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Battling Misery & Dread: Find Your Friends #5002

My Biggest Challenge Is Battling Misery

Business owners are almost always candid when I ask, “What’s THE big challenge facing you today?” Even though they’ve never talked with me before, it’s rare for a business owner to avoid engaging with me in an honest conversation about their life. For starters, within seconds they can spot two of my super powers: empathy and curiosity. It takes a bit longer for my other super powers to show up: intuition and communication. That last one is the most tenuous because these conversations are always on the phone and I have no history with this person. I’m weak at many things so I have to leverage these few super powers to the max. 😉

He’s a small business owner more than 1000 miles from me. We’ve only exchanged a couple of messages via Linkedin. He’s in an industry that intrigues me. That’s why I connect with him. My curiosity is elevated by the time we jump on the phone. Within 3 minutes I’ve asked him, “What’s THE biggest challenge you’ve got right now?” He doesn’t hesitate. He says, “Battling my misery.” I’ve heard this before, but not quite so boldly and candidly. I’m sad for him, but impressed with his honesty.

“Tell me about it,” I say. He spends the next few minutes telling me the various sources of his misery. None of them are extraordinary. They’re all too common among small business owners. Unfortunately, he’s stuck in his misery. It’s been lingering with him for too long. You can sense he’s tired of it.

He’s successful fought his way through cash flow, getting new customers, operational issues, personnel issues and all the other things that plague us. There are elements of those creating some of his misery, but mostly it’s more personal stuff. Marriage stuff. Head stuff. Heart stuff.

It’s no lie when I tell him, “I understand.” But I quickly follow that up with the big question, “What are you going to do about it?”

He gets quiet. I embrace the pause. I know it’s hard for him, but I also know it’s my opportunity to prove to him how much I care – and that I’m not calling to make a pitch on our first date. I’ve got a bigger picture in mind before I ever connected with him. I’m not about to change course now. Patience is another power I’ve got. It’s not quite up to super power status, but I’m still working on it.

After a few seconds of silence he says, “I don’t know. Battle through it I guess.”

I want to help him shift into a different gear – one that I know can serve him better. “What have you done that’s worked in the past?” I ask.

“Well, that’s just it,” he says. “The things that once worked don’t work now.”

Misery loves company because misery is lonely. Actually, that mantra, “Misery loves company” isn’t true. If by misery we mean complaining, whining and making excuses…then yes, misery does love company. We love to find people who will listen to us moan and groan. We enjoy telling people why something we did failed. Or why we didn’t follow through on something we said we’d do.

But when it comes to really honest, genuine misery and dread…we mostly deal with it in our own head. Small business owners often feel the burden of keeping it to themselves. Trying to figure things out alone. It’s easy to feel that we don’t need anybody helping us. We sure don’t want anybody trying to tell us what to do.

We proudly wear our “Happily Unemployable” t-shirt. Working for ourself is a big driver for us. Over time we’ve confused being an owner with going it alone.

Misery has no respect for anybody. It doesn’t matter if you’re a business owner, a creative, a scientist or a student. It doesn’t matter if you’re an amateur or a pro. Misery can afflict anybody. At any time. And it does. Bringing along a close pal, dread.

This business owner was in a bad place, Dreadland. He hated it, but wasn’t sure what he should or could do to escape. We’ve all been there. Sometimes just momentarily, other times longer. It’s like a bad losing streak. And our head doesn’t help us. All those things that got us success in the past now seem to be working against us. Like a professional athlete in a slump who tries harder and harder hoping that more effort will help…we can find ourselves pushing too hard, failing even more.

THE PEER ADVANTAGE is leveraging other business owners willing to help us through this misery.

Jim Rohn said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.” Sadly, some of us are spending time with losers. Other people filled with their own misery and dread. People who lament who is in the White House. Others filled with industry gripes. Still others willing to blame the weather, competition or customers for their misery. It might be fun to chime in with them, but we know it doesn’t help us. Just ’cause it feels good doesn’t mean it’s good for us.

The universe isn’t against you. Or for you. It doesn’t care one way or the other. We have to figure our way out of it and into higher success. Pushing harder to go it alone isn’t the answer, but sometimes it’s all we know. That’s why we stick with it.

Every person I know filled with misery and dread is surrounded by people who enable it, foster it or at the least, tolerate it. Which is why the first thing you have to do when you find yourself steeped in misery and dread is to evaluate the people who surround you. Is your misery amplified by them? Do they contribute to make you feel good about being miserable? Do they agree with you on why you’re the victim of somebody or something? (And is that somebody or something always beyond your control?)

