Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Success Is Found With Waking Chickens

Over the course of the past few weeks I've had an incredible number of meetings with a wide range of people.  I've meet with small business owners, wannapreneurs (people who want to own their own venture "some day") and several business leaders of successful companies.  It's funny but most all of the conversations I've had ended up eventually turn towards the topic of success.  What does success look like and what do these individuals need to do to achieve it?

I am studier.  When I first broke out on my own I realized that just fumbling my way through being an entrepreneur wasn't going to be good enough.  You see success leaves clues.  I did what many of these people did...I asked a lot of questions. I took lots of notes.  I drank in as much of the experience as someone who's found success would share with me.  I became a sponge for learning as much as I could from those who had come before me and were willing to teach me.

I suspect that's why people hit me up.  On the surface I am living the dream. I have several ventures that I am involved with (not all profitable but we are getting there). I have a great house (thanks to my amazing wife), a nice car and a family that loves me (on most days). I'm not rich nor do I aspire to be (well, maybe a little). I get up early every day excited to discover what life has in store for me and apparently my enthusiasm for life and for helping other people is infectious (Ripple virus?). Hence why I get so many requests for "coffee" or meeting requests "to pick my brain."

By the way my friend Maura Thomas has an excellent series on brain pickers aka "free advice" over at her BLOG.  Check it out here:

Anyway, I am humbled that people would want to learn about my story and what I've done to find success on my own journey. I don't sugar coat it. I tell people that the only time success comes before work is in the dictionary! If you are committed to being a success at whatever, it takes a dedication and commitment that is unwavering. And it takes a keen eye towards building the relationships that will support you, buy from you and stick with you through the never-ending peaks and valleys you will encounter along the way. Duh! It's about relationships people! but I digress.

It was through the dispatching of this type of advice that something glaring hit me. Some of these people I was meeting with were missing something. Drive! Drive gets you out of bed in the morning. Drive gets you thinking about your days and weeks ahead and planning for it. Drive has you constantly thinking of who you need to call, email, set up a meeting with and who you need to help.  Drive gets you out of bed when it's still dark and before the coffee is even brewing to start focusing on your day.

I tell all people who are looking for success that you have to wake with the chickens with total focus on what steps need to be taken during the day ahead in order to get closer to whatever goal you want to achieve.  When I asked when most of them "started their day" the average response time was between 9-10 each morning.

WTH!?!  Charlie Sheen might tell you that's not "Winning!"'s losing on a lot of levels.

Now I am not saying you have to be crazy and be at the office at 5AM (though I've done that more times than I can count), I do believe you need to be hit the ground running early.  If you are truly committed to your success then you should follow the advice a wise old successful entrepreneur onces shared with me...

"Be there first.  Have a plan.  And start executing. Successful people are up and at it before the competition even puts on their slippers."

As I said I don't sugar coat it and so the same advice that I am sharing here and now is the exact same that I shared with each of these individuals.  Will it make a difference in the end I don't know.  The one thing I do know is I learned the same lesson way back when as a newbie entrepreneur and it continues to serve me to this day.

So you be the judge.  Just don't show up at 10AM to do your judging ya hear?

Ripple On!!!

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