“We Are Not Going To Die… Butters stared up at me, pale, his eyes terrified. “We’re not?” “No. And do you know why?” He shook his head. “Because Thomas is too pretty to die. And because I’m too stubborn to die.” I hauled on his shirt even harder. “And most of all because tomorrow is Oktoberfest, Butters, and polka will never die.” — An excerpt from book 7 of the Dresden Files, “Dead Beat”
Okay, if you’re not a fan of the Jim Butcher series “The Dresden Files” you won’t find the humor in (or even understand) the above reference, but it’s my newsletter and I get to write what I want. I would have to imagine that there are a handful of fellow fans in my member base since the series has sold a few million copies and has been made into a comic book series and a TV show. Briefly, it’s about the life of Harry Dresden, a highly-skilled but scrappy wizard living in Chicago, trying to eek out a living as a private investigator (he’s the only person listed under “Wizard” in the phone book). His investigations always seem to suck him into incredibly dangerous situations that he somehow manages to overcome. I got hooked a few years back when searching for something new to read before bed to switch my mind off and have since come to love the unlikely super hero Harry is.
Speaking of “super heroes,” you may have already guessed this year’s Boot Camp theme is “The Super Marketing League.” I’ve been wanting to do this theme for awhile now…and since running a business has gotten to be significantly more difficult over the last 4 years, requiring near super-human strength, wit and abilities to achieve any significant progress, there’s no time like the present to pull out our tights, don our capes and tap into whatever super-human talents we can muster up to fight the good fight (that and the fact that I’m dying to see our current Spokesperson, Tom Malesic of EZSolution, in his Superman speedo. LOL). I’m often thought of as a super hero in my own way, even though I don’t do anything to try and propagate that belief. In fact, there’s a reason I don’t show pictures of my real office and invite you to come and hang out with me for a day: you’d be hugely unimpressed. Damn little magic going on around here on a day-to-day basis. I don’t really leap tall buildings in a single bound. I painstakingly climb over them, inch-by-inch, much like other successful entrepreneurs I know.
I know because I’ve had the unique opportunity to meet with and hang out with many celebrities and the rich and famous—and the more I do this, the more convinced I am that there are no REAL superheroes. BUT, there ARE a lot of hardworking, seriously passionate people with unwavering determination to make things happen despite the fact they often find themselves mired in setbacks, disappointments and outright messes, wading through waist-deep muddy, stinking water filled with alligators and mosquitoes on a daily basis. If you want to see a real super hero, I submit to the “average Joe” entrepreneur who, despite being utterly exhausted both physically and mentally…despite disappointment after disappointment…missing yet ANOTHER goal…encountering yet another major roadblock entirely out of their control…beat up, taxed, overworked, regulated, burned and screwed by the government they work so hard to support and the employees they provide opportunity for…overworked (yes, I said that but it bears repeating)…gets back up again early in the morning with renewed passion and determination to actually make something happen instead of standing around “occupying” something. Now THAT’S a real super power and one that won’t get featured on the news.
By the time you get this, we’ll have celebrated the arrival of another fresh New Year. Congratulations are in order to many of you reading this. I know of multiple members who had their best year ever, securing notable increases in sales, profits and new clients. Many of them will be the super heroes of the Boot Camp you’ll get to see them showcase their incredible feats of marketing and business strategy—and you will get to profit from their hard work by taking home the blueprints. I’m proud of you because I know how hard you worked to make that happen.
Others, while not having a stellar year in terms of current sales, are planting and cultivating the seeds that will inevitably lead to a big harvest. They too deserve a congratulations for their determination and foresight and should know that I’m proud of them, too. Don’t forget to stop and give yourself a gold star for doing the right thing, even though it may not feel like you’ve accomplished much—yet. I and your fellow members applaud you because we know how tough it can be to keep going when you’re not yet seeing the results. Of course, there are some who are still barely hanging on by their fingernails, stubbornly waiting for the elusive magic pill, the “one thing,” that will make all things easy and effortless instead of rolling up their shirt sleeves and getting to work at being a serious student of sales, marketing and business strategy. There may be a few reading this but they’ll be gone in a month or two. This newsletter looks too much like broccoli to them instead of cheesecake.
So as we move into the New Year, I submit to you the Lombardi quote, “Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.” So true. If you quit on marketing, I can guarantee there are other things in your business or your life that you’re doing half-assed too. So here’s a good question to ask yourself: “Where in my life have I developed the habit of quitting?” And quitting is not just defined by a moment where you say to yourself I give up; you quit whenever you don’t give an important project or goal your full effort. If you could do 30 prospecting calls but stop at 29, you quit. You quit whenever you procrastinate or make excuses rather than methodically sticking with your plan and re-energizing and re-calibrating your efforts when the results are not achieved in a set time frame. You quit when you think it’s “impossible for me because…” and you fill in the blank with some “reason” that is completely out of your control. And you quit whenever you say to yourself, “I’ll work on that later…” knowing deep down “later” is never. If you were truly serious about getting out of debt or losing weight or making more money, you’d have it done OR at least have some significant progress made. Not “working on it,” not “trying.” Done. Anyone can be “trying” to do something—but only those who are truly serious, and willing to commit to the steady headed, methodical implementation of sound principles, figure out how to stay engaged— even excited—through the tedium and boredom of implementing winning systems and stick through the complexity of it all will truly win in business and in life. So for those of you who are my winners who aren’t going to quit, I submit to you another month of inspiration. Let’s get to work…