by John Ruh
Do you have doubts about your ability to succeed? Have you met with naysayers along the way? Has your confidence been shaken? Well, perhaps my experience will give you hope.
As a plumber’s son, my dad told me that I didn’t know what end of the plunger to use (and he was right). By age eight he’d given up trying to teach me anything. Even today, if something needs to be fixed around the house, I call for my wife. When I was in high school, the principal told my dad I’d never make it in college. Dad wasn’t surprised. I think he was wondering how I’d gotten through grade school. My English skills stink, I’m not especially good looking, I possess few mechanical skills, I can barely use a computer and people tell me my jokes are corny. However, I did manage to make it through college with a degree in horticulture (alright, go ahead and laugh). Although I’m pretty sure that some of those snotty plants thought they were smarter than I was. I once asked my mom (after I had created two successful companies) why she never told me about my potential. She said, “I did not see any.” And yet, despite my shortcomings (I’m not too tall), I was able to start, grow, manage and sell three successful companies. And I now have a successful business consulting practice.
So what is the point here?
I committed to a vision and I took responsibility for making it happen. I figured out early what my strengths were and then I augmented my weaknesses with the right people, the right programs and the right processes. The point is that if I can do this, anyone can, if they just put a little thought into what they want, what they have and what they need.
So where do you start?
It all starts with your vision. Some people tell me that they don’t have a vision or they don’t believe in one because it is too abstract or sounds too grandiose. The truth is everyone has a vision although they might call it something else (goals, wishes, dreams etc.). Some people (the ones I call backseat drivers) might describe it as their expectations. These people wait around for someone else to take them where they want to go (this generally only happens in really bad movies).
What about the really hard challenges like the current business climate?
Everyone is dealing with the business climate (it’s like the weather), yet some still find success. You also have to deal with your present circumstances, plus your feelings and perhaps (I think about my childhood) an unsuccessful past. Accepting the fact that there are hardships does not mean it’s time to quit. It means seeing the reality for what it is (not easy to do) and moving to the “now what” position. Successful people use challenges and problems as a catalyst for action. Accepting hardships as something you can deal with rather than as an insurmountable obstacle puts a different face on them.
So now what?
Ask yourself this question, “so now what?” and see what answers occur to you. Look for answers that will keep you on the right track to achieve your vision and goals. If you need support, call or email us and let us support you at figuring out what you need to do. (This concept applies to your personal, company or departmental goals.) It all starts out with an inquiry into what you want and what you are committed to (“Nothing happens until one is committed.” Goethe). Then there is an interview (which is usually fun) that will force you to do some hard thinking. After that all you have to do is put the support you truly need in place and get into action so your vision and goals are alive and well (sounds easy, doesn’t it?).
Now get to work!
Be your vision, values and mission.
Best of success.