Achieving anything requires someone to decide how to do it. This is plain and simple but still decision-making can be made extremely complicated.
Think of meetings.
Meetings are the blood and veins of the corporate life. In a good meeting everyone gets to express their opinion and present the pros and cons of different solutions. More than often the final conclusion is that there isn’t enough information available to make the decision. Then someone tells who does what to the next meeting.
This dilemma of decision-making is well illustrated in my favorite quote from the TV series Band of Brothers:
Lieutenant Dike wasn’t a bad leader because he made bad decisions. He was a bad leader because he made no decisions.
Some decision makers live in the illusion that their role is to make people happy by only making right decisions. I will argue that instead they should be making decisions to make people relieved.
I was in a meeting today, where it seemed no conclusion was to be made. When the decision was finally made it was a huge relief for everyone. Not just because the meeting was over but because making a decision allows everyone to spend time on doing instead of further investigating.
I’ve written quite a few posts about success in life and how to achieve both success and happiness. I was recently pointed out a video that well illustrates what success is all about. (Thanks Antti for the tip).
Here’s a link to the video!
It is 14½ minutes but if you want to avoid the bullshit, you can save over 5 minutes by skipping between 02:00 and 07:40.
The result is hardly a surprise to anyone.
People are more productive when they are able to do things they are good at.
To most people this seems to be irrelevant. People are only partially interested in what their strengths actually are. If this video made you want to increase your self-awareness, I suggest you to fill in the survey I presented on Day 15 of my project.
This will be the core of my project’s success.
After starting this project I’ve tried to follow this exact advice. I’ve concentrated more on what I feel comfortable and good at and less on the things that I find frustrating. And not only that, I’ve tried to encourage everyone around me to do the same.
This is what entrepreneurship is at its best. A group of people able to do what they like.
Is your life thriving or are you just surviving?
Here is a quick test:
- Does going to work on Mondays bring about negative feelings?
- Are your thoughts already on the weekend on Fridays?
- Are your biggest expectations for the future in your next holiday?
- Do you feel you have to work just pay the rent/mortgage?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, there is a good chance you are not living your life but merely trying to survive it. And yes, most people are just trying to survive. The good thing is that if we want our life to thrive, there is an easy way out.
People that are not under stress have superior performance to the people who are. In an interview yesterday the Finnish figure skater Kiira Korpi answered a question about her poor performance in the World Championship. She had reached perfect results during the practice sessions but failed in the actual contest. Her explanation was that she was nervous.
In most sports all the athletes on the World Championship level have the technical skills to win. Everyone trains a lot so there is a limited benefit to training more than others. I will argue that the winner is determined by the athletes’ state of mind. How could you be nervous if you feel the joy in your sport and forget the competition?
Whatever you do, your state of mind is a big part of the success.
Try to feel relaxed in the things you do. If you can’t, you’re probably doing wrong things just to survive.
Speaker and author Richard St. John presented his eight secrets of success at the 2005 TED conference. This three-minute presentation is fascinating in its simplicity. I really recommend you to watch it.
Although I learned about Richard’s list only recently, these eight secrets have been the foundation of my project for the last 39 days.
- Passion. I’m thrilled about the things that we do. But what is even more important are the people who can share this passion.
- Work. Making a million in 139 days requires a great deal of work. I’m willing to push myself to the limit. But work doesn’t feel like work when you’re working with people and things that you really like.
- Good. I’m not good at everything. That is why I work with people who are good in what they do. Passionate hard work for anything makes you good at it. I going to be good at turning ideas into reality.
- Focus. The goal of this project has been clear from the start. The means to get there are a work-in-progress but we’re not far from founding a company that does one single thing, and does it well.
- Push. Working hard requires pushing yourself. Not everything is 100 % fun all the time. Writing one blog post per day needs some pushing.
- Serve. Serving other’s is the single most important factor of what I do. Firstly, I want to serve my team in giving them tasks that they love. Secondly, I want our team to be honestly willing to help others through what we’re going to accomplish.
