those demons don’t know how to deal with the soul willing to risk comfort for the chance at capturing potential. While they may grow louder as you take that first step, they’re quieted by the second. And silenced by the third.
It is only in action that our possibilities are worth acknowledging. It is only in daring that our potential has any worth. And it is a choice that we must learn to make every single day.
So here’s to you and to the possibilities that lie before you.
But most of all, here’s those brave enough to see those possibilities become your reality.Tweet
It is an age old question with a lot of creative answers, but I’d like to prove that the chicken’s actual reason for crossing the road was in fact a strategic move all about perspective that could be gained from the other side.
This photo was taken on the corner of 27th and 5th Ave.
This photo was also taken on the corner of 27th and 5th Ave.
Both photos were taken at 8:15am looking north, the direction I was heading.
One of these photos shows the canyons of Midtown South emerging on the horizon with no memorable benchmark between me and the horizon.
One of these photos presents a clear and unmistakable point of reference by which to measure my progress against. It also gave me a lot more motivation to keep fighting through all of the pedestrian traffic jams that were between me and my destination.
So, when thinking about the year behind and the year ahead, sometimes you just have to make like a chicken and cross the road because the perspective you need of the Empire ahead is on the other side.Tweet
When Bruce Wayne decides to get back out on the streets of Gotham as the Batman, he does so because others need him to. He does so because it seems like the right thing to do and that he is the right person to do it. All of those things are true. There isn’t another super hero waiting in the wings on. But, (spoiler alert) when he comes up against the pure evil of Bane, he stands no chance the first time around. The reason was simply the “WHY”
In one of the best TEDTalks out there, Simon Sinek talks about the difference between how good companies and great companies talk about what they do. Good companies explain what they do and then share how they do it. Great companies explain WHY they do what they do and the beliefs that back their motivation and then may also mention how and what they do to help round out the story. It is an 18 minutes well worth the time.
In thinking about Bane’s WHY vs. Batman’s WHY, it was crystal clear that Bane would win out in their first encounter (that and there was almost two hours left in the movie…)
His belief was forged in something bigger than himself and a quest that had nothing to do with personal gain. Bane’s belief was the playing out of a vision that would last much longer after he was gone. The belief behind Batman’s WHY was conjured at best.
When advising start-ups or taking a look at any new projects myself, the first thing that I am learning to ask is WHY. WHY does this project, opportunity, or company care more about the problem they’re solving and the solution their providing than everyone else? WHY am I willing to turn down other initiatives and potentially also successful endeavors to see this one through? WHY does this campaign towards something that others are also considering get their first and with more gusto?
If I can’t answer that question, I too will end up missing a vertebrae and exiled to a professional living hell until I find the strength to act first on belief and then out of confidence in that belief.Tweet
Believe it or not, it’s halftime. The craziness that began 2012 has’t stopped for 6 months and now you are on the down hill side of this calendar year. Everything that you said, “This will happen in 2012″ that hasn’t, only has 26 weeks left to be accomplished. The way this year will be remembered hangs in the balance and you’ve been given a moment here at halftime to make sure that you don’t let 2012 slip through your fingers.
Let’s think through your performance in the first half. You took some good shots, you push hard on some of the new ideas that you’d been tinkering with, and you even exploited those that stood in your way and made their defense look weak. But, you also took more time to get to the goal than you needed, your pace started great but was dragging by the time the end of the 2nd quarter rolled around, and you allowed others to walk all over you when it came time to block their blatant attempts at accelerating your defeat.
So right now, in this slow moment between halves when everyone else is sipping Gatorade and reliving their one highlight moment of the first half, this is the chance that you’ve been asking for to clean the slate from what was and take command of what’s to come. It’s right now that you can lock in on the strategies that worked in the first half and get rid of the ones that didn’t and the ones that held you down. Right now is all that matters because right now is all you have.
This year won’t be won out on the battlefield, this year will be won the place that all great victories are won: in the moments of preparation and commitment in the in between.
Hustle now or forever hold your peace.Tweet