On a Saturday morning 25 years ago, I made the decision to leave Philadelphia, pack everything I owned into a cardboard box and drive to Nashville, Tennessee, in search of a new life. I was picking up the pieces of a failed business, a failed relationship and a failed life, penniless and without a home – a recurring theme in my life up to that point.
As I was about to get on the interstate, I passed a Barnes & Noble bookstore and decided to stop and get some type of audio program to listen to during the 15+ hour drive. As I scanned the audiobooks section, Tony Robbins’ Personal Power program pulled me in like a life raft to a drowning person. I was at a miserable low in my life and his giant smiling head and promise of being able to live a fulfilling, meaningful life was exactly what I needed.
So I bought the program, popped the CD into the car, and off I drove.
That day, I listened to his program 3 times through. At 26 years old, it was the first time in my life that someone had told me I was in control of my destiny and I had the ability to change the circumstances I found myself in for the better. I realize it sounds crazy that at 26, I had never been taught the principles of HOW to control my emotions and how to control my thoughts, and that I could DECIDE to do something different to achieve a better outcome in my life – and decide I did.
Most people do not know how to make decisions and don’t even realize it. They’re in a perpetual state of “think it over” on just about everything in their life and therefore get nowhere fast, living the same life they did yesterday, making no progress. One day they’re going to wake up as an old man or an old woman and think to themselves, “I could have been great,” but they’d never decided to do anything about it, never getting started.
In my business, the #1 reason people don’t get a marketing plan implemented is they never decide to. A common situation: been in business for 10+ years, generating less than $1 million in revenue, acknowledging they don’t know how to sell and don’t have a single reliable marketing system in place, not making any progress or real money, underpriced (but don’t know how to do anything about it), “stuck” serving a bunch of cheap clients they despise. We present them with a program that has been developed over two decades of in-the-trenches research, testing and refinement, hundreds of testimonials from other MSPs who’ve used it to make more money, many of whom were in the very situation they were in and it turned them around…and they still need to “think it over.” Or talk to someone else. Or push it to next month, next quarter, when they’re “less busy.”
They’re an addict hooked on non-action, wait and hesitate, setting themselves up for another year of exactly what they have now. Nothing changes because they don’t DECIDE.
The word “decide” has Latin roots and means to “cut off.” The problem is, they’re “cutting off’ their escape route…the ladder out of the hole they’re in. They decide, yet again, to take no action, therefore choosing their failing circumstances. As the saying goes, what you’re not actively changing, you’re actively CHOOSING.
Even many new clients are frozen in fear of taking action. They listen to the sessions and look at the marketing templates but still ask, “Where do I start?” They know where to start but are still waiting for someone to tell them what to do – to make the decision FOR THEM so they don’t have to take responsibility if and when it goes wrong.
I’ve had the unique opportunity to talk to, consult with and learn from many highly successful entrepreneurs and know this about them – they make a lot of decisions, quickly, move ahead and steer the car around the inevitable potholes, obstacles and problems. They’re comfortable making decisions, knowing they could gloriously fail, but do so anyway.
I’ll add that most people who say they want to “think it over” never actually do. They simply offer up that excuse as a means of passing the buck on making a real decision. They need to be forced to do it, or have the path mapped out to be flawless and error-free, with zero chance of failure. They need a HIGH probability of success in an endeavor or they don’t move forward, so they never do.
Know this: if your success game plan requires you to make 100% correct decisions and have 100% good outcomes, never making mistakes, never making bad choices, never having egg on your face for screwing up, you’ll never achieve anything or go anywhere because no such plan to achieving anything of significance exists in life.
The simple fact is winners lose a lot, but we simply see these moments as “tests” or experiments, nothing more. Certainly not a sign to stop and bitterly complain that _______ doesn’t work. We keep striking, keep swinging, until something connects.
Michael Jordan has missed more than 9,000 shots in his career. Has lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, he was trusted to make the game-winning shot and missed. To all of this he said, “I have failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.”
What decision are YOU still “thinking over”? Whether or not to hire a salesperson? To invest in marketing? To raise your prices? Maybe something more personal. To finally drop 20 pounds. To finally get your butt in the gym. If you’re waiting for a sign, here it is.