It’s a Once In a Lifetime Opportunity! Ummm…

“A ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ is irrelevant if it is the wrong opportunity.” — Jim Collins

All you need to do is look around even just a bit to see how the advancement of computers and the internet are fundamentally shifting how we learn and interact. We have more information available through our smartphones (which coincidentally still let us make phones now and then) than we ever could have crammed into an encyclopedia. Even more fascinating, one can currently spend $700 for a 2017 edition of the World Book Encyclopedia, or get a reasonably priced smartphone with 2 years of service. For how fast the pace of technology advances, it’s going to be interesting to see what we use another 25 years from now.

Think on just this for minute. It was barely a century ago the Wright Brothers conquered controlled flight with their machine that countless said was a fool’s mission. It was barely 60 years later we sent a man beyond the atmosphere and assuming Elon Musk is successful on sticking to his launch calendar, there will be people walking on Mars in the next 6-8 years. That would make it roughly 125 years from the time we figured out how to fly to getting ourselves to another planet.

Speaking more generally, with all these advancements comes opportunity. The new tools we have to work with have only begun to show their potential. As we apply our curiosity and creativity, finding new ways to combine these tools, we find even further possibility for what we can do.

It makes it increasingly difficult to believe there’s much of anything anymore that’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Of course there are some exceptions to this rule, like perhaps being among the first Mars colonists. I’m speaking more generally that some business opportunity will dry up overnight is likely more of a trend and we’re wise to be wary to such things. If they’re gone tomorrow without us, they will be regardless our involvement and could possibly do us more damage if we are involved.

Far better we continue to focus on our own expertise and build it upon a solid foundation of principles rather than fads. We can more readily adapt to changes in our business environment when we’re based in principles.

Further, the more focused we are on our own progress the less easily distracted we are by the noise all around us. Of course we are wise to pay enough attention to what’s going on so we can take best advantage of changes and progress, but we are also wiser to what will serve us and what won’t.

And if we want to totally boil this down to the essentials, beware anyone that tells you they have a “once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity”! It should be an immediate red flag for anyone who’s serious about their own business.

In the meantime, I have some oceanfront property in Idaho I’m looking to sell. So, you know… Call me…

The Power of Teams

Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people. -Steve Jobs

No driver crosses the finish line without the mechanics that built and maintained his car. No waitress serves a meal without the cooks that prepared the food. No band rocks a stadium without the sound engineers or the hands that built the stage. And no pilot flies without the builders of the plane or the engineers that designed it in the first place.

Of course we all have brilliant ideas and knowing our individual efforts does much to help us continue our forward progress. We develop our individual skills and talents, our expertise until we become the thought leaders we are meant to be. We honor individual achievement and for good reason! Recognition for our hard work helps us see that what we do is valuable, matters to others, and keeps us motivated to continue in what we’re doing.

We must also understand that teams are essential if we’re to achieve the greater successes we desire. Unless your goal is to live broke and in complete isolation, it’s impossible for us to develop every single skill we’ll ever need to succeed. There are skills we may just not even want to develop or it doesn’t make economic sense for us to learn.

This is where teamwork is so critical. Our expertise can serve others, just as other can fill in where we are weak. We become stronger for working together and collaborating helps us grow so much quicker where before it might not have even been possible.

It’s okay if you’re not a master of everything you’ll need along the way. The greater your expertise the greater the value you can provide and the better you’ll be compensated for your efforts. Working with others who have done the same is how we achieve greatness far beyond our own capacity.

Think about this as you go to build your team and watch how much faster you all grow for your efforts.

Refocus & Shift

Just a week or so back I shared of the amazing feats of Shaun White.  Already legendary in his sport dominating the world as THE household name in snowboarding he now can add to his resume the 2018 Gold Medal Winter Olympics Champion in his craft.
As I continue to enjoy the study of the mind more all the time it still puts me in a state of shock and ah to think of how the impact that the decisions we make in milliseconds can have such immediate amazing effects likewise.
Take Shaun’s experience only last October, while in New Zealand he took a crash in the half pipe and from that split millisecond missing the landing he hit the wall, literally, with a bloody mess requiring a 63-stitch mend.  Now, less than 4 months later he has notably the best run of his life and career landing a gold medal on the World’s stage of the Olympics!  He could have walked away after that near death experience and resounded a well noted career.  Yet, there he was already back at it.  Do you think that decision just came to him?  Or was it likely a gut-wrenching decision?  Did he have to refocus?  Did his mind have to shift?
Well, as entrepreneurs we can relate.  Whether you’ve been at it awhile as many of us in and out of the trenches or you are early on in your journey, there has been or will be those times.
See, as entrepreneurs we are simply “wired differently”, as I prefer to put it.  Our brains calculate risk, work, think, and purely function a little off beat from the straight and narrow path.  We are innately able to make decisions differently.  Some times for good or even great results and at other times for the experience of another tough lesson for the coffers.
In the end what makes the difference is when we hit a wall, fortunately in this analogy there is no gory mess involved, what do we take from it and how do we roll up our sleeves and move on?  In the case of you, how will YOU move on?  Are you prepared to minimize the pain and take the tough lesson learned to advance and grow towards larger feats of victory?
How will YOU Refocus & Shift ?