Recently, I had a conversation with a colleague of mine, Ben Stein, the founder of Purpose UP. He and I talked about an important activity for entrepreneurs: effectively shifting our mindset to propel our professional and personal lives forward.
Ben told me about a talk given by Randy Garn, a serial entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and Harvard Business alumnus. Randy spoke of his 9 Key Secrets to Life and Business.
I asked Ben to summarize his takeaways from Randy’s presentation. He said that as you plan for success for 2020 and beyond, consider these strategies:
The YouTube video, Formula 1 Pit Stops 1950 & Today, shows how pit stops have changed over 50 years. In 1950, the crew performed a tire change in about 67 seconds. In 2013, the same tire change is executed in 3.5 seconds. You need to continually innovate and optimize to be successful over time.
The Possibility Mindset is “blue sky” thinking about what’s possible, and that’s great for strategy. To spur innovation, step into this mode of thinking and don’t hold yourself back. The Probability Mindset is “black hat” thinking about what could go wrong. Exclude probability thinking during strategy sessions. Instead, use it for drafting contracts and working on accounting, areas where it can help protect you.
Flow is when your challenges are growing and scaling at the same rate as your skill set. Randy told a story of being in over his head mountain biking with a group of CEO friends in Moab, Utah. As he rode through the rocky dessert, he wondered how he was going to withstand the grueling conditions. Then, a fellow rider told Randy to follow the same line as the other bikers in the group.. That insight allowed him to make the ride a lot more fun without struggling through it.
You should set a simple strategy for your life, and it should fit on one page. If you don’t take the time to articulate what you want and how you’re going to get it, no one else will. Do you want to be used for someone else’s goals?
People want to be around others who are fun, unpredictable, and confident. Randy told us a story about a buddy who could not land a meeting with a CEO. Randy had the idea to send a baby goat to the CEO’s office to create a hilarious moment. His buddy did it, and knocked it out of the park! The baby goat made the CEO laugh, it got loose and made the office laugh, and local press even stopped by to cover it. Randy’s buddy got his meeting and the account. Be unpredictable.
If you are stuck in indecision, you are deciding to stall, and that will cost you. Choose a direction and move forward.
Always be kind, generous, and available for the people in your life. Remember birthdays, give gifts, and send “thinking about you” texts. The five people you surround yourself with most are a reflection of you. Ask yourself, is my circle making me better? Are you actively making your circle better? Write down the five most resourceful people you like and respect and get to know them. Document a plan for how you are going to meet them.
People want experiences, not just services. Think about an Uber vs. Taxi. Both get you where you want to go, but people today value the experience of a new car, a driver they can rate, and listening to their own music. Passive consumption is gone. In business today, people want to know how you are going to transform them and make them feel. For more on this, review the definitive article, “Welcome to the Experience Economy” by B. Joseph Pine II & James H. Gilmore.
Don’t let anyone tell you what’s possible for you. They have no idea.
Change in your home, relationships, or your business can lead to incredible things. Embrace your future. If you need a guide to change, Ben Stein’s masterminds or individual sessions are invaluable resources.
Here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous future!