“Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans.”
– John Lennon
Believe me… moving a family home, and a business to a new state is a process that takes lots of time, planning, and patience. I could not even imagine doing it just a few short years ago. I was a control freak, and would normally work 12 to 16 hours a day, 6 to 7 days a week to do it all myself. Though I was successful at it, there was a cost. That cost was having a life. I had the mindset that if I was going to be successful, I had to take personal responsibility for every activity, decision, and process in my life. But doing everything myself was a limiting belief and limiting my success. Something had to change.
My business only really took off when my business coach finally convinced me that even if I believed that “No one could do my job as good as I can,” I still would have limited time and bandwidth to do it. By letting go of most of the things I would do, I could focus on my ‘Zone of Genius'.
Don't get me wrong. I am not saying that everything I was doing was genius. I am saying that I have learned to find people whose ‘Zone of Genius‘ enhanced (and exceeded) mine on certain tasks. The more I let go, the more I and my business grew.
As I walked Layla (my dog) and ran on the Greenway by our apartment in North Carolina, I saw this one red straw sitting on the pavement, day after day after day! I know they mow the grass once a month. Maybe that crew would pick it up. Maybe it bothered all the other people like me I met jogging and walking their dogs along the path every day. Surely it had to bother them as much as it bothered me. But alas, it just sat there for almost four weeks.
Who could have just dumped it there and not picked it up? Why did no one else take action? We will never know.
I am sure you can guess by now, that I picked it up and carried it to the trash. How could I judge others for not doing that when I wouldn't? Maybe nobody was looking down like I was. Maybe it just blew there from a storm and was crushed by a bike, sticking it to the pavement. We will never know.
The bottom line is that if you want a change, you have to take personal responsibility for the activity, decision, and process.
Sunday was a great day. I walked Layla, played golf, and walked Layla again. That evening I was feeling funky. I checked my pulse on my Apple Watch and it was all over the place (from 60 to 140, to 80 to 120, and so on). I double-checked with a pulse oximeter we bought during COVID, and it confirmed the pattern. My Apple Watch does a basic EKG, and it said I had atrial fibrillation (A-fib). I consulted Google, and learned that it can just correct itself, so rather than panic, I decided to sleep it off.
As a musician, I can tell you that nothing drives me crazier than something that can't keep a beat!
When I woke up in the morning it was still there, so having only one car, I drove myself to the hospital (only a few miles away), leaving my wife and Layla behind. They admitted me immediately and tried a drug to kick start my heart back into sync. When that did not work, they transported me to the Cardiac unit at the main campus in Raleigh and kept me overnight. They monitored me with the hope that the drugs would kick in and do their job. The next morning, the results were the same and so I was scheduled for a procedure that is basically like taking a battery and shocking my bad boy back into rhythm. It WORKED!
I felt so much better, was one happy musician, and was released. A friend came and picked me up and her husband got my car and drove it back to the apartment. I was greeted by a very happy wife and puppy, and was thankful that I was in good hands!
In each of those events, there was a reflex that kicked in to try to blame something or someone. But as I was laying in the hospital, I told myself to ask a lot of questions, and trust other people whose ‘Zone of Genius‘ was to deal with my issue. I was comforted with lots of love and support, but in the end, it was on me to take personal responsibility for every activity, decision, and process I was facing.
The straw bothered me because no one picked it up. But once I took the initiative to change it laying on the ground every time I walked by, I felt better. It really did not matter what others thought… I did it for me and it felt DAMN GOOD!
When it came to my control freak ways, I thought people would respect my work ethic and results, but in the end, It really did not matter what others thought. I was holding myself back and it took an outsider (my coach) to get my life back in sync and shock me into reality and rhythm again.
Now I can see that I had a device (like my Apple Watch) that told me I had an issue and to take personal responsibility for the activity, decision, and process. I did it for me and it felt DAMN GOOD!
Back in my ‘Control Freak' days, I took one major lesson from that period. Even if you have the support of people and organizations, you have to own the outcomes and take responsibility for your activities, decisions, and processes. You cannot blame others for failures, and even if you do, it's irrelevant. Embrace failure as a lesson and learn from it.
“We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.”
– George Bernard Shaw
Do you have a red straw in your life? Could you be blaming others for it being in your way? What is stopping you from picking it up and making yourself feel DAMN GOOD? Go ahead… pick it up and keep moving forward down your path to success!
I would love to hear about your challenges or successes in overcoming your, “No one could do my job as good as I can” attitude (if you have ever had one).
Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about changing your own results or success.
To learn more about this and other topics on B2b Sales & Marketing, visit our podcast website at The Bacon Podcast.