There is NO way someone could have told me 8 years ago (HOLY MOLY where has the time gone!) that I was the obstacle in my business.
Well… I guess they could have told me but I probably would have told them off (seriously, I was a bit of a hardass in my previous life. ooh the stories I could tell!).
But I digress.
I’ve worked really hard to be a kinder, gentler version of myself and my life flows SO much better when I come from that place.
Let me give you a little background about how I came to this conclusion of YOU being the obstacle in your business because it wasn’t like a light switch went off (it never is, is it?). As my mentor recently pointed out to me, it’s more like a dimmer switch. In my case, it was a very slow dimmer switch that I think I intentionally shut off at times (no idea what’s up with all the light metaphors here).
You may or may not know that I am a HUGE reader. I spent about 10 years in the book industry when I was a young adult. I started as a clerk in a bookstore and ended up as a district manager in San Francisco at a young age (yes, I’ve always been a dog with a bone ready to take on the next challenge). I loved reading before my bookstore job but once I started working in the bookstore and was around books all day it seemed like there was never enough time to read everything I wanted to read. In my early 20’s I discovered the Business & Self-help sections and it all went to hell in a handbasket from there. I quickly became a consumer of books on tape (yep, physical cassette tapes) and was constantly trying to put something good into my mind (and I can honestly say now that it helped prepare me for where I am today. Kind of reminds me of Napolean Hill’s “Think & Grow Rich”, which, if you haven’t read it, you should. Long story short is that he spends 20 years working for FREE so he can learn from one of the ‘greats’ who helped build this country, Andrew Carnegie).
Which brings me to the book that has really struck a chord with me (and has quickly become one of my most favorite books of all time!)
“The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph”, by Ryan Holiday
I like this book so much that I had to order the hardback so I could take notes, put sticky notes in it and use the quotes as reminders for myself (I highlight stuff via Kindle all the time but there’s something about writing & highlighting in the book that makes me feel like I’m literally consuming the content).
I want to give you a brief overview of what this book is about and who it’s for and then I’ll dive into how YOU are the obstacle in your business.
First, let’s start with who this book is for:
- You’re ready to make a change in your life and/or business
- You’re NOT a victim (of anything)
- You’re willing to take responsibility
- You believe in working hard AND working smart
- You’re done waiting for other people to give you permission
- You appreciate learning from each challenge and opportunity
- Quitting isn’t an option
If any of those bullet points struck a nerve with you, meaning you found yourself feeling defensive, you probably won’t like this book (even though you need it the most!).
I’m not one for sports metaphors or references (and that’s only because I’m not an athlete. I do however appreciate what sports can do for an individual), but this excerpt from the book is SO spot on I had to share it. There’s a chapter in the book called “Follow the Process” where he tells about Coach Nick Saban (who apparently is the head coach of the University of Alabama) and what he considers is responsible for his success, and that is, The Process. He teaches ALL his players The Process:
“Don’t think about winning the SEC Championship. Don’t think about the national championship. Think about what you needed to do in this drill, on this play, in this moment. That’s the process: Let’s think about what we can do today, the task at hand.”
– Nick Saban
And to summarize Ryan’s chapter on the process – Follow the process and not the prize (yes, that’s totally tweetable! Go ahead, you know you want to).
Here’s my tweet out to Ryan when I was writing this post! 🙂 Just for fun![tweet_box]Follow the process and not the prize. @RyanHoliday #TheObstacleIsTheWay [/tweet_box]
How does ALL of this relate to your business?
Clearly, this is going to look different for everyone, so I’m going to share how I was the obstacle in my own business and then tell me if you can relate:[list icon=”icon: arrow-right” icon_color=”#e05455″]
- I’m “busy” with client work
- I don’t have time to do “x”
- Who am I to… (insert what works for you here, for me it was “I’m not a developer”)
- Ex: To create that email sequence I have to come up with the opt-in offer, go into my autoresponder, set up the form, add it to my site, etc.
- I can’t do that until I do this…
- I’ll do that when…
- I don’t want to be “that” person
- That’s not really ‘work’
- This is how I’m “supposed” to do it
- I can’t teach/train/show/charge for this until I’ve done “x”
You can substitute a number of industries in that bullet list above and it will be applicable across the board. We ALL come up with “reasons” why we can’t do something.
And they ALWAYS seem like legitimate reasons.
But the truth is, we get to CHOOSE.
We get to choose how we run our business, who we work with, and ultimately, how we want to #showup in the world.
ANY type of business will require hard work, hustle, frustration, tears, excitement, celebration, milestones, and victories. ALL of those things are equally important, but what’s MOST important is how you handle each of those situations.
Links from this episode
Jonathan Perez – Developer to Millionaire
A quick shout out to CJ Andrew of WPStudio5 for the awesome review in iTunes! Thank you CJ – I truly appreciate it!
Other episodes you might enjoy:
My Year in Review: A Look Back at 2014 WPCP: 049
From 6 Figures in Debt to 6 Figures a Month: My interview with Adam Spiel WPCP: 031
Online Business and Fireside Chat WPCP: 016
What I’d do different if I were starting my business today WPCP: 004