Be something to somebody

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We’ve talked before about how important a blog can be in your efforts to connect with folks who will become part of your community. Those who are thinking about starting a blog and those who want to improve their existing blog would do well to read Seth Godin‘s post about “Things to ask before you redo your website.”

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Creative Commons License photo credit: in-boulder

Godin lists 24 excellent questions to ask yourself about your website. Spend some time considering all of them.

But pay careful attention to the final question: “Does the organization understand that ‘everything’ is not an option?”

Many network marketers, and for that matter entrepreneurs in general, tend to get sidetracked by trying to be all things to all people. By trying to accomplish everything, they often accomplish nothing.

This has something to do with targeting the right market and finding your niche, but it goes beyond that. It’s about how you run your business and beyond that how you live your life.

Motivation is a good thing, and going after your goals is admirable. Just don’t get so excited that you lose your focus. Find the place and the pace where you operate most efficiently and effectively.

I had an uncle who retired after spending his entire career in the military. He told me one time about some training he did in the latter years of his service that involved climbing a mountain.

Some of the younger troops took off in a hurry, even calling him “Gramps,” as they saw the deliberate way he started to climb. He didn’t bother calling them anything when he passed them about halfway up the mountain.

Dream about the joy you’ll feel when you reach your goals, but don’t forget to enjoy the journey along the way. The best way to do this is by being someone who means something to somebody.

Play like a champion, then celebrate

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Last weekend I had the pleasure of watching both my daughters play on a fast-pitch softball team that won the state championship.

[caption id="attachment_156" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="The team celebrates the state championship."]The team celebrates the state championship.[/caption]

My oldest daughter played on a team that took the state title three years ago, but this was the first for my younger daughter, an eighth-grader who was called up from the junior varsity at the end of the year.

After the game, one of the coaches was talking to the team about the accomplishment. One of the things she mentioned was how impressed she was that the team always played like a champion. She explained that the players played the entire game as if every play was important.

She mentioned how one of the players was upset that she was thrown out at third in the game. She didn’t want to get out even though we had just scored to go ahead, 4-0.

A four-run lead may not sound like much, but the team had a great pitcher and played great defense behind her. As a matter of fact, the pitcher only gave up one run all year.

So a four-run lead was about as safe as you could get. It was very unlikely that the other team was going to score at all, much less four runs with only a few innings to play. The game was all but won.

But the girls on the team didn’t let up. They didn’t take it easy. They didn’t celebrate until the last out.

Think of how productive our businesses would be if we set our goals and didn’t let up. If we didn’t take it easy. Think of the celebration when we get to where we want to be.

Steve DeVane

Looking ahead to reach your goals

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I have a new car. Well, it’s not a new car, but it’s nice and I like it.

It’s a 1997 Buick Park Avenue with low miles. It needs a paint job, but other than that it’s in pretty good shape.

It’s doing a whole lot better than the last car I bought.

One of the coolest features is something called “head-up display.” I had heard of the technology on Air Force jets, but didn’t know it was available on cars.

The head-up display, also known as HUD, allows me to see how fast I’m going without having to look down at the speedometer. It projects the car’s speed onto the windshield.

There’s a couple of things I like about the feature.

First, it’s cool. It makes me feel kinda like a fighter pilot or something. I can almost hear the song from “Top Gun” when I’m cruising down I-40.
Hornet Up
Creative Commons License photo credit: Rob Shenk

Second, it’s safe. I never have to take my eyes off the road to find out how fast I’m going.

This is especially nice when I see a highway patrolman coming in the other lane. Not that I’m ever going fast enough to get a ticket, of course, but I still want to know my speed immediately when I see blue lights headed in my direction.

Thinking of this reminded me of something my driver’s education teacher told me. He said to always “aim high” when looking out the windshield.

He said that when you farther up the road, you can also see things closer to you. Conversely, when you look right in front of the car, you can’t see things farther away.

This applies beautifully to life and business.

For example, if you know you’re long-term goals, it’s easier to set shorter-term markers to get there.

If you know the rank you wish to achieve in your company, then you can figure out what it will take to get there.

Aim high. You’ll always have your head up.

Steve DeVane