Why haven’t you made it yet?
What is missing?
How hard have you worked on your business in the last year?
How many people have you helped in the past year?
What have you created in the past year? How many people have you shared it with?
This is why you haven’t made it yet! This is why you are not free.
Starting an business can be very similar to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and fighting in general. So let’s say you are a little guy. You will need a lot of technique or skill. A small person with a lot of skill can beat a large person with low skill. These skills can be broken down into categories of Mass, Leverage, Speed, Timing, Momentum, Pattern Recognition, and Flow.
Mass: First, to do BJJ you must first have a body, or another way to think of it is to have mass. Without mass you don’t really have much to work with. You have to start with a mass of some kind. The more mass you have, the less skill you require. In business mass could be your body of work. It could be your online collection of videos, blog posts, music or whatever you create. It could be your product ideas, patents or software designs.
Leverage: Can you beat 10 people in a fight? Never try to do all the work yourself, hire people. Use tools to give you leverage, like picking up a lead pipe, don’t start creating only on your own website, create on huge platforms like Linkedin Groups that already have a large audience, create for others’ websites. Figure out ways to share with huge audiences. Build up your mass and go and use the leverage that is out there.
Speed: Speed wins fights, If you have a new idea, don’t let it sit around for a year, strike first, execute it before someone else thinks of it. Make it happen quickly to beat the competition. A flurry of moves will overwhelm them. Finish often, finish fast.
Timing: Even the best techniques fail if the timing is not right. Attempting an Armbar while your opponent is starting to bend his arm will fail. Wait until he is about to straighten it. If you want to interview an author, wait until they are releasing and promoting a new book, they will be more open to your offer. Good timing requires keen observation. Posting your Youtube video on Friday evening might be better than posting it on Monday morning.
Momentum: The more mass you have the more momentum you will get. If you only have one blog post or song that goes viral and no others your business will fall flat, but if you have a bunch more to keep people on your site you will have earned true fans and the momentum will keep going. Build your mass and enjoy momentum.
Pattern Recognition: Watching your opponents in BJJ will tell you how they like to fight, their favorite moves, and how they react to certain situations. Observe websites, leaders, your idols and see what they are doing. What is working for them, how have they failed. What tools are they using? Who are they following and learning from? What groups are they part of? Study them closely.
Flow: Sometimes in BJJ you are attempting a move or technique and it is just not working. You could push harder or instead you could flow in a new direction. If your business is struggling or you just don’t enjoy it anymore why not flow in a new direction. If you have a Sheet Metal business why not invent a new tool, or design software for other Sheet Metal workers to use. Look at how google has branched off into so many directions. What is stopping you from doing the same. Flow!
I have been trapped many times, physically in fact. I trained Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for 7 years. I still remember the first time my friend got on top of me, held me down, and told me to try and escape. I tried, I struggled, and then, I started to panic. I realized I was trapped. I couldn’t get out. I was at the mercy of my friend. I had no control over the situation. It was scary, and extremely uncomfortable. My face started to turn red and I asked him to get off of me now. He held me for a few more seconds to prove a point and then released me. Needless to say from that point on I was highly motivated to learn BJJ and never be in that position again.
Eventually I learned to escape and became comfortable being held down. Knowing how to protect myself and learning to trust my BJJ partners.
I also defined the BJJ Concepts that allowed me to progress and be creative with BJJ techniques. One of the key concepts is Freedom. While I was being held down, I thought that I had lost all freedom. The freedom to move my body. Slowly I began to realized that I did have freedom, just in limited amounts. I could still move my toes and fingers. I could still press my heels into the ground and buck my hips up. I could even bend and straighten my legs and arms sometimes. I learned that I had to use these small amounts of freedom to gain more freedom. For example I would walk my toes to move my leg, or use my free leg to unhook my trapped leg. I would use my free leg to shift my hip out from underneath my training partner, and I would use my free arm to push off his neck or hip creating more freedom.
Keeping a calm mind, and focusing on the freedom I had, helped me to gain more freedom!
What freedom do you have?
How can you use your freedom to create more freedom?
