I’ll answer this at the bottom. Don’t skip ahead, read all of it, it’s good. Why in the world would I, a guy who teaches innovation, say ideas mean nothing? To try and disrupt the all-too-common belief that innovation, transformation, and profit are all about ideas. I’ve heard it said that “We live in an idea economy.” Bull. If that’s true, I should own a small country.
I was once in a guitar store with a friend named Mike who was trying out a Taylor T-5. He loved it. It was $1,100. It came down to decision time. The salesman watched Mike and he was not sure. He asked me, “What do you think?” I said, “Well you tell me, is buying this guitar the BEST use of $1100 in your life right now?” It was like the lights went on… NO! He had other family necessities.
It’s a sense of purpose. Something bigger than ourselves. Two insurance agents are walking down the street. A man sees them and asks, “Hey, what do you guys do for a living?” The first agent says, “I sell insurance” The other one looks a little sideways at that answer, turns back and says, “I take care of your family when you can’t. Which one would you want to work with?
Last week I shared that the reason we need to be free to fail and be rejected is that we will fail, we will be rejected, and that these are integral to success. Picking up there, successful people actually fail more than unsuccessful people. The difference is unsuccessful people stop at failure. Successful people keep failing until they succeed. The same is true for rejection; the more successful you are, the more often you’ll be rejected.
People in my Virtuoso programs tell me the two most paralyzing fears are the fear of failure and fear of rejection. They keep us from taking action, keep us from living our dreams, keep us locked in our current state. My opinion: Failure and rejection don’t matter in and of themselves. What matters is the message they have for us. Every failure and rejection has only two possible messages, one is real and not.
Sometimes the best tips are not so much answers as questions. I read a great one this week: “If you were doomed to live the same life over and over again for eternity, would you choose the life you are living now?” Would you? If so, keep doing what you’re doing. If not, what are you doing to change that? I think most of us would want to relive some things but rather not relive others…
Meet Captain Charlie Plumb, a man I am proud to call my friend and mentor. He’s one of the most amazing men I have ever known. Charlie was a fighter pilot in Vietnam, flying 74 successful missions. On his 75th mission, his last before going home to his new wife, Charlie was shot down, parachuted into enemy hands and spent the next six years in a North Vietnamese prison camp being tortured, beaten and isolated in an 8’X8’ cell.
For the past seven years I have presented my “What If?” Keynote Experience for the Youth Citizenship Seminar at Pepperdine University. 250 high school juniors spend a week living on campus experiencing speakers and activities in a life-changing event. Captain Charlie Plumb, George Foreman, Ben Stein, Darren Kavinoky, Marilyn Sherman, Scott McKain, Tommy Lasorda, and others donate their time and even pay their own travel.
What we haven’t seen before is, the Uber driver gets to rate you! Your conduct as a customer is ranked by the driver from one to five stars and every other driver gets to see it. Aha. I LOVE this! Soon-to-be-gone are the days of being a snotty customer, treating service providers like slaves. It’s not in every business yet but I predict this will soon spread to other businesses.
The Customer is NOT Always Right. A Radical Way To Create Raving Fans I was so disgusted… On the plane a man behind me was just berating a United Airlines agent on the phone. We were delayed, which is never fun. But he yelled and treated her like dirt. Then he said, “What’s your last name? Yeah, I’ll…