the-art-of-businessMy wife Robin and I were at church and a guest Pastor was sharing a story that really intrigued me and stirred some great wonderings and ideas in me.  He was talking about his high school days and he mentioned that he was very active in sports but the high school he attended required athletes to participate in a sport year round.  Football players could play football during the fall but had to play baseball, golf or track during the spring season. 

The man explained that he was a basketball player (fall season) and during the spring he couldn’t figure out what to play.  So because he didn’t really want to play another sport, as he considered the options he looked at golf and track. 

One day he was out on the track field watching them practice and the coach approached him and they chatted about the sport and the season for a while.  The track coach invited him out for the upcoming meet in just a few days.  when he got there, the coach asked him if he wanted to run in the “880” and he said, “Sure!” without even knowing that this was a half-mile sprint. 

With no fear or reservations, and with full enthusiasm, he headed to the track for the line-up and took his mark.  The gun fired and it was quite a spectacle.  The coaches and crowd all giggled as the tall, long-legged track stars gracefully did their thing, pacing themselves, mastering the art of running with excellence. 

But then this other guy stood out like a sore thumb, being very short and stocky.  Clearly, he didn’t have any formal training and he just took off with all he had.  The coaches said he looked like Barney Rubble running for his life, fast as can be!  But the thing was that as funny, out of place, and untrained he looked… He won the race!  


But here’s the part of the story that SHOCKED ME and really made me think…

He went on to share that that was the ONLY race he ever won.  He said that for that race he was just focused on the goal; winning.  He wasn’t caught up and distracted by all kinds of body mechanics.  He ran for his life.  He knew the only thing he was supposed to do was run faster than everyone else and win.  He said that the reason he never won a race again was because after that race… “He was taught how to run”


Learning The “Art of Business” Doesn’t Mean You’ll Succeed…

So I began to think about what he said and how “being taught to run” actually kept him from ever winning another race.  The connection between running and business was obvious to me as I’ve worked with so many entrepreneurs who shoot out of the gate with great confidence, enthusiasm and a winning strategy but then they start to learn the “art of business” and find that they’re not winning like they used to.

You see what happens is that very often entrepreneurs start their business with very little “formal” training and they don’t know all the “rules” and this allows them to be themselves, to serve their customers and to make decisions without floundering around in confusion.  But then what happens is that they hear, “Oh you can’t do it like that” or “You can’t be yourself… what if people don’t like that” or they hear, “You have to do it this way or that”.  And so what happens is these entrepreneurs who started out focused on the “goal” wind up confused not knowing what to do or what decision to make next because there is so much noise out there.

Or another symptom is when you learn so much, and your quest for learning gets you distracted from the goal.  You ‘get taught how to blog” and you “get taught how to make videos” and you “get taught how to do social media”… You busy yourself doing all the new things you learned, but with no plan of success, no finish line, no goal.  You’re focusing on the mechanics too much, not the goal.

Let’s be honest.  You went into business for 2 reasons; you wanted to help people and you wanted to make more money, right?  Its ok you can say that you wanted to make more money.  We’d be lying if we said we didn’t.  So what happened to the clarity and focus of those 2 goals?  Did “learning to run” give you a bunch of “knowledge” but ensured you wouldn’t win again?

So as you read this you may be in that place where you like, “Dude, you nailed it head on” or you may be an entrepreneur who hasn’t really started on your second “race” yet but in either case I wanted to share with you 3 practical ways you can overcome this “art of business” illusion, get back to basics and start rockin’ it out in your biz again.


#1 Don’t Be Afraid to Put Yourself Out There…

The man in my story didn’t really care that he was shorter, had never run before or ever considered what people would think.  In business you have to be willing to step out, take the chance and let the cards fall where they will.  Indecision and immobility are two of the greatest killers of entrepreneurs.  Sometimes the more you learn the more you freeze up.  Very often you’ll find that if you just step out, make the decision and put yourself in a place where you absolutely MUST succeed it, you will.  Take the leap.  Very often you just need someone to confirm what you ALREADY know is the way.  So do it.  Step out.  Don’t be afraid.

Here’s what one of our 1-on-1 private clients was just saying after a coaching call,

“OK, I guess if you can’t breathe (out of pure emotion) after hanging up the coaching call, it is pretty safe to say you found your FAB Zone. Yes, that was me this morning! I was so excited with the possibilities that I was actually having palpitations. After a lot of soul searching, I’ve discovered that my FAB ZONE is Virtual Teaching…”

#2 Have Fun…

I think this is really one of the most important and yet most often overlooked elements of creating a successful and sustainable business.  Southwest Airlines is a great example of a company who knows how to have fun.  If you’ve ever flown Southwest before you’re familiar with the joke telling attendants and light hearted comedy during the flight. 

Sometimes we get so busy or so focused on “strategies” that we forget to just have fun.  Adding humor or personality into your business goes a long way.  Your customers will love it and it will really help to differentiate you from your competition.


#3 Remember the Goal…

So you get running along, you took a million trainings, you have a hundred ideas but you don’t know what to do, right?  It’s so very easy to lose focus and lose sight of the real goal with all of the “noise” that’s out there.  One of the things I’ve learned to do to help keep focus is to write out my goals and keep them in front of me at all times.

The reason the man in my story above was able to win that first race was because he was focused on one thing and one thing alone; winning!  Success in business works very much the same way.  You have to be focused and unwilling to settle for anything less than the goal. 

We’ve all gotten distracted, we’ve all gotten focused on the non-important things and lost sight of our goals, we’ve all gotten caught up in the ‘mechanics’ of learning a million different things… And this is why it’s really important to have a business mentor and coach that keeps you focused on your main goals… making money.  I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to have a monthly or bi-monthly talk with a mentor, and get things in check and get the right perspective to keep pressing on, doing the things that are the most effective.

We’ve all heard it said that “information without action is useless” but we like to take it just one step further and say “information without the RIGHT action is useless”.  If you’re feeling stagnant or like you’re just chasing this “art of business” and would like to chat about getting laser-focused on your goals and taking your business from where it is to where you want it to be click here to access our online calendar and setup a FREE discovery session. 


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