With all of the research money from grants and charity events, the brilliant minds in the world and the horsepower of today’s computers, why have we not found any cures for the ails of the world?
The answer is pretty simple and easy to see if you feel like looking and questioning what you are told by those “in charge”.
There is NO MONEY in a cure, only in prolonging illness with “better” treatment methods and medications.
Those sick continue to live longer and longer, with more procedures, hospitalization and pharmaceuticals. There is plenty of money to be made through keeping you alive, but nothing to be made if you are cured.
Protected by our government, big corporations lobby and control those cures that have already been found and swept under the rug.
Think about it! If cancer is cured, how much money is lost? If HIV is cured, how much money is lost? If a permanent cavity prevention material were made available, how much money is lost?
It’s sickening to think of how many people are diagnosed with some new illness each day, only to be treated for years and years with no “cure”. All because cures are like dams in the flow of money from the bottom of the population to the top of the corporate ladder.
Completing small tasks is usually easy enough, but what about those huge ones, the monstrous changes and improvements?
Is it time to get into shape with both diet and exercise daily, time to earn that promotion you want, to buy your dream home, quite smoking or cross off your greatest bucket list item?
Here is a list that may help, courtesy of one of my Entrepreneurs’ Organization friends.
- Set one goal, one. Make it bold while keeping it simple.
- Find inspiration. Seek out the benefits, others that have been successful, visualize the end result (with a picture)
- Get excited. Change is a good thing, nothing can improve without it. Pump yourself up for success.
- Build anticipation. Don’t start right away. Set your start date weeks or a month into the future and give yourself time to become mentally and emotionally invested.
- Post it, print it, BIG. Force yourself to think about your hurdle, see it, read it, picture it everywhere. Post-its on your mirror, poster on your wall, write it on your forehead if you must.
- Commit to it publicly. Accountability is the key to success and often easier to have others hold you accountable than to do it yourself. Make your goal known so people can help you when you’re weak.
- Think about it daily. Habits are hard to break and easy to fall back into. Whatever has held you back til now will still be there, think about your goal and resist.
- Get support. You can’t and don’t need to do everything yourself. It’s in people’s nature to be helpful, it makes others feel good and important. Whether a support group or your friends and family, others want to see you succeed.
- Stick with it. Everything takes time. Be patient and persist. If you fall down, get back up and keep trying. Quitters never win and winners never quit (unless you are trying to quit something:)
- Build on small successes. Have you ever seen an infant learn to walk? They don’t just stand up one day and start walking. One step at a time is still closer than not stepping at all.
- Read about it regularly. Chances are probably 100% that you are not the first to be taking on this quest. Read about what others have done, what professionals recommend and successful feedback. Just don’t believe everything you read on the internet.
- Call for help when motivation ebbs. It’s probably going to happen at some point. Lean on your supporters. Reach out and ask for words of encouragement when you just want to give in.
- Talk about the benefits, not the difficulties. If it was easy it wouldn’t take much effort, so we know there are difficulties. Talk about the benefits, remind yourself and others why you are putting in this much effort.
- Squash negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts. With a positive attitude you can overcome just about anything. When those negative thoughts creep in, have your list of benefits present to review and remind you of your goal and small successes.
- Don’t look back, other than to celebrate your success. You cannot change your past, don’t waste your time. You can affect today and tomorrow. When you reach your goal, then, take time to look back at all you have accomplished.
All the best!
With dozens of simultaneous and constant distractions, how is one to focus and be effective?
You can write down your task lists, highlight your top 5 activities, schedule your day, use a day planner and any number of other forms of organization and planning. I still don’t believe you will be working (or playing) at anywhere near your full potential.
To skip to the point of this collection of words, you control most of your distractions or they control you.
Turn off your non-organic tools, toys and necessary technical devices – At lease for a few hours a day, completely off! This is primarily for the working folk, plan for it and then execute.
What do I mean?
Check your email one last time and quit the program, put your phone on do not disturb, turn off your cell phone, log out of instant messenger and turn off any other app that notifies you of facebook updates, new tweets, cool new instagram photos, important news bulletins, weather alerts and the other million possible interruptions.