- Ideas. I have a lot more ideas than is even required to make a million. One good idea is enough. But people keep sharing me their own ideas which is fantastic. We can change the world one good idea at a time.
- Persist. Richard put it well. Persist through CRAP. Criticism, Rejection, Assholes and Pressure. I get all of that and I’ve learned to like it.
The last thing that I would like to add to the list is Openness. Openly sharing your motives and intentions will help the team dynamics. At the point when we’re addressing our future customers, we will show how openness can be a critical success factor even in business life.
Posted in Daily entries
Tagged focus, good, ideas, openness, passion, persist, push, secret, serve, success, work
Our 20,000 € application for further Tuli funding of our project was denied today.
The funny thing is that I’m not a least bit upset about this. The pros of freedom in decision making are overwhelming compared to the cons of not getting the money.
How could you fail if you turn every negative event into a success?
Obviously you can’t. People usually just want to see the negative side of things.
Every negative event has something positive in it. You just have to look for it.
I went through my list of good ideas today. It was indeed an interesting thing to do. I noticed that I had documented a lot of ideas that had already failed or pending for failure. Here are some examples:
- I had contacted altogether seven people that weren’t interested in what I’m doing. In the meantime the people that were interested had pointed me towards 13 more people that could be potentially useful contacts.
- I had discussed a total of 11 business ideas with people. Three of these were completely ignored or heavily criticized, six have potential, one is being implemented and one is already in production.
- I had 11 ideas that didn’t make it to this blog. At the same time I had 24 ideas that did.
What if I had just stopped trying after the first few failures?
It’s good that I didn’t. Success is the inevitable consequence of failing many times enough.
Let me tell you a true story on how a person should start a business.
My youngest brother Iiro is 20 years old. He doesn’t intend to have a job for the rest of his life. He has zero respect for making money which means integrity. But his respect for other people is enormous.
His coaching has contributed to my success.
When I make my million it is much to his credit. His coaching is by far the best I’ve ever received, from anyone. I told him his service is immensely valuable so we set the price at 10,000 € + tax.
Within hours, my brother had become from an unemployed person to the highest priced life coach in the country.
That is how you start a business. Check out his advertisement (in Finnish) on his new website ihmeparantaja.com.
Yesterday, I talked with a person who professionally buys items to be sold on her shop. Much of this business is about optimization of both the collection and the volumes to maximize sales. However, she gave one advice that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
If you get the chills on any product, just buy them
I will argue that is an important lesson in whatever we do. Trust your gut. If it works for objects it sure works for services and even people. The gut feeling is so primitive that it is impossible to analytically to determine all the factors that affect it.
But does it work?
In a 1994 study about surgeon’s gut feeling before an operation it was discovered that the surgeon’s instinct was a good indicator of the patient’s future. One could argue that the gut feeling is a crucial part of the doctor’s skills. Even so, the feeling is produced in a complex social event that has more variables than can be measured.
How could it be used?
When you get an idea and your gut tells you it’s a good one, just trust your gut. Or can you remember an event in your life when your gut feeling was wrong about something?
I was rehearsing my pitch yesterday in preparation for the actual pitch I’ll be having on Wednesday. My rehearsal pitch failed miserably.
So what is it with failing that makes us so scared?
If you think of failing on the stage it is soon the only thing you’re thinking about. I will argue that you could actually benefit by trying to fail on purpose. Do something totally unexpected and you’ll be remembered for life!
Sunday was the toughest day I’ve had on this project. I failed to complete the business plan that I mentioned on my post on Day 5 and spent the most of Monday trying to recover from the failure. I even got my wife upset failing to get to bed on time. So my week started down in the dumps.
In hindsight all these failures were good and educational experiences.
But if the day started bad, it ended great! I got so much power from the unselfish acts of my readers: thank you Johanna, Juho and Hannu.
Later today I will be having the biggest and most important business meeting this year. Failing this one obviously means there’s an even bigger deal waiting just around the corner.