Your misery and dread have found company. That company is wrecking your life, professionally and personally.

Friends, But Not In The Traditional Sense

Business owners and CEOs are notorious for surrendering to a false notion about friends who can help them. They incorrectly believe that such friendships must be completely organic. That is, they happen in the wild…all on their own, without any effort. They think it’s like when we were in 4th grade and got close to a kid one street over, and over the summer we became good buddies. It just happened. We don’t remember how. It’s amazing how UN-strategic small business owners can be when it comes to finding friends who can help them be their best.

No wonder most small business owners don’t have a single person who can help them grow and improve. Some day never comes.

Ironic, isn’t it? We’ll be strategic about most things in our business except in forging friendships with people who can really serve us. But I’m not slamming anybody because how do we go about it? Who do we recruit? How do we know who will do a good job for us? You can see the difficulty…and the reason so few people have a close circle of people who can help them.

That’s precisely why I have pivoted my entire business and career to be a player in the peer advantage space serving small business owners. Because the need and the opportunity for exponential growth for small business owners is real. So few small business owners know and understand the opportunity. That’s my fuel. My energy. To give a few small business owners exposure to a quantum leap opportunity for business and personal growth by putting them in the company of other business owners equally determined to accomplish their desired outcomes.

It’s individual and personal. Some business owners want to grow much larger. Others want to sustain growth and develop a solid exit strategy. Small business owners are unique individuals with unique goals and objectives in life. Some are young. Some are older. Some are in high-tech and others are in tried-and-true spaces. That diversity empowers us to serve each other with varied points of view, resulting in powerful feedback fully capable of catapulting us to higher altitudes than we’ve ever experienced.

All three actions of effective business building – getting new customers, serving existing customers better and not going crazy in the process – are achieved more fully and faster when we surround ourselves with other business owners who will help us. The Peer Advantage is found only when you grab hold of the opportunity for yourself by allowing yourself to join forces with a small group of other business owners. Courage, candor and openness are the ingredients of those willing to elevate their businesses and their lives.

Misery is easy. Success is hard. But worth it.

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Changing The World One Small Business Owner At A Time

Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.

Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”

The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”

The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”

*adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)

Small business owners are no longer necessarily limited by geography. Many of them serve customers all over the world. Others know their customers by name because they live in the same town or neighborhood. To pigeon-hole small business owners is about as sensible as doing it with any multi-billion dollar company. One size never fits all.

The Holy Grail of starting and operating a business for many may be Google, Facebook or Amazon, but for others of us…it’s more modest. And we’re good with it. Gary Vaynerchuk wants to build the highest building – his metaphor for building his empire. All the best to him. He’s interesting to watch. But there are millions of us – small business owners – out here trying to make a difference in the world in a much smaller way.

I don’t think we should make any apologies for that, or feel like we’re losing because of it. Success for some isn’t measured by completing another round of funding. It may not be calculated based on an opening IPO share value. It might be more visceral as a business owner unlocks the doors this morning, flips on the lights and commits himself to another day of operating in a way that brings value to his employees, suppliers and customers.

99.9% of all small business owners will never make the cover of Entrepreneur magazine or Fast Company or Inc. Most are known only in very small circles. VERY small circles.

Small doesn’t mean insignificant. I’d argue it means just the opposite. In a world steeped in scope and scale, intimate and personal don’t. Scale or scope. They can’t. Robin Dunbar may have been right. Maybe 150 is the maximum number of people with whom we can maintain a stable relationship. That’s not to say that celebrity business people like Gary Vee don’t impact us, but Gary doesn’t know me. I don’t know him. We can see him online and feel like we know him, but we don’t. Not really. He’s not on my speed dial. I’m not going to call him if I need some feedback.

Some of my most powerful moments of service are when I contact a small business owner for the first time. I’ve always viewed my work just like the story of the boy rescuing star fish one at a time. I never feel like a “rescuer,” but I feel more like a friend who wants to help. Sometimes I’m able to help. Sometimes I can’t. Just like any friend. But the conversations are almost always personal and deep filled with vulnerability. That’s a connection you can’t make with strangers. Or one you can make as a fan.

The starfish story holds up when it comes to the impact we have as small business owners. For me, my clients – YOU, small business owner – aren’t starfish incapable of helping yourself. I’m simply empathic to the struggle and glory of operating a small business (and for the umpteenth time, small isn’t based on revenue but in how the business operates). I know how lonely and isolating it can feel. And I know small business owners don’t often have access to the high-end resources available to the CEO of the billion dollar corporation.

