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Are you really prepared to be successful? I’m not talking about financial aspects. I’m talking about mental. I’m going to give you an example. When I was working my last contract office furniture job, there was this client I was wooing. It was a big, big client. I finally secured an appointment. I had a really tight presentation.
I stayed up all night walking through it. Then this yard bird at the eleventh hour cancels the appointment. When I say the eleventh hour, I am in the lobby when he cancels. I told him, “I am here.” He says, “I’m sorry.”
I was like a top. I was so wound up sitting there in that lobby. I sit there and I’ve got this presentation and it needs to come out. Just to let you know, I take a lot of chances in life. There’s some stuff I’ve done and I look back and say, “Well that worked out, surprisingly enough.”
I was in the lobby and there was this lady, Diana. I said, “I know this is going to sound strange, but I was up all night working on this and then the guy cancels on me and I would really like to present to you if you have the time.” It was crazy, I know.
She was like, “Ok.” She takes me to her office and introduces me to someone. Then we go to the boardroom and she brings some people in. I give my presentation and she critiques me which I was really grateful for. She said, “We don’t really have a need for your products, but we liked your presentation.” I was really grateful for the feedback.
I told this guy at the office about what I did. He said it was a total waste of time. They weren’t qualified buyers. I defended myself and told him I got the presentation out and learned some stuff so I thought it was a good thing. I also made some new friends. That’s how I looked at it.
So, I leave that company eventually and hang out my own shingle. About two months after I start my business, I get an email from Diana. She tells me she is in a new position and she needs some new office furniture. She invites me to come on by and show her what I have.
I was happy and alarmed at the same time because, I didn’t have the offerings. Just so you know, when you’re selling any big line, there are protected territories. Sometimes if you want to sell that line, you might have to partner with them or they might just take it and knock your ass out of the picture.
So, I went out and talked to her and it was scary how things worked out. It was just insane how things worked out. I get to her office and it’s much nicer digs. I go in there and I meet her. She comes up and gives me this big hug.
She told me what she needed. They wanted certain colors. I called around and showed her what I had. She said it’s a done deal and shook my hand. A few days later I have a deposit check for $75,000. The meeting lasted maybe an hour. It blew me away. It was a $150,000 job with a 48% margin. That made my frigging year. This would not have happened if I hadn’t taken a chance.
The truth is you’ve got to get out there and prepare. You’ve got to take some chances. You have to actually see this thing happening before it happens. For some people that becomes really hard. That immediate gratification demon is really strong in a lot of people.
When you are trying to be successful, the work that you do today is frequently how you will get paid tomorrow. If you’re not doing shit today, you aren’t going to get shit tomorrow. That throws people. I think the title of that book, Dig Your Well before You’re Thirsty is awesome.
When times are good, you need to get out there and start preparing. Mentally, you have to go into it like you’re going to win. Even if you don’t win, you have to believe in yourself. You just keep going and keep going.
When you are prepping for success, 90% of the work takes place between your ears. When I’m in the gym and I’m feeling weak, I have to say my mantra. “Condition the mind. Condition the body.” The mind is going to give out before the body does every time.
To prepare for success, you have to really know what you want. That is one of the biggest questions that you must answer. You have to have some type of objective. You have to know where you’re going.
If you’re one of those nomads that thinks life is a journey because it really is, and you are cool meandering over here like a butterfly or a hummingbird, that’s cool. If you want to shorten that line from where you are to where you want to be, you have to plan, prepare and stand up.
When preparing for your success, you have to dress for it. There are numerous studies indicating that if you get up and put your suit and tie on, if that’s what you wear in your profession, then you are going to be more effective. You’re going to get in that flow. Some people need that uniform to get motivated.
The number one tip I can give you for being prepared is to learn to accept loss. This is one of the reasons that most people will not be prepared. A lot of people don’t want to ramp up for potential failure or disappointment.
Sometimes I think growing up poor has great benefits. You know how bad it can be and you also know you won’t die. I’ve seen people who grew up wealthy or in a very cozy environment, kill themselves when things went bad. They can’t deal with a radical shift in circumstances. It’s all about perspective.
We are entering into one of the best periods of time ever. There are 3D printers creating living tissue. How fucking awesome is that. We’re going to see people walking around with bionic legs.
If you accept failure as the final act, you are making the wrong choice. Because you are going to fail. You get up. Then you fail and you get up again and fail again. This happens over and over again. That’s the process. You have to be able to deal with adversity on a daily basis. When you build up your adversity muscles, you can handle more shit.
I used to have to give myself a pep talk every freaking day. Success is a process. When you’re doubting yourself, then you are in a position to grow.
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