If You Aren't Reinventing the Future, the Future Will Reinvent You
Where will you be when things settle down? A great number of marginal performers will be gone. Those who have not innovated will be gone. Those who have not created value for their clients will be gone. But a lot of us will be standing, and will be better, stronger and more equipped for success.
The number of people who view the economy like a river that they are adrift in drives me crazy. You can follow the current or you can chart your own course. Yes, charting your own course will take more effort, more thought and more courage than drifting, but it’s still a whole lot less painful than going over the waterfall ahead.
If you still are prospecting, marketing yourself, selling and following up the way you did five years ago, you are a dinosaur. Your buyers are retiring and dying. And you either can change or watch your business die, too. If you are not learning new skills, studying new trends, and reading the new business books and the leading business magazines, you are not earning your place in today’s tough market.
If you are not pursuing your CAS or MAS, taking classes, participating in webinars or attending seminars, prepare to lose to those who are committed to continuous improvement and continuing education. If you have your MAS and think you’ve “graduated,” think again.
The great champions in any endeavor work harder, practice longer and study their crafts, and then quietly accept the jealousy of those who complain about how easy they make it look. Look at the leading money-winners on the PGA Tour. They are out there practicing and working on their games, watching their diets, and working out as hard or harder than the players struggling to keep their cards. What made Peyton Manning one of the best quarterbacks ever? He studied week after week and during the off-season to know his opponents and to understand his teammates.
Wayne Gretzky, the greatest hockey player of all time, used to explain his success by not focusing on where the puck was on the ice, but on where it was going to be. Too many of us are focusing on where this economy is and the continuing short-term negative outlook, rather than on where we want to be when the Dow Jones tops 20,000 and spending in our medium is experiencing double-digit growth.
You have only one time to do anything—right now. Right now, plan on making the extra calls, learning the extra skills, networking a little more, giving of yourself a little more freely and charting your course to success. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't—you're right.” I believe the same thing is true today. If you think this year is going to suck or if you think it’s going to rock, you’re right.
Life is all about choices—choices about attitude are the ultimate freedom of humans (Viktor Frankl). Choose to work harder, think clearer, and chart a course to success and stick to it. Have the courage to set lofty goals and to pursue them. And then have double the courage to start again every single day, especially after the bad ones. Because really, in the end, it’s only those who quit who lose. As long as you make your plans and stick to them, you can redefine success and your future.