Are You REALLY Taking Responsibility -
or Just Telling Yourself You Are…
What Do You Mean There Is NO Magic Pill?
This is a story on how the answer to two Questions makes life’s decisions easy.
This post really strikes home with me as we begin the new year. WOW! 2015 is here already, what happened to all of the goals and dreams we set at the start of 2014. If you are like many people, some of the goals were achieved, some we surpassed while others got caught in the excuse zone. Hey, that’s how real life occurs. As John Lennon most famously said
“Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.”
But, the analyst in me is always looking for the ‘reasons why’ so that I, and my clients, can perform more consistently high above the average. And with the dawning of 2015 – what better time than to look at one proven way to do so in this new year. What simple things can we do to make 2015 better than 2014, more fun, more profitable, more effective while at the same time building up our own personal momentum.
This is the thought process we go through at REIN every single year and it lead to a fascinating discussion with our CEO, Patrick Francey. How HE enters the world to play at a higher level. I think you will really see some amazing results in 2015 if you adopt his philosophy. Here’s Patrick as he explains it a breakthrough that occurred a few years ago, but he still uses today:
Blog courtesy from Patrick Francey- CEO of REIN
This story occurred a few years ago, but is so relevant today for all of us who want to achieve more, but have built a wonderfully comfortable existence already.
It was in the moment that I was sitting and staring blankly at my computer screen pondering the ‘right’ decision that my reality became very clear. I had just received another promotional e-mail about a world class, “too good to be true”, first and last time ever offered, marketing workshop that was being held in San Francisco. (I think this might have been the 3rd time they’ve offered this ‘last time ever’ event).
The workshop was 3 days of intense education with some of the most successful and best marketing minds in North America. These marketing gurus have been recognized for their successes in spearheading the amazing explosions in business growth, creation of best selling books, hosting the best marketing boot camps, as well as their huge contributions to special charities.
It was obvious that I, and my team, would learn something – but at what cost? Couldn’t I just find the information out myself? My business although relatively successful in its own right was nowhere near where I wanted it to be. I had hit my ceiling of limitations when it came to marketing and growing my business. I was frustrated, yet immediately went into my pattern of ‘self-sufficiency’ I thought “I’d gotten this far on my own knowledge, why do I need this event (even if they were being truthful on what I would learn).”
I knew it was up to me to be the leader for my business for my managers and staff, but frankly, at that point a few years ago , I had hit my own glass ceiling.
“It Can’t Be Worth It… It Is So Expensive”
So, here I was reading the fifth promotional e-mail that I had received after signing up on their marketing website. Everything sounded great, however my brain immediately went to value and math – How could it be worth it? It sounded pretty darn expensive…
…all I had to do was come up with two airplane tickets to San Francisco for myself and one of my the managers in my retail business, pay at least 4 nights of food and accommodations and scratch a check for $7,500.00 for the course itself. (OUCH!) That’s $12,000 for a weekend, come on who are they kidding? That’s a ton of money to take out of the limited budget. (YES< I actually thought that way back then).
So I HAD to know this was the right thing to do – in fact I wanted to be absolutely certain I was making the right decision. That’s why I called and asked all the ‘really hard’ questions. I was going to make sure that I was going to get my money’s worth. And… they better not try to sell me stuff that I had to run to the back of the room to buy and spend more money or ‘miss out’ on the opportunity.
The guy I talked to on the phone was great (later I found out that he would be the presenter of the topic ‘Fortune 500 Sales Strategies’ at the workshop) and he systematically answered every question I asked.
The more I talked to him the more comfortable I got in asking tougher and tougher questions. Suffice it to say, by the end of the conversation I gave him my credit card number and I was away to San Francisco with my right hand manager. Hoping that the value was there and was going to leave with knowledge, not a disappointing feeling.
This is where the epiphany happened: The Lesson Of Two Perspectives
To make a long story short, the workshop for me was in fact as amazing as they had said it would be. I committed to taking meticulous notes, (which I still refer to). I fully engaged in the process of learning, I went there with the full focus of getting as much value out of it I could… I was ACTIVELY making it a win so that even if the event was mediocre I would come out ahead. Six years later I can look back and honestly say it changed how I think and the way I do business.
In fact, by being so engaged and taking responsibility for the value I received I met someone, not a speaker, who gave me an idea that helped add immediate 11% profit to my business’s bottom line. This wasn’t a valuable agenda item in the marketing e-mail it only came to me because I was there being pro-active and creating value for myself.
