Sunday, September 18, 2011

When Presented With a Roadmap

I was in Merrickville, Ontario a few weeks ago and was thanked by a young lady in their local museum. It occurred to me that people thank me from time to time for little things I do for them. Sometimes though, people are presented with fairly large opportunities. They will say Thanks but never pursue the opportunity to its correspondingly large and successful conclusion. That perplexes me, especially given that everyone expresses the desire to be successful.

There are lots of examples of this. People want to control their health & physical appearance so they sign up for a gym membership. I don’t know the exact statistics but I’m sure a gym owner knows it precisely… those new members don’t show up after the first surge of attendance & effort despite paying money every month. Another one is New Year’s Resolutions; they are often on the trash heap by February. The high percentage of lottery winners who are broke within five years is a classic example. Motivational speakers and self help program salespeople are ubiquitous. They provide advice, “secrets”, sure-fire methods, step-by-step guarantees on all manner of successful endeavours.

With a few exceptions for the charlatans selling snake oil, most of these are roadmaps anyone can follow and they will achieve success. The presenter is living proof of his own success and often very genuine in wanting to help you. Maybe this blog about my steps to success is in that category. There is often self-interest. I do sell some tools that would help but that isn’t a serious motivation. I can often be talked into giving away my offerings for free (to my accountant’s chagrin).

Why is it that such a small number of people follow through with these roadmaps? I don’t know what the percentage is but I am surmising it is in the single digits.

Is it fear? Is it scepticism? Is it genetic or just human nature? Maybe those are rhetorical questions. The person that comes up with the definitive answer to that will go down in the history books.

Whatever the reasoning behind it, there is still a tactical roadmap in your hands right now. Nike even trademarked the answer, “Just Do It”.

As a reader of this blog you’ll know I’m a big fan of starting a small business and growing an empire to achieve success. I believe everyone should do it! I guess that is a forlorn hope. The 80-20 rule applies and 80% of people are content to work for a modest wage and come home at the end of the day to a modest lifestyle. Maybe that is just the way it is. The world needs employees and they’re it.

My wife is always telling me I’m not normal (sometimes disparagingly) but maybe she’s right. Sometimes you just can’t help people even when you give them the roadmap. I’ll just have to live with the dismay and keep writing this blog in hopes I will help someone.