That’s why I do what I do. It’s why I do it the way I do it. Because I know that I can help make a positive impact on one small business owner at a time. It’s the magic of The Peer Advantage – small groups of small business owners who develop deep connections with one another while serving to help each other build more successful businesses. And at the same time, grow themselves as human beings. For me, that’s among the best work on the planet!

The Peer Advantage: A New Domain & A New Podcast Series (and more Bula! news) #TPA001

The Peer Advantage: A New Domain & A New Podcast Series - BULA NETWORK #TPA001

Big news. Well, it’s not breaking news if you’ve been paying attention, but I’m hopeful that some of you are brand new around here. Welcome! BULA!*

You’ve likely already noticed that this episode has a special designation, TPA001. This is episode 1 of The Peer Advantage series. I’ll explain.

What Brought Me Here Will Get Me There

You may have read the Marshall Goldsmith book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. Yeah, me, too.

Well, that’s not what this is. This is about what brought me to the truth of peer advantage will get me where I want to go. More importantly, it will help get my customers – my clients – where they want to go. And it’ll give me the best vehicle to help them.

All you need to know about me for now is that I’ve operated in business all my life since I was 16 and first walked into a job selling hi-fi gear. Within the first decade of my career I was running a subsidiary of a larger company, a small chain of luxury retail stores focused on consumer electronics (big screen TV’s, stereo equipment, etc.). For over 25 years I was at the helm of companies, leading the charge to always be viciously competitive, nimble, quick and highly maneuverable. Growth and improvement were my passion. I was always in search of what’s possible…dissatisfied with the current state of things, including every measurable performance indicator. Extraordinary and remarkable were words I’d use to focus organizations.

Nine years ago I stepped away to help other small business owners in what I’ve called “roll-up-your-sleeves-get-your-hands-dirty” consulting work. I had already been doing some of that on the side as a passion project. Mostly because other business owners – mostly those in my sector of consumer electronics or retailing – would often call and seek my perspective. That’s how Bula Network, LLC was born.

I had been podcasting for a few years already and instantly people thought “network” was because of the podcast. Not so, even though that made sense. I was thinking “network” because the work was all over the place. It wasn’t focused on marketing or management or any other area of operating a business. It was anything and everything. I might be working with one owner on inventory management, another on HR issues, and another on succession planning. I thought “network” because of the areas of focus and the network of different things I’d help with.

Do you believe in serendipity? I do. Here we are years later and I think Bula Network was never intended to be what I launched. I’m a big believer in plan B. Plan A is what we start…and what we think will bring us the greatest success. Plan B is often what occurs after we figure a few things out and realize there’s a different/better path. This episode is all about plan B and I’m excited to finally arrive here.

Bula Network is now a full-fledged peer advantage company with a sole focus – for the first time ever! To serve small business owners through peer advantage.

Good marketing advice always includes urging people to narrow their focus. I’ve given that advice. Unfortunately, I’ve not taken my own medicine until now. That alone makes this feel very different from anything I’ve ever done. Learn that lesson…preferably sooner than I did. Get focused on who you’re going to serve, who you’re going to be and what you’re going to do. For almost a decade I’ve neglected that.

About 4 years ago I learned, for the first time, about professional peer advisory groups for business owners and leaders. Call me naive. Call me ignorant. Call me busy! I just hadn’t been exposed to them. Nobody had ever talked with me about such a group. Nobody had ever invited me to join such a group. Yes, I had been involved in countless industry or associations where we had group meetings, sometimes small groups. But these were people exactly like me with the same point of view, the same gripes and more often than not these morphed into whining sessions where people complained about the things that were wrong with the industry. And I wasn’t interested. It just wasn’t profitable and it’s not how I rolled. The market is the market. Vendors do what vendors do. Politicians do what politicians do. Customers do what customers do. You either deal with the present reality and act accordingly, or you do what these people did – complain. I much preferred to deal with it.

When I was a freshman in college, or maybe when I was still in high school (who can remember?) I read Napoleon Hill’s Think And Grow Rich. That book introduced the world to the “mastermind” group. The titans of industry during the industrial revolution in America fought like dogs against each other. They’d sometimes realize that they could benefit from joining forces. And some lesser successful, but still VERY successful people found it highly profitable to connect and collaborate with others so they could all help each other grow their businesses and their lives.

