This week the theme appears to be about perseverance. And positivity. Concerning believing in yourself Taylor Richards teaches - "You can do anything" in a lecture segment by the same name. He admonishes that we do not doubt ourselves.
R. and Patricia T. Holland had a good quote in their shared talk from a writer with great advice:
Marilyn Funt, who wrote the book Are You Anybody? did so in response to people’s asking in the Hollywood swirl if she “was anybody.” In answer she said:
I used to think being somebody meant public recognition of one’s efforts. Wrong. I now know that the feeling of being somebody comes from hard work and self-growth. Being in control of my life makes me answer that question with a strong “Yes!” [New York: Pinacle Books, 1981]
It is good to fill our minds with uplifting thoughts and messages. This week in my other business class we are learning to use adwords especially focusing on using great keywords that work. This site is that project. When the words I chose have not caused any monetary success it is disappointing. But looking at the bright side I have had an increased number of visitors...in fact it has doubled.
So continuing my personal heroic journey I will take these minor setbacks as merely lessons and continue on.
I liked this quote from Stephen R. Covey:
The amateur salesman sells products, the professional salesman sells solutions to needs and problems. . . The key to good judgment is understanding. If we judge first, we will never fully understand. (Covey)
Learning what my potential clients want is my current task as well as letting them know I am here. I have much about the need to keep moving forward as well as learning from the past. I do believe that working hard is a great quality to have. Sadly my personality is one that accepts mediocrity.
If I do not succeed I tend to say, "Oh, well. At least I tried."
I think the lesson I am supposed to have learned is that once one has failed they try a new tactic and still strive to reach the goal.
I will keep moving.
I finished reading Mastery by George Leonard. It is a great book with lessons for every aspect of a person's life. Leonard states that mastery is, “The mysterious process during which what is at first difficult becomes progressively easier and more pleasurable through practice.” The main idea is that one needs to be engaged in a goalless endeavor. He writes about his experience in learning aikido. The masters of the martial arts seek to instill in their students the ideals of integrity, humility, and the endless pursuit of improvement. When seen in that light it makes sense to say mastery is without goals.
But Leonard also makes sure the reader understands that as learners we DO need to have goals...the point being once one achieves they must then set a new goal. It's an eternal process and I conclude the sooner we accept that their is no end to learning the better off we will be.
Without this concept in mind people are easily lulled into thinking once I accomplish "this" I can quit. But to quit is akin to agreeing to die.
And how does this relate to being an entrepreneur?
Well in building up a business one must keep up with the times. To become top selling in your niche is great but if you don't keep at it your business will surely fizzle and die.
Integrity and humility also go a long way towards assuring success with repeat customers.
I also liked this quote from Leonard, Mastery is practice. Mastery is staying on the path. Leonard writes, “‘How long will it take me to master Aikido?’ a prospective student asks. ‘How long do you expect to live?’ is the only respectable response.”
The author goes on to point out that practice is both a noun and a verb. In my book report that I wrote this week I said:
We can practice (verb) family harmony through the practice (noun) of family meals.
I then related practice and mastery to the visual imagery below:
Mastery is like hopping from rock to rock across a stream, mastery of life takes us from one plateau to the next, and we should never stop, and yet we should certainly enjoy the view along the way.
I do think we can become complacent and I know that taking the time to stimulate thought and engaging in new activities allows us to continue onward and upward towards greater things . . . and that is what life is really all about.
Week 6 “The first and best victory is to conquer self; to be conquered by self is, of all things, the most shameful and vile.” ~PlatoRead Now
Sadly I failed to write my thoughts for week six. Time and events swept me through the week and suddenly the time was gone. I have been an A student for the past four years (not counting math where I got a B, but that was expected and still a surprise to do so well). But this term in both of my business classes I keep getting erratic grades across the spectrum. It is not that the work is hard either...it is mostly forgetfulness on my part and that sucks.
But this past week we have continued reading Mastery by George Leonard. He has some great insights about what it means to master self. Instruction, Practice, Surrender, Intentionality and The Edge were the titles read this week. Some of those are self explanatory. To surrender means to let go of your own ideas and allow the lesson to unfold in order to really get the message. Intentionality means to enter the arena, or task with a real purpose and goal in mind. The Edge means despite the need for practice and following the rules with precision a person must also push to their limit, to explore the boundaries. To stand on the edge without going over can be good in some things. Of course never as far as morals are concerned.
da Vinci once said: “You will never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over yourself.” Then he goes on to say that “the height of a man’s success is gauged by his self-mastery; the depth of his failure by his self-abandonment. … And this law is the expression of eternal justice. He who cannot establish dominion over himself will have no dominion over others.”
Week 5 Success is usually earned by persevering and not becoming discouraged when we encounter challenges. ~ James E. FaustRead Now
The Secret to Entrepreneurial Success: Skill, Character, or Luck? By Jeff Sandefer is an intriguing write up. The question is one to get a person thinking. He proposed the question to a group of highly successful entrepreneurs without getting a response the first couple iterations. I think the reason it took so long to get an answer is because it is so thought provoking. I agree that character is a main driving force. Without the fortitude to persevere anyone can fail even with skill and a great chance to get a foot in the door (i.e. luck).
Another book entitled Mastery by George Leonard addresses the same topic. Leonard asserts anyone can have a talent but it is a determination to see it through that decides whether one is on their way to mastering whatever it is they are pursuing.
Each of the assigned readings and videos this week relate once more to the idea that we are on a journey. Leonard writes about the learning bumps and plateau, and how to love the steady ride while there. Randy Komisar spoke about the need to not become paralyzed when one is not able to achieve what they have designated as their passion. He says, “ . . .rather than thinking about the passion, free yourself up to think about a portfolio of passions and the task is to marry that portfolio of passions to the opportunities in front of you.”
Sometimes the opportunity to go for things are not there. But other opportunities are. We need to remain open to the promptings of our inner voice, or the spirit, if you will. In my case I have always loved art. But for whatever reason I never have taken any formal lessons after high school. I thought it was my passion, but then I began to write and it consumed me. I was able to tell the stories that my art never could convey.
I chose to attend BYU-I through online courses. I was deeply saddened that art was not offered. And then doubly saddened when an English degree was not an option either. Still this was my first opportunity to get an extended education so rather than quit and take a different path I chose to follow through and get my general studies degree. From there I will have another choice to make…I can pursue a creative writing degree from a local college or take specific classes from writers like Dave Farland. Right now taking Dave’s classes sounds much more engaging and to the point.
So far luck has not smiled upon my writing. My skills are growing through perseverance…which is definitely one of my favorite character traits. So yes, I would say in the end all three are components of success…but stubborn stick-to-itiveness trumps all.