What were you doing twenty years ago?
Can you remember?
If you were with me twenty years ago, almost to the date, 1996, you would have found me in Hawaii.
I was attending a week-long event with people from all around the world.
But I almost pulled out at the last moment and not attend!
Back then I was a young man with lots of dreams but no confidence.
Yet there I was, about to climb a pole where the objective was to jump off at the very top!
As I started to climb the pole I could feel it swing further and further around.
The higher I got the more it swung.
My hands are trembling from fear.
Then I hear a deep rasping voice below…
“What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”
I looked down and could see the big man himself, the giant both in stature and in heart – Tony Robbins
If you don’t know about Tony, he is the world leading performance expert.
He has coached business and sports people, even leaders of countries…
And now he was at the bottom of my pole cheering me on.
“Ross McKenzie think about this as your life – this pole is your life, do you step up, or do you sit it out?”
“Only you can decide!”
“Think about what does this mean for you!”
You can imagine what that might have been like!
I felt a greater sense of purpose than I had ever felt before.
I was in a peak state to conquer my fears!
For me, this was about stepping up, to overcome my fears and my doubts.
Just thinking about that time twenty years ago, makes me emotional.
Because I know how close I was to sitting on the side lines of life all those years ago.
Are you sitting on the side-lines of your life right now?
What will your life look like in twenty years’ time?
Will it be different to what it is now?
The decisions you make can put you on a different path.
A different destiny.
I made a decision that day to step up which changed my life forever.
Now looking back, I can appreciate what Steve Jobs meant when he said…
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards”
It has not always been easy.
Road blocks have come my way.
But I also recognise that compared to most people on this planet, I have been incredibly blessed.
I also know I have not always made the most of what I have had.
But here’s what I have learned…
No matter where you are today or what resources you have or have not.
It is the decisions you make that will ultimately define who you are.
Whether that is in your personal life, professional life or businesses.
Decisions are the conduit to destiny.
How will the decisions you make today influence who you become in 2036?
noun: decision; plural noun: decisions
a conclusion or resolution reached after consideration
“I’ll make the decision on my own”
1425-75; late Middle English decisioun < Middle French < Latin dēcīsiōn- (stem of dēcīsiō) literally, a cutting off, equivalent to dēcīs
Do You Know The Big Picture – Or Are You Just Crossing The Road Texting?
OK, probably an unfair analogy, but yesterday I thought I was about to see a tragic accident.
You see, I was waiting to cross the road at a busy intersection.
While standing there, the pedestrian crossing light flashed and made the sound for the other street, signalling it was safe to cross.
However, standing next to me was a young man deeply engrossed in his smart phone.
Without looking up, he proceeded to start crossing the road – but it was actually still “don’t walk” on my side and he was about to walk in front of a bus.
Maybe that was his plan – I hope it wasn’t because I called out to him and he was able to step back in time.
Now I am not the hero, because about five other people standing with me also did the same and called out to him.
As to our new friend, he sheepishly stepped back onto the foot path and proceeded to look at his smart phone – and no, it wasn’t Angry Birds or Candy Crush!
The lesson of course is that are we so engrossed in the day to day that we miss what is happening around us… the big picture.
In this case with our friend, the big picture was the disaster about to happen.
Over the years in my time working with various businesses and startups, I have seen similar things like that happen.
A typical one is cash flow, or should I say cash drought.
In these circumstances the entrepreneur is so passionate about their idea, product or service that will disrupt or transform the market, that they forget about their finances.
The disaster waiting to happen of course is that they will run out of funds and never get to launch – potentially giving up in disappointment and becoming one of those dreaded business statistics on failure.
The other side to the big picture are the opportunities that are being missed.
All too often we do not see what is actually around us or in many cases in front of us and it is only when we stop and really open our eyes that we see.
After all, do you think it is possible for example, to make money when the share market is on a downward direction, or the property market has slumped?
Well of course it is possible, it just might not always be obvious.
So let me ask you a question…
What is the “big picture” in your life right now?
Can you “see the forest for the trees” as the saying goes, or can you only see the twigs on the ground?
Are you so caught up in the doing that you are unaware of what is happening around you – busy making a living but are forgetting to live? Or as that great line from the movie Shawshank Redemption…
Get busy living or get busy dying
Recently I had an opportunity to meet with a young couple, both entrepreneurs with some great ideas.
I suggested that they go away for a weekend together.
Because by doing this, by reflecting on where you are and then contrasting this to where you want to be starts to give you not only the clarity of what to do, but the important why you are doing it.
I will get back in touch with them shortly to see how they are doing.
But what about you?
What do you need to do today to be able to see the big picture?
(1) : a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2) : an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3) : an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure
I went for my 5:00AM walk – this time at Surfers Paradise at the Gold Coast, which is in Queensland, Australia.
It’s a great time to be out walking.
Not many people are about and I have the whole beach to myself.
Also the surf was huge because of cyclone Winston that hit Fiji (by the way, any support you can give the Fijians, please go to – http://www.redcross.org.au/cyclonewinstonappeal.aspx)
As I walked along the beach, I reflected on the last two days of an event I attended, hosted by my mentors and friends, Steven and Corrina Essa.
The focus of this event was around launching a 6 to 7 figure global online business.
Now Steven and Corrina are serious operators and they have been doing this for a long time and have established a global business as a result of their hard work, passion and focus.
Also people who work with them, come from all sorts of backgrounds – many who have overcome great struggles that life had thrown them.
Of course like any business, not everyone is successful, but as I walked along the beach this morning and reflected on what I learned over the weekend, something obvious and simple, but profound shouted at me.
Sustainable success by any definition, comes from helping others.
Another way to explain this is that if you are only being self-centred by focusing on what you want and obtain personally or selfishly, your vision is much much smaller.
As a result of this, metaphorically, you begin to live in a very small world.
However, when you realise that sustainable success is about reaching out beyond your own ego and needs, sometimes being vulnerable, by helping others, then your life expands.
You see, when I think about my entrepreneurial journey, what I thought was important in the past, no longer is and there are other things which drive me today.
This change has come about by spending time with people like Steven and Corrina and also when I made the specific decision about the three core values which guide me and my businesses and go the heart of why I do what I do, today when I am teaching my students or consulting my clients…
Learn, Lead, Legacy
What these simple words mean to me, is that life is a journey in which we must continue to learn and grow.
However, it is also about what we do, our deeds and actions.
To me this is about stepping up. About leading.
Not everyone will resonate with you or your business and what you stand for.
But the important thing is that you stand for something and if that is about helping others then you will be building a Legacy and creating sustainable success.