But, interestingly enough it had much less of an impact on my manager. In fact it didn’t hit home with him at all. It was frustrating to witness his lack of understanding of what was presented during our time in the workshop. His commitment level to getting something out of the event was minimal and he surely didn’t have the “I’m going to CREATE value” attitude I brought to the event.
So, when I sit back and analyze that weekend, even today, I see that value is given only to those who take life as an active pursuit, not a passive event. Same event, dramatically different results… the only difference was in attitude going in.
The Big Lesson – There Is No Magic Pill
The reason for sharing my story is this; as I struggled with my decision prior to buying into the workshop all that I was able to see was the ‘what’, that they were selling. I was looking strictly at the value of the product and services that they told me they would be providing me during the workshop and the subsequent program.
I made it about them as if it was a magic pill they would give me so I would wake up as a richer and more successful business owner.
While questioning potential value is still an essential part of my due diligence, what I have since learned is that I was only really seeing one variable in a multi-sided equation – of which my attitude is one key variable in that equation.
What I have discovered since that time is that there are two other very important questions that need to be answered before doing the deal on (in this case) any further education workshops or membership type processes. Whether it’s registering for a marketing workshop or signing up for a gym membership, I believe there is a fundamental shift that must be made in our thought process. And the more ultra-successful people I speak with the more that they say these questions are now second-nature to them.
The first question that you must ask yourself is, ‘Am I worth the investment in myself?’
If I take the course, buy the book, register for the workshop, become a member, gain the knowledge, how will I leverage the investment I am making…’in myself’! What will the return on investment (ROI) in me be?
The business that you are spending your money with is gaining a return on your investment in their product or services. That is their mandate, clearly. They are in business to provide value by offering their product or service or membership at a price that makes sense. If they have been around a long time and have many repeat clients who are willing to provide proof and comment that the product or service gave them value, then the value will be there in one way or another. A little due diligence will tell you whether others are getting value or not. The variable in the equation is you. And that is why this first question is so important… but not as important as the 2nd one.
The second question is: “Can you TRUST yourself to follow through?”
Are you in the game to win, or are you in the game hoping that something good just shows up in your life, with no effort. You have done your due diligence on potential value, now what are you going to do with the tools you purchase (the tools of education, insight, resources etc.) How are you going to capitalize on your investment in you!?!
This second and much tougher thought process is the one that I believe that the majority of people never really ask themselves. And, even if they do ask it, there may be a tendency to fool oneself. Some people outright lie to themselves.
The question is simple; the answer however is usually not; to ensure that you capitalize on the investment you are making… in your self? It’s just not about the workshop, the membership to the club, or the expensive CD’s. It’s about you and what YOU honestly and truthfully want out of the game of life.
Seminar Junkie or Action Taker
Whole seminar industries are built around the knowledge that the majority of people lie to themselves when answering the key 2nd question. They know that most people will say “All Right, this is the time I am breaking my patterns. I‘m going to follow through.” This is how come after all of these years, that the same pattern of “I’ll teach you a little bit, but you have to spend thousands of dollars on follow-up course to know the real truths” seminars continue to work. There is no REAL follow-up required other than going and signing up to the next level.
It is designed this way because it artificially makes you feel as if you are moving forward and taking action. You told yourself that this time you were going to ‘follow-through’ and they gave you an easy, no work way to do that… sign-up to the next ‘thing.’
Sadly it is all based around people not TRUSTING themselves to take the knowledge that they’ve learned, the benefits that the membership offers, or the guidance that the books and cd’s offer , and capitalize on it.
Value is There When You Play Full On
As entrepreneurs, business owners, investors, we put tremendous pressure on ourselves to succeed. At the same time we often look outside ourselves and create excuses to blame someone or something for our own shortcomings, which stops us from having the success we say we are committed to achieving.
Next time you are faced with an opportunity to attend a workshop, become a member, buy the program; remember to ask the two other questions;
- Am I worth the investment in me?
- Do I trust myself to follow through and capitalize on my investment?
If the answer to either of these questions is no, then it becomes very clear that you’re not ready for the next level of growth and that’s OK… just know you’re not ready. And when you are, the choice will get very clear.
And when you are truly honest with yourself and you play full on creating value no matter what the situation, that’s when you know that real success, and all that entails is right in front of you.
I encourage you to take full responsibility, grab control.