He sat across from me in my office, crying.
He had invested $400,000 into his new venture, and it wasn’t working. By the time he came to me to ask for advice, the only thing left to do was stop the bleeding and get out. What made this situation so much more painful was the fact that if this person had sought advice from someone sooner, he may have been able to turn the situation around, or at least cut his losses.
“How do you define growth?”
This is a question I posted recently on LinkedIn—and one I ask often when I’m speaking to audiences of businesspeople. And it always amazes me to see the diverse range of answers I get.
It’s 6:15. Your alarm clock goes off. But you have zero desire to hit snooze.
You are ready to tackle the day. Energized to unlock its opportunity and potential. When you sit down at your desk, you feel confident and hopeful. Unstoppable.
There’s a name for this experience. It’s called Momentum. Like rolling a boulder down a hill, beginnings are tough and slow, but once you start going down that slope, you can go faster and faster, progress becomes easier and easier, and it’s nearly impossible to stop.
How do you define success?
Some measure it in wealth. Some in intellectual accomplishment, in family size, in quality of friendships, or countries traveled.
But the truth, of course, is that there is no one right answer to this question. Because success is what makes you feel accomplished, what makes you feel whole.
Have you ever been on the verge of giving up? Have you ever hit a wall, looked in the mirror and thought, “I just can’t do this”? Have you ever experienced the pain of self-doubt, of believing with every fiber of your being that you simply don’t have what it takes to succeed?
It is a dark place to be. There is no doubt about that. And it’s in these moments where we can be our own worst enemy—where we can lose the will to keep going. And that would be a big mistake.
A friend of mine, the owner of a small business, recently told me that an opportunity came his way that he was very excited about. The only problem? He had a feeling that the potential client thought that his company was larger than it actually was. Should he accept the offer anyway? Should he explain that he’s actually a small company, and possibly risk them backing out?
I have a question for you. Be sure to answer honestly.
Do you ever struggle with procrastination?
If you answered yes, then welcome to the club. And if you answered no, then, well, you may want to double check that you’re human. Because the truth is, we’re all guilty of it. We all don’t get the things done that we want to get done as quickly as we want to get them done.
Have you ever met someone who always seems busy—but if you asked what they’ve accomplished in the last day, or the last week, they couldn’t give you a straight answer?
Maybe, if you’re being totally honest, this happens to you, too?
Let’s face it. Being truly productive in today’s business world is more difficult than ever. Yes, technology has made us much more efficient in many ways, but it also comes with great challenges: The constant bombardment of dings and notifications and emails and phone calls and texts can throw even the most type-A, goal-oriented businessperson out of focus.
A little girl was watching her mother prepare a fish for dinner. Her mother cut the head and tail off the fish and then placed it into a baking pan.
The little girl asked her mother why she cut the head and tail off the fish.
Her mother thought for a while and then said, “I’ve always done it that way. That’s how grandma always did it.”
Not satisfied with the answer, the little girl went to visit her grandma to find out why she cut the head and tail off the fish before baking it. Grandma thought for a while and replied, “I don’t know. My mother always did it that way.”
Would you hire an employee who has skills you desperately need but doesn’t fit into your company’s culture?
I posted this question a few days ago to on Linkedin, and received several insightful answers. There was a general consensus that hiring an employee who fits your company’s culture is extremely important—perhaps even more than their skill.
But let’s back up a second. What exactly do I mean by culture?