So it’s not like I had no notion of such groups. It’s just that I hadn’t been part of any. Not really. And that includes the over half a dozen online mastermind groups I’d been invited to join. None of them were valuable. All of them were a waste of time for a few basic reasons. One, the person forming the group didn’t know what they were doing. They didn’t know how to operate a group effectively. There is a skillset required to lead a group of business owners. Not everybody has it. Two, the person forming the group assembled people who occupied some place in their life at the time. There wasn’t a strategic purpose behind our organization. It was mostly random. Three, the group didn’t have a stated purpose. The focus wasn’t there. Four, the group members weren’t committed. We had no skin in the game. We were merely being polite to the person who invited us. So we attended once or twice. Five, there was no accountability. When you’re missing the other things, accountability is the last thing you worry about. It was all a recipe for a total waste of time.

Then I discovered there were actual groups with a focus that interested me – business growth. I started paying attention. That was about 4 years ago. I wasn’t in any position to take advantage, but I remember thinking how I wish I’d been part of a group while operating a multi-million dollar retailing company. But here I was a solopreneur grinding out the work, connecting with prospective clients and very focused on helping people one-on-one. My station in life was now different and it was by my own design. I had operated companies with employees, equipment and inventory. Now I wanted none of those things. Instead, I wanted to serve business owners and executives because I knew I had a lifetime of experiences and it was about two things for me: significance and legacy.

I dove into learning more about this whole peer advisory thing. I came to see it as a movement. A very positive movement. It wasn’t new, but I sensed it was an opportunity because I knew the need was enormous if people could clearly see it for what it is – a vehicle to help them grow as people and to help them grow their business. I was already all in on the mental fitness and emotional health of business people. I knew the stress of their lives and how addicting it can be. But I also knew the dark side of too much alcohol, too many busted marriages and too many suicides. All the things nobody wants to talk about. The grind chews people up. The think we love can often hurt us. Chaos, stress, the hustle – they thrill us and fuel us. They can also turn on us and kill us if we’re not careful. I knew this well.

I kept learning. I kept checking things out. I kept reading and talking with people. I even made a run at being part of an organization that focused on serving CEOs. It didn’t work out because I wasn’t a good fit for their culture, but I saw the value of their work (and still think highly of them). I read a book that was published a year ago, The Power Of Peers. I got more fascinated with peer groups, especially for small business owners.

About this same time I began to return to my roots – small business. I had gone from consulting to coaching back to consulting. I had helped CEOs, executives, leaders and small business owners. I realized the small business owner was the closest to my heart. It’s where my passion was hottest. I knew it like the back of my hand. I related to these people. These were my people.

One of the co-authors of the book, The Power Of Peers, was Leo Bottary. I had heard Leo on a couple of podcasts and wondered why he didn’t have his own podcast. So I reached out to Leo and offered to help him just so I could learn more about the space of peer advisory. I wanted to play in this space. I wanted to be a player in it and it’s what I wanted to do with the rest of my career. That was around October 2016 but it was a decision “in process.” That means, it wasn’t a decision made in a singular moment. It happened over time. Reaching out to Leo wasn’t merely a decision to serve a person already operating in the space of community, connection and collaboration – he was symbolic of my desire to learn more and enter the space myself to make my own contribution.

I was discovering a new professional passion – the first element of a good story. It had been over 7 years since I had read Donald Miller’s book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life. That book was about creating the story of your life. I had long ago learned the 5 elements of a great story: passion, hero, antagonist, awareness and transformation. Well, I had been struggling to find my professional passion since leaving the C-suite. I was uncovering it and it had been right under my nose the entire time. It wasn’t new. In fact, it was something I had done all my life. Two words leaped to the forefront of my mind: connection and collaboration. Now it was time to make my bet. Well, it wasn’t time, but it felt like it was. I had to endure a few more months of work and a bit more pondering.

We’re ready when we’re ready. Yes, people can help us get there more quickly, but in the end – we decide for ourselves. I felt I was ready to make the pivot, but something kept me from going all in. It’s the same thing that slows us all down. Just a tad of doubt. Isn’t it amazing how pounds of passion can be dampened by just a teaspoon full of doubt?

By the time May 2017 rolled around I was placing my bet by going all in – pot committed – to a complete pivot. Bula Network, LLC would no longer be what it was at the start. It would become what I now most wanted it to be – what I most wanted to be – a peer advantage company serving small business owners. All in. No looking back.

