One difference between people who succeed in the pursuit of their dreams and the ones who fail is how well they overcome obstacles.

Everybody in life is confronted with obstacles, no one is immune to it. It may not be apparent in everyone that you come in contact with but it exists. Sometimes the obstacles are small, sometimes they’re huge but the main fact is they can all be overcome.

In this sense, business is no different than life. When we are confronted with a big wall, mountain or endless sea we must find a way around, over or even through it. There’s always a way, although it may not seem like it at the time.

Example:
James Dyson had an idea to redesign and reinvent the vacuum. His idea of a bag-less vacuum was something that had never been done before. Not only was his bag-less idea revolutionary but so was the fact that he wanted to design a vacuum that wouldn’t loose suction.

James took his idea to Hoover an American company. They laughed, scoffed and told him that vacuum bags were a 500 million dollar a year business (1980’s). Determined he took his idea over seas. The Japanese snatched up a license and started producing vacuums for $2,000 each (again 1980’s).

Only half way up his mountain he took the revenues from those overseas vacuums to start his own company in the UK. After over 5,000 prototypes and five years his start up was ready. Shortly after the start up, James was sued by nun other than Hoover. In short they had taken his ideas from their meeting and tweaked them slightly, applying for their own patent. Hoover sued James claiming that he had stole their idea!!!

In the end, the Dyson vacuum is the number one selling brand in Europe, holds 20% market share over vacuums in the U.S. and 92% of Dyson owners would recommend the Dyson vacuum to a friend.

To top it off the Dyson vacuum has won 100’s of international design awards and has been displayed in the Metropolitan and MOMA in NY among others.

How’s that for overcoming obstacles!

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ebook on monday

01.18.2008

I’m releasing a free ebook about my random thoughts on success in PDF form on Monday. It’s pretty sweet, short, simple and cuts straight to the point.

Here’s an excerpt.

Become a student of your industry

  • Study the past, the present and think about the future.
  • Learn from the successes and mistakes that have been made in the past.
  • Learn from the successes and mistakes that are currently being made.
  • Look to the future, dream, become an innovator.

Enjoy the weekend!

Update: Forgot to mention we’re going to start having guest bloggers next month. Just one guest blog post per week I’ve secured two consultants and an AD. I’m working on a few more. I think it will be a good thing and add a little variety and possibly help facilitate some discussion. Discussion breeds thoughts, thoughts breed ideas and ideas breed more ideas so it should be great!

on being proactive

01.15.2008

Be proactive. Take the initiative. Make things happen; recognize your responsibility to make them happen. Why? Because your survival depends on it. Not only that but the world can benefit from what you have to offer.

Proactive people win.

They:

  • Are respected
  • Are the solution and not the problem
  • Are successful
  • Are happy
  • Help others
  • Are rewarded

Some ways to be proactive:

  • Study your industry
  • Help solve their problems
  • Help others solve their problems
  • Push the envelope in your industry
  • Try new things
  • Always be learning

Stephen Covey in his 7 habits book says it better than I ever could:

“Many people wait for something to happen or someone to take care of them. But people who end up with the good jobs are the proactive ones who are solutions to problems, not problems themselves, who seize the initiative to do whatever is necessary, consistent with correct principles, to get the job done.”

So tell me this:
What are you going to do to be proactive today?

Can you imagine how different the world would be if everyone pursued their passion in life?

Would your experiences from day to day change?

Would the cashier at your local grocery store give you attitude? What about your auto repairman, would he be running an honest company based on integrity and morals? And what about your accountant, are they doing it for the money or because they love working with numbers?

My personal favorite, what about teachers and college professors; imagine how different our education system would be if everyone who worked in it loved it and really wanted to help others learn (there are many many who do and what a great experience it is to learn from them).

When you run across people who really love what they do it’s extremely evident. They have enthusiasm and they’re full of life, they offer valuable opinions and help steer you down the right path. There’s a whole lot to be learned from people who pursue their passion in life.

Are you pursuing yours?

These people are, you should really read their stories; there are hundreds of them-

find a mentor

01.07.2008

The quickest way to find success in your industry is to find a successful person and figure out how they did it.

Everyone needs a mentor.  Someone you can talk to who can provide not only friendship but also be a valuable source for information within your industry.  The problem is not everyone is qualified to be your mentor.  It seems that almost everyone knows almost anything so we need to be careful on whom we befriend.

The first thing I look for in a mentor is their success.  How successful are they?  I had a big problem with this in school.  My photography professors claimed to know the industry yet they were making a measly 30-50k a year.  Some of them failed in business so they fell back on teaching, some of them didn’t even try to succeed in business; they wanted to teach from the beginning of their careers.  Sure they offered valuable information here and there but in the end should I be taking stock in everything they said?  For me the answer was a big no!

Would one who was seeking financial advice go to a financial investment firm and work with a salesman making 30k a year plus commission?  It happens everyday.  A friend of mine Cameron Taylor said in his book,

“I am called on all the time by people who want to sell me insurance, investments or  help with my financial plan. In response, I simply ask to see their tax returns and the performance of their investments for the past three years, as well as a statement of their net worth.”

Seek out someone qualified who has been successful within his or her own industry.  You’ll be glad you did!

So tell me this:
Who’s your mentor?

Well two weeks ago we launched our new portfolio and site. The response to put it mildly has been phenomenal. Subsequently I haven’t had any spare time on my hands. For now this will be my last post. This blog is full of my experiences over the last 8 months. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Teamwork -I can’t emphasize how important this is- If it wasn’t for the collaboration of my team I wouldn’t be where I am today. Build your team, keep them happy, treat them fairly and they will make sure you are well taken care of.
  • Creativity – Keep things fresh. Fuel your creative mind.
  • Choose your friends wisely -You will become who you hang out with. Choose your associates with care!
  • The whole package -Start building your package. If you already have one start adding to it.
  • Fear -Get over it now. Start building your dreams today. They can be realized.
  • Goals -You can’t fully succeed without them. If you’re going to be putting in the work you may as well reap all of the benefits.
  • Balance -If you don’t have it; find it immediately.

Thanks to everyone who’s helped me out over the last year. And a very special thanks to my wife for giving me a kick in the butt when I needed it the most.

If any of you have any questions or ever need any help, please don’t hesitate to get a hold of me.

So tell me this:
Are you following your dreams and pursing your passion in life?

So it’s been a while.  The last month has been a bit crazy.  I had to make a big last month push on a ten-month project.  I don’t recommend 60 hour weeks.

I’ve had the opportunity to talk with a lot of successful professionals over the last year.  I’ve taken it upon myself to educate myself on why and how people become successful.  Here’s my take on it-

There are happy successful people and unhappy successful people.
Happy successful people do the following in no particular order.

Happy successful people:

  • Follow their passion in life
  • Become a student of their industry, always looking for better ways
  • Help people by donating their time, money and resources
  • Respect themselves
  • Respect their family
  • Live a well rounded life
  • Spend time with happy successful people

For the unhappy successful list just reverse the above.

My advice; make a decision on what type of successful person you will be before you become successful.  It’s always easier to make the proper decision when you come to a fork in the road if it has already been planned out and decided on before you get there.

So tell me this:
What type of people do associate with?

Oh yea, I’ll get to the cheer leading topic later-