Good, now go to the bathroom, grab that last cup of coffee or water and get ready to blow your own mind. If you can, shut your door or find a quiet place to work. With no interruptions, look at your list of tasks and put your collective focus on it and nothing else. For the next 2-3 hours, do just that. Whoever is calling, emailing, IM’ing, texting or in some other way trying to reach you, can either wait or seek you out personally.
Think of how many of these interruptions and distractions float by your eyes, ears and within your head long after the pop-up is gone. Compound these with the other huge distraction, LIFE. Kids, money, bills, taxes, family, health, temperature, noise, hunger and whatever personal relationships you happen to have going on at the time. Fortunately you can remember to breath during all of these interruptions.
For the record, I’m being a huge hypocrite writing this, but I am thinking about it and try to execute as often as I can. Even now I am ignoring my phone, email, facebook account and weatherbug telling me it’s snowing outside.
If you happen to be one of my wonderful workmates, please understand that this behavior and these activities are welcomed and encouraged. You won’t even need that get out of jail free card.
From time to time I am asked if I can offer some advice, today was such a day
As a member of EO (Entrepreneurs’ Organization) I am less inclined to give advice and opt to share experiences instead, allowing the other person to make up their own mind as to where they want to go or what actions to take.
The condensed version of the experience sharing is bulleted below:
- Create the vision, share it visually. Tom has a great visios, he explains it simply and passionately. To build what he needs and accomplish the vision, others need to be able to see it, understand it, share it and embrace it with him. Where do you want to be in 3 years? Show me what that will look like. Look at it daily and focus on getting there.
- You have to do well before you can do good. Tom’s vision is to help, to educate, to read, teach, share and improve the lives of those within his community. Finances are required if he is to focus on the giving aspect of the vision. Therefore, in order to do good, an un-distracting stream of funds must be present first. Get that house in order first (do well) and then give back as you wish (do good).
- Focus, blinders, Top 5, Top 1 of 5. In order to do well so Tom can do good, the business needs to get ramped up and profitable, unfortunately there are too many distractions each day that slow or stall the progress. What are the Top 5 things you need to accomplish to become profitable? What is the single (Top 1) most important thing on that list? Write them down, look at them (Top 5), focus on it (Top 1) all day, every day, look again every 15 minutes until that task is completed. Repeat.
The more detailed conversation... The three points discussed are not easy and require a lot of patience and persistence. All of them are areas of my own business and personal skill-set that I am actively working on and likely always will be.
Tom’s Story: In a nutshell, Tom is an educator by trade but left teaching to start a bookstore with a loft for reading, storytelling and after school activities for community members. Bookstores these days do not generate sufficient profit to fund the operations such that there is ample time to focus on the community programs envisioned and ultimately where the passion lies. Tom is not a businessman, he wants to teach, to help, to do good for his community. Within the building, in front of the bookstore, there is a vacant coffee shop that previously had customers and from the records of the prior owner, there may have been enough to fund the operations of both. For the past several years Tom has been getting by with help from sponsors, donations, fund raising, grants and some book sales. So, here we are today and Tom spends much of his time chasing down potential financial resources (people) instead of doing what he really wants to do, to do good. He’s not doing well and asked for advice. I replied with some experiences for him to glean from.
Create the vision, put it down on paper, make it visual and share it. I’ve personally been working on this one for some time and though it may never truly be completed, it does transfer what is in my head and put it down on paper for sharing with others. In Tom’s case, this is exceptionally important as he needs help from volunteers and ideally from like minded people with similar visions of helping the community they share. I’m thinking of where I want the company to be in 3 years, what will the company look like? How will it be perceived by outsiders? What will the people working there be doing and how will they be acting? What sort of customers will be there, how many and what will they be doing? What will the finances look like? What will the local news be saying about the company? What are the core values of the company, how do they support the vision and how are the employees and volunteers living them? What is the culture like, who is running the operations and what celebrations are there? I know where Tom wants to take the company and what he wants it to look like in 3 years. If more people saw the same vision, they too would love to be involved and help get there. Tom needs these people and sharing this vision will help attract and retain them.