Leo and I met at a Chili’s Restaurant in The Woodlands (Houston). We talked about the podcast, YEAR OF THE PEER and our work together. And I told him of my idea to launch an online peer advisory group of small business owners. From that conversation and his feedback I decided to launch two groups of 7, one AM group and one PM group. It spawned from a renewed optimism that I decided to embrace. Optimism that together we can do great things. Optimism that together small business owners can achieve more than they ever could apart…and do it much, much faster!

This is the first in a series of new episodes I’m calling THE PEER ADVANTAGE. It may become THE podcast here, but right now that’s not the plan. You can see how my plan B is overtaking what was once plan A though…so you never know. I don’t know how many episodes it will be I do know it’s going to bring you value. Here’s why — I’m going to document this entire journey. Warts and all. Good times. Bad times. Victories. Defeats. It’s going to all be chronicled right here until I have successfully launched two groups of 7 each or until I’ve failed and quit (that’s not going to happen, but every story needs tension…so there’s mine).

How is this going to work? By surrounding myself with people who I know will help me. People who will ask me the tough questions. People who will avoid judging me, but who will happily (and quickly) hold me accountable to the decisions I commit to. I’ll have more to say about these people later. I’ll introduce you to each of them. Leo Bottary is going to be one of them. I’ll have two others so I can keep my little peer advantage group tight. It’s my version of working live without a net because I know there’s courage and power in vulnerability. I’m willing to share my own vulnerability with YOU. I think it will serve you by showing you how valuable it is, and I also think it may inspire you to embrace your own.

There’s another benefit to this. It’s going to be easier to show you peer advantage rather than to tell you about it. You already know the value of it, but maybe not in the context of being a business owner. I want to show you how powerful it will be for you in that context.

And yes, there’s an enormous benefit to me in doing this. I’m going to be the recipient of surrounding myself with these 3 people. Yes, I know they’ll each get benefits, too. I hope they’ll each feel like it’s a valuable experience for them even though our purpose of coming together is to help me with my current pivot. It’s what happens when peer advantage occurs. Other people help you with your issues. My issue is this desired pivot.

I’m not pursuing a good feeling as much as I’m pursuing growth and improvement. I want to accomplish this goal of building two new groups of 7 small business owners from around the nation. My purpose is to bring together these 3 people who I trust. Just being together is excuse enough, but I know we live in a more practical world that requires us to have a point to being together. I’m rather certain that merely being together serves us well. Just because.

I’m happy you and I were together today. Now it’s your turn to speak. I’d enjoy hearing from you. Take a moment and share your thoughts at the Bula Network Facebook page.

Thank you.

*Bula is a Fiji term analogous to aloha in Hawaiian. It means both “hello” and “goodbye.” It also means life and carries with it the connotation that “life is good.” I’m not from Fiji and have never even been there, but over 35 years ago I came across the term and fell in love with it. That’s why I named my company after that word, Bula Network, LLC.

Subscribe to the podcast

bula network podcast on itunesTo subscribe, please use the links below:

If you have a chance, please leave me an honest rating and review on iTunes by clicking Review on iTunes. It’ll help the show rank better in iTunes.

Thank you!

Tuesday Happens (A Quick Hit) -GROW GREAT

Tuesday Happens (A Quick Hit)

Tuesday Happens (A Quick Hit) -GROW GREAT

Over the weekend you made a decision. Maybe it was a solution to a problem. Something you think will work. Or something you’re dead solid certain will work.

Or maybe you spotted an opportunity you plan to exploit. You can see it working. In your head it’s a game changer.

You’ve managed to elevate your optimism in the past 48 hours. And it feels great. You think, “About time!”

On Monday morning you hit the ground running. You deploy your optimism and it’s contagious. You’re feeling pumped.

Then Tuesday happens.

A new problem erupts. A “gotta handle it now” situation happens. Maybe nothing major…just business as usual. A distraction. A fire that requires your fire fighting skills.

Gone is that weekend epiphany. And the energy it delivered. You’re back at it. Doing what you’ve been doing for years. Fighting the fight.

Life in business is an exhilarating grind. It fuels you while sapping you. All at the same time. The paradox of being a small business owner. The price paid by every true operator.

Tuesday happens every week. It close enough to the beginning of a week and the ending of a weekend. Close enough to be destructive and dangerous. Close enough to sucking us back into the same rut that envelopes us every other week.

We’re no different than other people who endure the mundane, common occurrences of life. We’re also no different in what it takes to push us to change – or improve. Most often something dramatic has to happen to push us to consider doing something differently.

Friction Points

I wasn’t out of my teens when I learned the power of friction in selling. Or I should say, the power of reducing friction.