You have put yourself into an imaginary box. A box of who you think you are. Of who you think other people want you to be or what your employer wants you to be. That’s the box you’ve put yourself into, and it’s uncomfortable. When you look at your Linkedin profile or resume, unless you have been really Authentic with yourself throughout your career, you will see this box clearly.
But what about who you really are? Oh, this part of you only comes out after hours. Your only allowed to show this part of youself when you are not at work. When you are doing your hobbies and other fun stuff. Then it’s okay. But when it’s time to go back to work, better hide this part of you.
I say bullshit!
I think it’s time to redraw the lines and change your box. Adjust it so that it shows who you really are. Maybe the right employer or partner will see this new, exciting, oddly shaped box and want to pick it up. Maybe this box is the perfect fit for their company.
There is too much opportunity out there to stay in a box, It’s time to be Authentic people!
Imagine yourself 20 years in the future. I would be 53.
You wake up, get out of bed, go to the bathroom, and look at yourself in the mirror. That’s you, right now. How do you look. A little greyer, a little more wrinkled. Maybe less hair. How are you feeling this morning?
Let’s imagine the worst case scenario.
First, your alone, in some dirty messy apartment. Your feeling tired and unwell. You have to go to work, again, and do the thing you hate. The same thing which you have been doing your whole adult life! You are still living paycheck to paycheck and you have no savings, and no new skills. What have you been doing the last 20 years? It feels like yesterday you were only 33 and things were ok. Now your kids are grown up, and your partner is gone. What went wrong? What did you do? What did you fail to do? Arrg, gotta go to work now…
Now, the Alternative, you wake up, and you’re not alone. Your living somewhere new. You look out your window and see a beautiful day. You are relaxed, there is no rush to go anywhere, or do anything. You know what your projects are and you know when you are going to do them. Your family loves you. You can afford to fly where you like. You location doesn’t really matter anymore, neither does money. You are still you, but now you know more. You have a wealth of rich experiences, and are comfortable in almost all situations. You feel that if you think it, you can make it happen.
What happened? How did you get here. What did you do? Or what did you not do?
Imagine yourself in the first scenario and you are given a chance to go back in time. You are given a chance to go back 20 years to where you stand right now. What would you do differently? What would you change right now knowing about your two paths? Do you see clearly what is important and what is trivial? Do you see what is right and what is wrong? Do you see where your focus and effort must go?
So here you are. Let’s go back in time one year.
What were you doing one year ago. What month is it now? Think back to the same month last year.
How much have you changed since then? Did you stop any bad habits? How many times did you push yourself to the edge of your comfort zone and experience fear? How many hours of passive entertainment did you watch, and how many times did you shut it off intentionally? Did you meet any new people? Did you practice any new skills? How many times did you take a risk? How many times did you put your ego on the line? Did you create anything since then? Or make an event happen? A book, song, poem, drawing, invention, video, interview, blog post, meeting? Did you share it? Did you impact anyone?
How much of your free time did you waste? How many times did you chicken out? What are your regrets? If you could go back one year what would you do differently? Where could you be right now if you had done things just a little better? If you had taken a few more chances? If you had created more? Who would know you now? What opportunities could you have opened up? Who have you changed, and who has changed you?
Letting yourself Truly fail is easy. You may not feel True Failure, or it may actually feel pleasurable. True failure happens when you avoid the things that you have to do. When you fail to act. When you fail to do the thing that scares you. When you fail to make a change. True failure feels like the daily grind, the unmemorable day. The repetitive tasks. Watching TV. Collecting knowledge without doing anything. Failure is ignoring your blog, or letting your podcast die, or skipping your daily practice. Failure is not putting yourself on the line. Not reaching out. Not making that phone call. Failure is telling yourself you will do it tomorrow. Or that you don’t have time right now. Or that you don’t feel like it right now. Failure is deceptive and sneaky and pleasurable. Don’t be fooled.
Instead, try choosing success:
Success hurts. It makes your heart pound. It makes you sweat. It feels hard and painful for the moment. It feels like fear. It feels annoying like shutting down the TV. Or refusing to go for a beer. It feels scary like when you put yourself ‘out there’. When you call someone you don’t know. When you ask for something. When you hire someone. When you ask for mentorship. When you take a risk. When you are out of your league.
