If You’re Not Falling…

skiingI learned to ski late in life.

To get my girlfriend (now wife) back into normal activity after her house burned down, my friends suggested I take her skiing. Julie skied before the fire and they figured she’d enjoy getting back to it. I, however, hate the cold and the idea of purposely going out in the cold was not appealing to me at all, but I did it anyway. I loved it!

We began skiing regularly and would spend a long weekend in Vermont every year with a large group of friends at a ski-in-ski-out home in Killington. One of those friends, Dave, was an excellent skier who had grown up in Colorado and even tried out for the US Olympic team. Dave became the coach for all of us amateurs.

I was getting quite good feeling comfortable on some black diamond runs but I was still falling more often then I wanted to. When I expressed my frustration to Dave he said, “If you aren’t falling, you aren’t learning.”

I was pushing myself to get better and when you take chances like that, not all of them work out. I could have taken it easy, stayed at the level I was at and never fallen again, but that didn’t appeal to me.

Coasting, resting on my laurels, in other aspects of life also doesn’t appeal to me. Constant improvement, trying new things, living life as an adventure, those things do appeal to me but sometimes I fall.

Falling is not fun but neither is stagnating. I’ll take the occasional fall if that means I’m getting better. Are you willing to fall once in a while?

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Are you willing to take action for success?

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Patience and what next do not play well together. When I interviewed Scott Loughmiller, an entrepreneur, he said “I have a lot of hobbies that don’t seem to go anywhere.” In the book I used that statement as a sign of curiosity, as a good trait to have, but there is a dark side to that as well.

As my plans are delayed, as obstacles arise, I tend to, well, give up. If things aren’t moving at my speed then I get frustrated and move on to the next project. That is the downside to what next but it’s not as bad as it seems.

Sure, you can think negatively saying “you never finish anything you start.” That might be true in some cases but the other way of looking at it is to understand that’s how entrepreneurs, creative people, sort through the ideas and concepts that won’t work to find the ones that do.

The important distinction to note is that once I find an idea or project I believe in, even though I may have given up on many others, I am willing to continue with that one no matter what. That is the exact point I’m at with What Next, the book.

I believe in honesty, in sharing how I feel and why I feel that way. I am being completely up front and honest about the fact that I’m not happy with my progress getting the book noticed, in the sales numbers. It’s not that I’m upset that I spent X dollars but only got Y dollars back. The money isn’t the problem. 

My frustration comes from the fact that when I talk to people about the book they become excited, they share their dreams, their desire for more success, for a better future, with me personally and yet those same people won’t share those thoughts on the website or on Facebook. Lots of people tell me they want more but I don’t see that they are willing to work for it. That is the source of my frustration.

Here’s an excerpt from the book:

I felt like I was the only one talking about “what next”! My dreams, my hopes for the future were clear to me and anyone who listened to me, but I knew very little of the dreams and desires of my friends and family. Was it because they didn’t have any, that they were afraid to articulate their dreams, or that they were too busy playing catch-up that they had no time for progress? There is another option, however. They simply could have been content, happy to continue on the trail they had chosen. To one degree or another all of these answers are true. Though I may not have known their dreams, I did know that many of them were not happy about where they were and where they thought they were going.

Are you one of those people who aren’t happy with where you are and where you’re going? If so then say it, announce it to me, to your friends and family, to the world, only then can you begin to work toward your goal, only then will you have the incentive to get moving.

I have shared something others might hide, announced my frustration, told you what I want to change, and now I feel better. Now I will redouble my efforts to share concepts and ideas that I believe in with all my heart.  Are you willing to do the same? Well are you?

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