So one of the things Dan Sullivan has and I’m going to share it with you, is the four C’s. They’re like the four steps. I’m calling them steps to mastering a new capability.
You’re talking to an entrepreneur who started her business without two nickels to rub together. I had to barter to get a website done because I didn’t even have enough money to pay for a website. I didn’t have a client list. I didn’t have graphic designers and web designers. I didn’t have social media when I started the business. I mean, pay per click was just kind of coming out. There’s email, there are websites, but nothing like what there is today. And so I started my business from nothing and I was a salesperson. I mean, that was my profession. I knew how to sell stuff, period. I didn’t know how to hire people, manage people. I didn’t know about finances and contracts. I didn’t know anything about markets and marketing, automation and all the things that are required when you’re growing a business.
It’s coming up on 20 years that I’ve been running my business and growing my business. And so over time, what you do is you’re constantly in this state of evolution. You’re constantly in this state of construction, cleaning up messes, creating new messes.
That’s why the orange cone is like the symbol of my organization. And as I’m talking to you right now, right outside my door is a big orange cone. And that’s to tell my family, “Don’t interrupt me” because it’s under construction. I’m at work.
And I think for entrepreneurs, the faster you can push through these iterations, these levels of mastery, of new capabilities, the quicker you can push through this and fall forward fast, so to speak.
Make mistakes and learn and turn it over.
You know, you hire somebody, and you make a hiring mistake but you learn from that then you turn around and immediately hire somebody else. But you don’t repeat the same mistake. You may make five others, but you don’t repeat the mistake you just made. You just found five new things not to do or things to do. And then you turn around and you do it again.
The faster you get that evolution going, the faster you can turn over these decisions, these actions, the faster you learn and the faster your company grows. But what I think happens is a lot of people get stalled and they don’t do anything. They make a mistake or they’re so afraid to make a mistake, they take no action whatsoever. And so Dan Sullivan has these four C’s, I’m going to share them with you.
The first thing to really get going is for you to make a commitment to a bigger future or a bigger goal. You’ve got to set that goal, not just make a wish for it to happen. You can’t say, “Well, I wish I had better contracts and better customers and more profit.” “ You have to make a commitment that you are going to see it through. You’re going to do what it takes to get that goal, and it usually takes a lot more than we initially think. I think being an entrepreneur requires a healthy dose of ignorance because we don’t know what we don’t know sometimes. And that’s a blessing because if we knew all the pain and angst we’d go through, in reality we might not do anything. So you’ve got to make this commitment that “This is something I want to do, I will do, and I’m going to move towards it.”
Now, what people want is as soon as they make that goal, is to feel confident before they move forward. But that’s not how it happens, you can’t be confident when you’re making a decision. For instance, let’s say you through today and you realized your pricing and your service offering is all out of whack, and you’re going to have to change your service offering and you’re going to have to raise your price. So if you say, “I’m making a commitment where I want to get that level of profitability that I need to get, and that’s going to require going back to customers and having that conversation about raising prices” or whatever it is. Right. You make that commitment you’re never going to feel. The confidence to do that.
What the next stage is, is courage and say courage doesn’t feel good. So you develop courage to act even when you don’t have all the answers, even when you don’t know all the outcomes for sure. And so this is what stops people because they say, I want they make this commitment, but then they say, you know, I’m waiting for the confidence to know I’ve got it nailed down and correct. And I want to cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s and make sure I can’t that nothing can go wrong. It’s kind of like the same question they ask me What campaign should I? What’s the most important campaign? It’s like they want to know the right campaign because they don’t want to pick the wrong campaign.
And through that process of making decisions and having the conversations and doing the things through that action, you learn and you develop the capabilities to get the results you want. So you go talk to your first client and you say, “Hey, Mr. Prospect, Mr. Client, you’re break-fix. Right now, we’ve got to move you to managed services and you have that meeting and you screw it up royally” and you fumble through it and you’re awkward and you aren’t prepared. And they ask you a bunch of questions and you weren’t prepared for the answers. And you sit in your car and you’re like, “Damn it, I should have said this, this, this,” or they said something. They came back and they said something to you and you didn’t know what to do, so you didn’t do anything. And so now you’re like that. That is painful to go through. But that’s the courage part. It requires you to say, “All right, what did I learn?” So I gain new capabilities so that the next time I do this meeting, I can be a little bit more prepared, have a little better conversation, can do this more elegantly. I can think of these things I haven’t thought about.
And again, you’re going to do it a second time and you’re still going to screw it up. You’re not going to get it perfect. And then you’ve got to have the courage to do it again. And every time you do this, you’re gaining more capabilities. If you’re paying attention and debriefing and saying, “Okay, I just did this meeting, you know what? What did I do right? What did I screw up? And what am I going to do different next time?” And every time you do it, you’re going to gain more knowledge and capabilities.
And eventually that’s going to get you to where you feel confident. Because if you do it enough, if you if you practice something enough and with sufficient frequency, not waiting for big gaps in between, like three months in between, you’ll continue to gain confidence. You know, you start out on Monday, I promise you by Friday you’re going to be better. You’re going to learn things, you’re going to know things. The next meeting, you go on, you’re going to get better.