Accept the Fear. Accept that you will be afraid. You will feel like a fraud. You will be uncomfortable. You won’t feel like doing it, and there is no good time to do it. But it must be done. It must be done. You must be the person to do it. You have to do it. You soul is telling you to do it. It will change your life. It will make your life better. It will make you better. Make yourself do those things. Sacrifice pleasure. Your Future-Self will thank you. Your Soul will thank you. You won’t have regret. You will feel proud. You will have created change. Choose to knuckle down and make yourself do it, embrace the pain, and you will have succeeded today.
Did you know that the English language has 62% negative emotional words and only 32% positive emotional words? And of these positive words what percentage actually gets used? What about your positive vocabulary? What positive words to you think or use in your own mind on a consistent basis? How often do you use them throughout the day? How often are you using negative words? What if you started to seek out these negative words and find positive alternatives? What would happen?
Just seeing a newspaper or listening to the radio will bombarded your mind with negativity in the form of words. What effect does this have on you, and your lifetime?
In an experiment by John Bargh, participants were asked to create a few sentences with words related to being elderly, such as old, wrinkles, Florida, grey, bingo, and then asked to walk down the hall to drop off their paper. The unknowing participants were being timed, those with the “elderly” words actually walked down the hallway slower than the control group. The explanation for this was that the students had been “Mentally Primed” by the words related to being elderly. This really makes me wonder how words are having an effect on my mind and what will happen if I begin to change my words.
When you hear the word “Apple”, what comes to mind? A picture of an apple of course. Not the letters APPLE,. Therefore words are automatically transformed into pictures or concepts in our mind without any conscious effort or knowledge. Could we tip the balance of images in our mind by changing our words? Were those students picturing an elderly person which affected their actions? What pictures do you have in your mind most of the time?
You can start building your positive vocabulary and get Primed for success by making “THE SWITCH”, a list of Daily Affirmations For Entrepreneurs. Give it a try and let me know if it makes a difference for you.
Start with the terms first!
You must be able to name everything related to your subject. Find yourself a glossary of terms, preferably with pictures included so you can start to see what it is you are learning. Focus on the Nouns, the things, places, persons. What are the components? For example: if you open the hood of your car can you name every single item in front of you?
Depending on your subject, choose which category below is most dominant. If you get stuck learning about one category, try switching to another.
– Learn what each thing does: Focus on the verbs. What action does it do? What purpose does it fulfill? What is it doing? Ex: What does an alternator do?
– Focus on the qualities: The adjectives. What materials? What colors? What shapes? What size? Ex: What makes a good alternator? What kind of steel is it made of? Ex: What materials are the belts made of?
– Focus on the relationship/position: How do the components relate to each other? What is the process? What is the timing? What is the speed? What is the relationship? Ex: How do the parts fit together? Where is the fusebox commonly found?
As a final step, test yourself to see what you know. Extract information from your mind in the same fashion. How many things/names/components can you recall about the subject? Do you know what each does? What are the qualities of each? And what are the relationships?
Also, you can use these categories to come up with creative ideas: What else could it do? Can you change the materials, colors, size? Can you change the position or relationship?
And one last way to use the categories is as an observation tool. Post coming soon!
What is the fearful mindset?
The fearful mindset wants. It wants something desperately. It thinks only of taking. Of receiving. Of getting. It’s self-centered and small minded. It exalts others and belittles itself. It tries to talk you out of taking action, and is confident in it’s rationalizations of inaction. It protects the ego. It keeps you feeling comfortable. It fears pain if things don’t work out the way it idealizes. And that is the thought which freezes all action and stops all progress.
What is the giving mindset?
The giving mindset has forgotten about selfish desires. It knows what it has to offer. It knows that it is valuable. It knows that it can help. It focuses on giving, helping and creating. It thinks of life as an experiment. It tests and tries. It is full of curiosity. It is open to positive or negative feedback and is ready to change and adapt. It only cares about what works. It doesn’t take things personally. It knows that in 10 minutes, 10 months, or 10 years the offense is not going to matter. It knows that life is full of abundance and opportunity so it has no fear of loss or theft.