What Are You Willing To Do To Survive? (or to grow great?) – Grow Great Small Business Daily Brief #51 – August 1, 2018

What Are You Willing To Do To Survive? (or to grow great?) – Grow Great Small Business Daily Brief #51 – August 1, 2018

What Are You Willing To Do To Survive? (or to grow great?) – Grow Great Small Business Daily Brief #51 – August 1, 2018

Werner Herzog plays a terrific villain in the movie, Jack Reacher.  His character survived a Siberian prison camp because he was willing to do what others weren’t. Here’s 2: 34-minute clip just in case you’re not familiar with the scene. 

Business survival is largely based on determination. It’s why you hear me regularly encourage you with an optimistic statement, “You’ll figure it out.” And you will — if you’re dedicated to the effort. 

Not everybody is. 

No, this isn’t about your willingness to chew off your fingers, but it is about doing what you can to successfully face your fears. That may be one reason why many of us are pretty good at helping others with their challenges. We can clearly see how somebody else may be stuck, and even have great suggestions on ways to become unstuck. But we look at ourselves and we’re stymied. Fear isn’t part of our awareness about what others can do to conquer their problems. It’s a major player in our own problems though. 

It’s why our willingness to help each other is critical to helping us figure out what we’re willing to do to survive, and thrive. It helps to have a fearless perspective. 

Think harder about that scene from Jack Reacher. The guy seemingly can avoid being shot and killed if he’s willing to do something unthinkable. The villain doesn’t understand it. Your fingers for your life seems like an easy choice. When you’re not the one with the gun to your head. 

Desperation works. 

Some years ago I recalled an event with my daughter, who was about 3 years old at the time. I entitled it, How To Market Like You’ve Lost Your Daughter In The Mall. The point of that is not much different than today’s point. When one fear is greater than another we tend to take action. That’s what makes the Jack Reacher scene so disturbing and powerful. But we can all likely relate because the man is facing two terrible, fear-filled outcomes. Chewing his own fingers off. Being shot in the head. I’m sure he was wishing for a third, less gruesome choice. But he wasn’t offered one. Sometimes we’re not offered a more appealing choice either. 

When I lost my daughter in the mall, the fear of losing her overrode everything else. That moment of desperation created panic. Panic drove me to not care one little bit what anybody thought, what they may be saying about me, or anything else. I simply lost every bit of fear I may have otherwise had because the greater fear drove me. Fear of not finding my little girl. 

Do a mental exercise. The Jack Reacher villain is confronting you about the thing you most need to do, but you’re afraid. I don’t know what it is, but you do. Think of that one thing right now. The thing you most need to accomplish, but for some reason, you’re delaying, halting and hesitating. You’re afraid. And maybe you have no idea why you’re afraid. You don’t even know what you’re afraid of. You just don’t want to do it. You dread it. 

Got it?

Now, you’ve got this awful man with a scary accent challenging you to do it. He’s asking you, “What are you willing to do to survive?” By his side stands a man holding a pistol, poised to fire the moment the boss says. It’s the moment of truth for you. What are you going to do?

This is where I’ll turn the mirror on myself. As I watched this little clip – after watching the movie on TV – I thought about myself and my current big business goal of forming 2 groups of 7 SMB entrepreneurs. Within seconds I scribbled this down on a paper, “14 days to 7 people.” Enrolling 7 SMB entrepreneurs within 14 days seems to me like chewing your fingers off. Unreasonable. Beyond comprehension. Not enrolling 7, but doing it within such a compressed time frame. And I’ll let you in on a secret – well, if you listen to me much you know it’s not a secret at all because the one comment I get most from people is a question, “Are you selling anything?” 😉 I don’t mind selling at all, but when it comes to selling myself…I hate it. The business side of me understands and embraces the art. I’ve done it all my life. Successfully. But a decade ago when I hung my shingle out as a solopreneur where I was the product and service, it suddenly became pretty daunting. Personal. So when I wrote down “14 days to 7 people” it just seemed like I may as well challenge myself to build a rocket to Mars. 

But the more I thought about it the more it dawned on me…I bet I’d find a way. Like looking for a 3-year-old little girl, whatever fears hold me back would vanish. I added pressure on the situation though, in keeping with the movie scene. I imagined this bad man threatening my family. Not me.

What if he challenged me to enroll 7 SMB entrepreneurs in 14 days or he’d kill my family? 

True confession. In less than 14 days I’d launch 7 SMB entrepreneurs into the first group of THE PEER ADVANTAGE. I’d do whatever it took. Nothing reasonable or unreasonable would prevent it. I admit it. I also admit I don’t fully understand it. The fear that is. 

But I know it’s real. The fear this man had in trying to chew off his fingers was real. No matter that it was illogical compared to being killed. Fear challenges the number one ingredient we need for achievement and success – willingness. 

It’s less about conquering fear as it is moving forward in spite of it. In other words, the lesson today is to just do it anyway! 

So here goes. Are you a small business owner? Do you see any value in being part of a group of 7 who can join together with safety, security and compassion (no judgment) to help each other dive deeper into these things that hold us back? Do you crave a safe space where you can openly share things like I just shared with you about myself? A place where the only goal is to help you figure things out faster, so you can take your business and your life to new heights of success? Then I want you to call my cell phone at (214) 682-2467. When I answer, just say, “THE PEER ADVANTAGE” and I’ve got a special surprise for you. 

Now, go pay the price. The good news is you’ll survive no matter what. Because what you’re afraid of isn’t a matter of life and death. Call me and I’ll help you. Remember, just say, “THE PEER ADVANTAGE.” 

Be well. Do good. Grow great!

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Grow Great a public sector leadership podcastAbout the hosts: Randy Cantrell brings over 4 decades of experience as a business leader and organization builder. Lisa Norris brings almost 3 decades of experience in HR and all things "people." Their shared passion for leadership and developing high-performing cultures provoked them to focus the Grow Great podcast on city government leadership.

The work is about achieving unprecedented success through accelerated learning in helping leaders and executives "figure it out." 

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