Bear with me on this one, it IS relevant, I promise!
About 9 years ago I was as close to bankruptcy as you can get without declaring.
And my drug of choice was food… mostly chocolate. (Somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, I believed a bag of Hershey’s Kisses would make the bankers and the landlord go away)
At some point during my efforts to put on 60 pounds of fat–(being broke wasn’t good enough for me, I guess I wanted to feel really sick and lethargic too)–I came to my senses, got some nutritional advice, and made a solid plan for digging out.
(By the way, the best advice I’ve ever heard about health, business, and pretty much everything else is “If you’re in a hole, stop digging!”)
Anyway, shortly after one of these conversations, I remember sharing a piercing food insight with Sharon…
“It’s simple” I said.
“I CAN ONLY EAT FOUR THINGS, AND THEY ALL START WITH ‘F’ “
Fruit, Fish, Fowl….
And F_____king Vegetables!
We laughed… but it was really easy to remember and actually got me back on track. I just had to remember the “Four Fs” and I was fine.
At least until a very strange thought cropped into my head…
A little evil voice, which sounds ridiculous in retrospect, but it was oh so convincing at the time…
“You know Glenn”, it said…
“If you really think about it, where does chocolate come from? It comes from the cacao tree. That’s right, it actually grows in the ground, so you see… CHOCOLATE IS A VEGETABLE!”
It really seemed to have a point there, I had to admit, especially if I thought about it in the coffee shop, etc.
And I was off to the races again…
Until I got a hold of myself and realized just how utterly stupid that little voice was.
It’s a “Chocolate Monster” that lives inside me… and since then I’ve learned it’s best to simply IGNORE it. (Not argue with it, not point out the errors in it’s logic… just to ignore it once I hear it talking)
OK, now here’s where this affects you and your business.
As entrepreneurs we’re constantly responsible for our own discipline. So most of us make important sets of rules for ourselves to keep focussed and on track. And all of us are subject to a little monster inside which tries to talk us out of these critical rules.
I’ve come to the conclusion none of us should be taking marketing projects unless we’re sure (1) the prospect feels at least a little desperate about the problem we’re going to solve; (2) we have a truly unique promise the prospect hasn’t heard before and (3) we’ve got overwhelming proof of our ability to solve it.
But if you listen closely to your monster, you’ll hear it rationalizing all sorts of opportunities which don’t even come close.
For example, yesterday I was talking to the owner of a failing coffee shop. He had a plan to move the shop further north where there was more traffic. He dazzled me with numbers…both of the Dunkin Donuts nearbye were averaging 3500 cars through their drive thru per day, etc. Plus he’d been in the business for 30 years, and there weren’t any good coffee shops on the corner where he planned to move IF he could raise the money.
Sounded exciting. Could be an easy opportunity for passive income. Maybe I should invest? (By the way, I already have another rule for myself not to invest in businesses where I don’t fully control the marketing and intend to spend at least 50% of my time for two years!)
Or maybe I should forward his plan to Jeff? Or Francis? Or Richie? (Partners with resources and connections)
After all, the guy does have 30 years experience! (Is this really overwhelming proof?) And his coffee IS really good. (Where’s the unique promise?) And it IS at least 4 miles to the nearest Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks (Is that really a desperate consumer problem?)
No, this is just a manifestation of my “Opportunity Monster” doing it’s thing.
Thank goodness I heard it loud and clear this time.
And as much as I’d like to believe …
Chocolate really isn’t a vegetable.
So, my friends…
What kind of monsters live inside you these days?
What evil littles voices have sabotaged YOUR entrepreneurial success with ridiculous ideas that sound ever so convincing at the time?
I’d really like to know!
To Your Success,
Dr. Glenn 🙂
PS – The Total Conversion Code in now available for retail. Terry and I will be offering a significant discount to our lists later this week, please watch for it.