Thank you for taking the time out of your summer and spend a couple hours with me, Ian and Steve last night.
You and your colleagues were an amazing audience and I sincerely hope that you got a lot out of it and learned something you didn’t know previously.
If you’ve got a few minutes I’d like to tell you a quick story. This story will apply to you if you were sitting on the fence wondering what you should do when I made you an offer for one of my Marketing and Mastery courses.
I mentioned to you last night that many people wait to make decisions because, they’re waiting for conditions to be right. I also asked you when that would be exactly?
Conditions of course, will never be right to take an action. You just take it, take the risk, and because you know exactly where you’re going you’ll eventually get there but, only if you take the initial risk and do something that you’re not used to doing. Something you’re not quite sure will work, but you have enough faith in yourself to know that no matter what, you will get as much out of it as you possibly can.
This story will summarize many of the things that I have learned about taking risk, picking a specific destination, and following through with deep commitment. I hope you enjoy it…
Most mornings, I walk. I learned to love to walk on my journey across Spain. It’s a great way to get your thoughts together for the day, get some exercise, commune with nature and more.
Since I came back from Spain and that 850 km journey in the summer of 2004. I have pretty much continued to walk. Where do I find time? Yes, I’m a busy guy. In addition to my work with Training Business Pros, I also run an online sheet music and piano lesson business, perform concerts, give consultations, travel extensively and a whole bunch of other things that I really don’t need to go into right now.
So, you’re probably wondering where do I find time to walk?
That’s the great thing about business. Eventually, you get to the point where your time is spent making decisions and less time in the actual doing process.
But let’s talk about the trail. That’s what I really want to talk about, the path, the journey, the destination, the learning and the repetition. The place where I make decisions.
I use the trail near my house which runs between Sheppard Avenue and Steeles Avenue along the Don Valley River. It’s a fantastic trail. In many places, most places in fact, you are completely separated from the city. You can’t see houses you can’t see buildings, and most of the time all you see is the river and the trees that butt up against the trail and the trail itself which for the most part is pavement.
The reason why a like pavement is because in the summertime when the trail is dry you can actually rollerblade. So, I walk from my house with my rollerblades in my backpack, catch the trail and walk south to where the paved trail starts, then I swapped out my rollerblades for my shoes and head north toward Steeles Avenue.
But, when there is snow on the ground or it’s raining, you have to walk, or run. I don’t really like running as it’s almost impossible to think clearly. Whereas, walking and rollerblading allows you to glide and think.
I know every inch of that trail. Why? Because I’m on that trail and several other side trails 320 days out of 365. Sometimes I feel like I own the trail because sometimes I’m the sole person on that trail in the middle of winter when it’s minus 20 degrees. Not only that, there is often plenty of snow on the trail (as in the video above) and they do not clean it. So depending on how much snow there is on the ground depends on how far I actually walk.
But it’s summer now and so I do a combination of walking and rollerblading.
I can tell you where the smoothest parts of the trail are, I can look at any turn in the road and know exactly what’s around the corner. For example, when heading north, I know that when you reach the bridge that goes over the trail which is Finch Avenue, as soon as you reach the other side it goes downhill slightly veers to the left, and just a few hundred meters later there will be another footbridge.
I also know that when you head south from Steeles, when you round the corner that goes from East to West there is a footbridge that you must create enough speed to go over that bridge because it’s impossible to rollerblade it. The surface is just too rough so you have to pick up speed and glide up and down the bridge. If you don’t make it to the top of the bridge based on momentum, you get stuck. And because the bridge is so rough it’s impossible to rollerblade from side to side.
I also know exactly where the smoothest pavement is. It starts at a park bench down near where I swap out my rollerblades for running shoes and continues up to the tennis courts on the right-hand side. Then the trail gets rougher and more hilly. As it snakes North following the Don Valley River you go uphill for a while then when you reach the top you can literally glide about 100 m without having to exert any energy. So you expend the energy when you go uphill and breathe deeply when you go down.
What’s the point of all this? Repetition. Only experience and repetition brings knowledge. This can come in very handy when you know exactly what’s around the corner. For example if you’ve navigated a specific business situation before you know what to expect when you do it again. When you’ve marketed something using a specific formula and you get a specific result you know enough to duplicate it if it works. Duplication is the key to success. But you can’t duplicate something you’ve never done before.
