I’m not an overnight success.
In fact, I don’t even know yet if I’d call myself a “success.” I’m not being unduly hard on myself or anything, it’s just that for me success isn’t strictly defined by how much money I make. For me, success includes the kind of husband I am, what kind of father I am, the development of my character and happiness, etc. Just this week I listened to a podcast by Jon Vroman where he talked about the difference between being a businessman with a family vs. a family man with a business. I’m in the latter category, or at least I do my best to be in the latter category, because I love my family.
But that’s neither here nor there right now. My point is this – my small measure of business success is the result of 20 years of hard work, focus, perseverance, wise investments, mindset adjustments, teachability and commitment to personal growth.
It’s common for us to gravitate towards people that we want to be like, right? There are a number of people I look at, and think to myself, “Wow, I’d love to spend time with them, and learn what they did to get where they are, so that I can be there one day too!” Maybe I’m the only one, but I know that I certainly have some people I think of in that way. And, I know a number of people who have wanted to get into franchising simply because they want to emulate my achievements as a franchise entrepreneur, developer, investor and consultant. That’s not a bad thing. My right hand man Michael told me before I hired him that he wanted to take the job contingent upon his learning what, how, and why I do what I do.
But here’s the thing people have to understand; it’s the thing that I myself need be reminded of…
NOBODY, AND I MEAN NOBODY, IS THE RESULT OF ONE GOOD DECISION.
I didn’t get where I am today, and the business titans I look up to didn’t get where they are today because of one good or lucky choice. There were thousands upon thousands of decisions made, both big and small, that added up over the course of years, accumulating up to a tipping point that caused their success to overflow for everyone to see. The only thing most of us see is that overflow of success. And maybe a few lucky ones are privy to seeing the tipping point, or just before it. But we don’t see the early mornings, and the pushing through obstacles, and the scrambling to find solutions at the eleventh hour. We certainly don’t see the bad hires, the leadership deficiencies, and the mental breakdowns!
There’s the old adage that goes something like this… “Which stroke of the axe felled the tree – the first or the last?” I probably ruined the phrasing of it, but you get the message.
Every decision matters.
You can’t control catastrophe, but you can control your response. You can’t control markets, but you can control strategy. You can’t control people, but you can control your mindset. You can’t control others’ behaviors, but you can control culture.
Early on in my 20’s I made a resolution to control what I can control, and then trust the process. I’ve definitely made mistakes – big ones, in fact. But even in mistakes, I resolved to pick myself up, dust my shoulders off, and keep moving forward. I decided to:
- Surround myself with people who provoke and inspire me.
- Be frugal, to save up for important investments.
- Takes risks. Calculated risks, yes, but risks nonetheless.
- Be disciplined with my time.
- Take care of my mind, soul, and body.
Fast forward 20 years, and I’m happy with those decisions. No, success didn’t find me by coincidence. No, it didn’t happen overnight. And guess what… it won’t “happen” to you overnight either.
So today, in your gut, in the deepest part of your soul, make a resolution. Promiseyourself that you’re not going get in your own way. Promise yourself that you’re not going leave things to chance, and you’re not going to play it safe.
MAKE DECISIONS TODAY that will help guide and keep you on the path to success, whatever that looks like for you.