In retailing, if you want to make sure it won’t sell (except for fine jewelry where it’s always been expected), then put it under glass. Make it difficult for shoppers to check it out and you’ll make it difficult for them to buy.

But friction, in context of what we’re talking about today, has big power in our daily and weekly habits. It’s just too easy to keep doing what we’ve always done. There’s too much friction to change. We keep going in the same direction. It’s the power of Tuesday morning.

We need to utilize friction for our benefit, not our stagnation. But how can we do that?

Well, you might be able to do it alone, but not likely. If you could have done it by yourself you’d likely have figured out how by now. I’m not saying it’s impossible. I’m saying it crazy hard because the friction is so powerful against making a change.

People. Connection with others. Collaboration focused on achieving your most desired outcomes – that’s the answer. But that has a friction all its own.

How do you achieve that? How do you put yourself in the company of people who can help you battle – and win – against Tuesday morning?

You’ve likely tried it before and failed. You talk with your wife or your husband. You confide in close friends. You have conversation with other buddies who are also business owners. Mostly those conversations just deepen your sense of dread…even despair. Because everybody has their own version of Tuesday morning. They’ve got their own stuff. They care about you, but they’re not sure how to help you. And there’s no process or system in place to help them…or you. It just is what it is. You march on. Toward Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

One foot in front of the other. Day after day. With moments of optimism as you head toward yet another Tuesday morning.

Processes, Systems & Workflows

Like anything else in your business, or life – you need a solution that works. Repeatedly. Consistently. Predictably.

Tuesday morning will still happen, but you can keep going it alone and living in Groundhog Day like Bill Murray, or you decide the make the friction more intense against NOT improving or growing. Make it easier to grow and change. Make it harder to avoid growth and improvement.

Accountability is the answer. Be accountable to others. People who can safely, securely and confidentially hold you accountable for the decisions you make the grow.

Every business owner on the globe wants to grow and improve. Most don’t know how. They work hard. They push. They grind. Growing more frustrated by the day.

They embrace social media and pay close attention to the phony messages of a world gone amuck with success, high achievement and out-of-the-world accomplishment. Then they look at themselves and are dissatisfied. The lie of the world takes a heavy toll on life. We don’t measure up. We look like a loser compared to what we see happening all around us.

Because it’s a lie. We’re holding up our life against a false reality of fakes. It drives up our expectation only adding to our frustrations.

The reality is that there are millions of other small business owners just like us. Accomplished, high achieving, but sometimes struggling. Driven to succeed and reach higher altitudes, we know if we just had a little bit of support and help by people who understood us — if we could find people like us — then we’d be able to reduce or completely eliminate the friction of Tuesday morning. The friction that prevents us from growing.

Ripe is rotting. It won’t help us build a business where we’re growing great. It won’t help us build a great, growing business. Ripe is stagnation. It’s a refusal to change or not knowing how. All the same.

Growth is thrilling. Improvement is exciting.

Ditch the people in your life who don’t contribute to your energy. Embrace the people who most challenge you to grow. Value the people who care about you, but are willing to hold you accountable. They’re your true friends.

In every realm of life it’s the people around us who elevate us. Your very best antidote against Tuesday morning is surrounding yourself with people who can push you to get past it. People who have their own struggles with Tuesday morning and need you to do the same for them. You don’t think it’s possible.

What if you’re wrong?

Subscribe to the podcast

bula network podcast on itunesTo subscribe, please use the links below:

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What Are You Chasing In Your Small Business? Part 3 #4065

What Are You Chasing In Your Small Business? Part 3 #4065

What Are You Chasing In Your Small Business? Part 3 #4065

In episode 4063, part 1 of this little series, we talked about pursuing confidence. Then in part 2, episode 4064, we talked about chasing delusions. Today, I want to wrap up this series with a conversation about chasing the things that will propel you forward while simultaneously ditching the things that will drag you down.

• Pursue optimism over pessimism
• Pursue collaboration over autocracy
• Pursue humility over hubris
• Pursue learning over having the answers
• Pursue growth over stagnation/loss
• Pursue accountability over never answering for your choices/performance

WARNING: It’s more difficult to choose what’s profitable. That’s why you’ll be in select company should you make that choice. The majority of the world takes that path of least resistance where things are easier, but where success can never be found.

The formula is lots of hard work plus leveraging your strengths/skills plus embracing the need to make adjustments all along the way equals your best shot. You need patience while you also elevate your expectations that success and growth can happen today. The paradox of it is intentional. You need to succeed today and you want to succeed even more tomorrow.

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