You have to well before you can do good. Certainly not true for a lot of actions, but for sustainable giving back to the community, there are expenses like payroll, rent, operating expenses, utilities and many more. My story has been the same at times and the lesson has been experienced, unfortunately more than once. We as a company enjoy helping out, giving back and being a part of something larger than just the company and corporate profits. It makes us feel good and provides a sense of purpose above and beyond the day to day work required to earn a paycheck. There are a lot of things that we would like to do to further these efforts and increase the amount of involvement locally. The hitch is that we have to ensure that everyone is able to get paid to take care of their lives, the company needs to pay its bills if there are to be lights and power next month and we need to care for our customers if we are to earn their trust and business. We have to do well (financially) if we want to do good. Tom has the ability to create sustainable profits through the coffee shop and book sales. In my opinion, rather than continue to chase money from short lived donors, Tom’s funding needs to come from a renewable source (the business) by attracting, serving and wowing customers. Do well, do good.
Focus via blinders. What’s your top 5 and what’s the top 1 of those 5? This is by no means a strength of mine, I am not the best at remaining focused for a long period of time. I’m an entrepreneur. Nonetheless, in order to do well so that you can do good, sometimes you have to buckle down and focus on what needs to happen before you can enjoy what you want to happen. One of the tricks I’ve learned over the years and employed on many occasions has been to create a list of the 5 most important things that I need to be working on in order to achieve what I need to finish. Writing that list one a small piece of paper, reviewing the list and identifying the single most important thing on that list. One the other side of the paper, write down the Top 1 item that I need to be working on. Carrying this paper with me at all times, I make a point of reviewing the list and most importantly my Top 1, EVERY 15 minutes. If I find that I am not working on my Top 1, I stop and get back to focusing on that which is most important thing for me to work on. My thinking with Tom’s situation would be to include the documentation and visualization of his vision to be shared as one on the list and getting the coffee shop generating profits to fund/fuel whatever else makes it on to the list. Chasing temporary funds in an endless circle probably would not make it on my list of the Top 5. Focus and put on the blinders.
We are a proud sponsor of Tom and his endeavors. If you want to help him, feel free to do so by purchasing books online or at his store in Buffalo.
Overloaded with thoughts, ideas, phrases and actions items to execute on, I summarized them with an alphabetical listing.
Having just returned from year one of my EO Entrepreneurial Masters Program, I’ve been asked a few times what the best take-aways were. Each time I’ve heard the question I’ve been unable to answer succinctly as there was simply too much to narrow it down well. With sixty five other entrepreneurs from around the world, we spent nearly 16 hours each day learning from great speakers and from each other. Talk about overload!
For myself and those interested, here are the lists.
The top two take aways from EO EMP Year 1:
- I’ve returned to my home knowing 65 new friends, all of who shared some of their past, present and future with me, much of it very heartfelt. The remarkable experience labeled as the night of the living dead.
- Significant clarity on what needs to be done in order to upgrade my business from the good that it is to the great that it will be.
There would have been a third take away in the list but it in an of itself if the other list, the alphabet. Key thoughts and phrases… they mean something different to everyone and a relevant in business and in life.
- Look for the pattern
- You get what you focus on and become like those that you spend time with
- Every day that you tolerate mediocrity is another day of saying, “I was just kidding about excellence”
- Communicate courageously and relentlessly
- Set clear and binary goals
- I’m good at what I do and I do it because I care about you
- Ambiguity breeds mediocrity
- People are safe, ideas are not
- Notice everything, always be collecting data
- You cannot sit on two toilets at once
- People eat with their eyes
- Think exponential, not incremental
- Find and ask the right question
- Keep running your old factory while you build your new factory
- Give your big idea a name and a theme
- Communicate one idea over and over again
- Virtual structure: less stuff = more success
- Your brand is found in the hearts and minds of your customers
- Your packaging is how they remember you
- Start dreaming again
- Accountability creates engagement
- Visibility creates accountability
- The enemy of execution is business as usual
- You cannot grow your business, only your people can. It’s called a company, not a lonely
- Bet on yourself and bet big
- Leave nothing unsaid