There are many other things to learn along this path. For example, when I know exactly what it takes to walk and how long it takes to get there after picking a specific destination, I could potentially learn something new by finding a different means of transportation, a different mechanism.
And each time you tried that same path over and over and over again you not only learn every single corner, you also learn what’s beneath your feet and around you. This allows you to gain perspective from several different angles.
However, most people make opinions based on something they’ve heard about, read about, or talked about. Only until you’ve experienced something do you actually know it and can answer every single question based on that experience. These are how my seminars are. I only train and answer questions based on experience and experience alone.
Yes, there are people who are not coachable people. Many people just barrel their way through life and do things their way. Most people would rather be right than actually listen to somebody who actually has traveled a road that is much easier to travel than the one most people travel.
If that is you, the person who is not coachable and who always wants to be right, perhaps you could think about it this way, when was the last time you tried a new road? When was the last time you experienced that road so clearly that you could tell what was around every single corner and could make decisions based on experience.
Please allow me to illustrate this in terms of the path that I travel most mornings.
Every summer about this time a monster descends on the path. It doesn’t care about other people. It certainly has no experience with this particular path because it only comes out in summer. It is always different, and never the same monster. But it acts like the same monster. And believe me it’s one mean monster,
What am I talking about? Cyclists.
I never see them, except on Saturday mornings. They travel in packs. They don’t have bells on their bikes. They are completely decked out in spandex. And, they are on machines that move very quickly.
They don’t seem to care at all about the well-being of people who are walking the same path. They only care about how fast they get from point A to point B. And, based on every single corner of that path it is impossible to tell who and what is around the corner. People will get hurt. People have gotten hurt. I’ve seen it.
There is always the proverbial,” I’m sorry I didn’t see you.”
But my question to you is does that matter? Saying I’m sorry for something that you knew would eventually happen because you haven’t ever navigated that trail before simply doesn’t cut it, not with me anyway.
The sign at each entrance to the trail has a picture of a bicycle on it not a picture of a group of bicycles racing. That same sign also has a picture of a pedestrian. My question to you is, do cyclists own the trail? No, of course not. So then why do they act like they do.
Life is not a race, if you want to race go find somewhere that’s appropriate to race. There is an area on this trail where several women who are advanced in years do Tai Chi. Do they have less right to the trail because the cyclists seem to need the entire trail? No, of course not.
Are you the one that is racing through life, not caring about the people around the next corner. And, never looking back to see what you might’ve missed, who you might’ve helped, who you might have guided?
My courses are an opportunity to learn from me, someone who has learned to help and guide others, thousands of others. If you feel called to step into a new situation then I’d love to have you. I can guide you in many areas of marketing where it would be good to know exactly what’s around the corner, wouldn’t it?
You’re probably asking yourself if you’re ready? Do you have the technical skills to navigate the marketing world? Honestly, I’ve never had anyone in my courses who was not able to learn and walk away feeling like this was the best investment they ever made. It’s a small investment in comparison to exactly the guidance that you may need to get to the next step. Guidance that includes technical skills and personal skills.
You cannot learn about a new path until you discover it firsthand. Otherwise, you’re just like the cyclists who come out in the middle of summer and don’t take the time to learn anything because they’re not there long enough to learn anything.
Racing through life, is a bad idea.
If you want more time in your life to walk the trail, rollerblade, or you want more time to find a race track, then I would suggest you think about taking the course that was offered to you. I guarantee you 100% that it will set you on a new path directly in the destination that you want most. And if you don’t know what you want most, come to the course and we’ll figure that out together.
You can find me most mornings on the trail along the Don Valley between Sheppard and Steeles. If you want to join me I will walk you through every single corner of the trail before we get there. You can test me as much as you like. For example; just before we reach a corner and you can’t see around it and you don’t know what’s up there you can ask me what’s there and I’ll describe it in tremendous detail.
Then you’ll know what to expect, what to avoid, and what to look out for in terms of opportunity to experience something that you’ve never experienced before. Success is not a game played by people who set the bar low.
If you want to set the bar high, and you don’t know how to do that, then my suggestion is you find me, walk with me, rollerblade with me and pick the brain of someone who can not only help you pick a specific destination but I guarantee you I’ll give you the quickest way there.
But not too quick so that you can’t stop and listen and enjoy the world around you.
If this story has slanted your decision about taking the marketing and mastery course I would welcome your call at any time.