Entreprenuerial Gold: Go Thou

Like many entrepreneurs, we have days when we don’t want to get out of bed. Love the thrill of the hunt? Absolutely. Believe in what we offer? Without a doubt. There are still days, though, when motivation wanes. Sales guru Doug Lennick says that success is like a bicycle: One pedal is passion, one pedal is discipline. Some days you do what you love. Other days you do what you must.

Years ago, my heart was warmed by an article in Muscle & Fitness magazine. When you learn to love the exercise you hate, it admonished, you will truly be in great shape. There were plenty of machines in the gym that were on my “hate list,” but the top of that list belonged to the hamstring-curl thing. Bleh. I hated even walking by it. Nevertheless, the article inspired me. I set out to conquer the hamstring curls.

And I still hated it.

But as the days went by, my dislike for it lessened. And my overall fitness improved.

While I would like to report that my bench press shot up to 400 pounds, my mile time dropped below four minutes and I could curl a Volkswagen in each hand, alas, it was not so. I will admit, though, that I was in better shape that year than at any other point in my life. I wasn’t quite ready for the NFL, and I wouldn’t have fared well on American Ninja Warrior. But I did discover that getting over the stuff I didn’t like unlocked all kinds of energy for the things that I loved.

Having worked with hundreds of small business owners over the years, I can tell you that most of them truly disliked knocking doors. There were not many I met who relished the idea of trade shows, and only a handful who truly felt comfortable on the phone. Every one of them believed strongly in what their business had to offer and would describe their products and services with great enthusiasm. “Prospecting,” however, was a word more spat than spoken. A necessary evil, not unlike my hamstring curls.

There were those brave few who found a way to love the hamstring curls, so to speak. They marketed, they prospected and they cold-called with determination. From them I learned the power of conviction. They believed so strongly in their mission that they overcame the inertia, apathy and fear that prevented others from moving forward. The focus on their destination was so strong that it overcame conflicting emotions and kept them pressing ahead.

It is said that a defender has a five-to-one advantage over an attacker. To succeed, the invading commander must gather five times as many troops as the defender. The reason? Conviction. The defender, standing before his family and home, is more deeply rooted in his determination to hold his ground. His heart is steadfast and resolute in defense of those he loves.

The greater our conviction, the more powerful we become.

Your vision is “what,” but your mission is “why.” When your decisions and your plans run in a straight line with your mission, there is a synergy that magnifies results. Your confidence grows and your conviction deepens.

I would like to tell you that if you’ll just get out and knock on the doors, you’ll eventually get to the point where you love it. There is something to be said for cold, focused discipline. You can develop a numbness to the discomfort over time. A continued focus on your mission, though, will produce in you a strength far greater than discipline alone. Coupling your conviction with the discipline to press through, you will find the power to keep the bicycle wheels turning. Where you struggle to climb hills today, you will power your way over mountains tomorrow.

And your hamstrings will look great.

Happy hunting today.


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