“When one door closes, another opens.”
“The universe will provide.”
“If you can conceive it you can achieve it.”
[Parental warning: I hate insipid bromides. If these are sayings you appreciate, things you hang on the wall or slather on your coffee mugs, please don't read any further. You're not going to be happy, and who wants to be unhappy?]
“It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.”
Really? Now I'm no expert on dogfighting, but I'd bet that big dogs kick the crap out of little dogs every single time regardless of how feisty the little dog might appear.
“Quitters never win and winners never quit.”
That sounds like it makes sense unless whatever you're trying to do turns out to be undoable. In which case sticking with the undoable just to avoid being a quitter is stupid. Giving up and going on to some other more valuable opportunity is a much better way to ultimately succeed.
Years ago, web marketing expert Jay Berkowitz from Ten Golden Rules did me a lovely favor and sent a copy of John Warrillow's book Built To Sell. Jay had just read it and learned how to convert his business – not to sell his firm but to figure out how to remove himself from things he didn't need to do everyday so he could concentrate on what he did need to do – pleasing his clients and growing his business.
It was something I needed to learn but I didn't know I needed to learn it.
A year or two later I was at a seminar and the speaker was talking about how to systematize a business. His point was that there are lots of revenue streams a business can provide, but only if there's a consistent, coherent, cogent protocol that can be managed by a team of experts, each doing what they're best at.
That was something I needed to learn too, but didn't know that either.
This morning I was at the National Speaker's Association meeting listening to Steve Shapiro talk about how to leverage business assets and he opened his talk with: “After all is said and done, more is said than done.”
Now there's a saying I can get behind. Much more is said than done. But Steve went on to show how to actually do more. He explained how systemizing your business can create all kinds of opportunities to generate more revenue, increase free time for other activities, and help your other associates generate revenue too.
It was something I needed to learn but I still didn't know I needed to learn it.
Then I wandered into Bill Cates' breakout session and listened raptly while Bill spoke about what it takes to license products. His first suggestion? Systemize your business so others can do what you're doing and you can focus on generating multiple revenue streams.
After being taught, and taught, and taught, the student was finally ready. I finally heard the message that systemizing my business practices is what I need to do to continue to grow our business. This is something I do need to know and now I know that I need to know it.
But the other thing I learned is that the old saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear” is true. Not for the assumed reason that the teacher magically pops up when the student has the need, but for the metaphorical explanation that the teacher is there a lot of the time, the student just simply isn't listening.
I'd been given the information I needed time and time again; I just wasn't sensitive to it because it hadn't become important enough to me. But as soon as the need was clear and the message was repeated enough times, it sunk in and I got it.
Does this suggest that I'm not very aware, sensitive, or perceptive? Perhaps. But what it also suggests is that I need to spend more time prioritizing what I want to accomplish and then paying attention to all the resources around me that are generously offering their recommendations and assistance. Maybe you do too.
After all, I'd hate to look a gift horse in the mouth.