Very cool article below from Perry Marshall, that hit home for me today in a different way.
As you may know, we’ve been having some problems with our dog being more aggressive than i’d like her to be. Just this morning while walking her she did a bit of a lunge/growl at a person walking by wearing a backpack (she’s scared of backpacks and hats on people, go figure).
My first reaction was ‘why do I have to deal with this? why can’t I just have a normal friendly dog? wah wah whine whine’… you know, the whole denial thing.
Then reading this article below it hit me, that is not the REALITY of the situation. Katy is not my ideal ‘normal friendly’ dog, she has fear/possession issues that can cause her to respond negatively in certain situations… and I have to deal with the reality of that vs. wishing it wasn’t so.
Powerful stuff really… and the cool thing is that it’s not that hard to deal with her. We have been working with a dog trainer and getting the tools/practices in place to minimize her issues, and it’s been going very well. So reality ain’t so bad. 😉
I highly recommend this article, well worth the read:
Do you remember Admiral James Stockdale, the guy who was Ross Perot’s Vice Presidential candidate in ‘the ’92 election?
He didn’t fare so well as a VP candidate, but he was quite an impressive military man. He was former president of the Naval War College and was the highest ranking officer in the “Hanoi Hilton” in Viet Nam.
He spent eight years in Hanoi and was tortured numerous times by his captors.
Mr. Thomas Barnett relates:
“Stockdale tells the story of the optimists who never survived their time in Hanoi, simply because they clung far too much to their dreams of release and in doing so couldn’t handle the brutal realities of what it took to survive the day to day.
“So instead of dealing with the here and now realistically, they tended to cling to the hope that they’d be home by whatever the next holiday was, and when that day came and went, their spirit would be diminished by that measure.
“Over time, they died because their spirit was extinguished by reality.”
Stockdale’s explains his “paradox” this way:
“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in
the end (which you can never afford to lose) with the
discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your
current reality, whatever they might be.”
What Stockdale was really describing is the flagrant abuse of ‘positive thinking.’
And you know what? A lot of entrepreneurs are really just too optimistic. Worse yet, the business opportunity pitchmen exploit this and sell ridiculously unrealistic plans to starry-eyed people.
What a shame.
I seriously doubt anything you ever face in business will be as dreadful as the Hanoi Hilton. Still, nothing can be worse for you than to walk into battle with a plastic sword and helmet, and then get cut down with tanks and machine guns.
You wanna survive… then thrive?
Here are some wise precautions that will prepare you for adversity and ensure your success:
-Assume that vendors will be slower than they promise – and that you may have to stand on their heads to get things done (not that you should accept this if it’s going on though!)
-Assume click prices and advertising rates are going to go UP, not down
-Assume your best source of customers could dry up with no advance notice
-Assume the buying cycle is longer than you think it is, not shorter
-Assume it’s gonna get harder to raise capital, not easier
-Assume some unforseen problem, like a product defect, legal challenge or financial setback may pop up
-Assume your top 3 plans might not work out, so put #4 and #5 in place too
Once you’ve assumed all that – NOW you can look forward to great success, knowing that you’ve anticipated virtually every obstacle and can make it through. Because when you put those constraints on your plan, you’ll NEED to add a magic ingredient.
This will force your creativity to add one.
Not too long ago one of my Renaissance Club Roundtable Members (Roundtable is my private $10K per year mastermind group) asked me about the slippery slope of making bolder promises in his sales copy, which as they got more unrealistic, would also be more appealing and boost the response.
I said, “Well if you make unrealistic promises, you’ll just get a bunch of unrealistic customers, and that’s what you’ll be stuck with – people who dream all day and never do anything. Meanwhile the ones you really want will never believe you anyway.”
That’s always been my approach. Tell people like it is, so they understand what’s ahead of them…
then work with people who are not going to die of a broken heart with the 4th of July comes and goes and they’re not out of Hanoi just yet.
The liberating thing about this is, people who are prepared for tough sledding will make it. You will revel in their victory when it does come. With the right overall strategy, victory can be almost inevitable.
On April 7-9, my mastermind conference is going to be a room full of realistic, practical winners who are conquering marketing challenges one by one – not a room full of starry eyed dreamers who kill their own success with unrealistic expectations. And you’ll be coached by some of my finest students and innovative speakers, up close and personal.
Join us in Chicago:
Perry S. Marshall & Associates
1131 Lake St #295 | Oak Park IL 60301 USA