Lifestyle 01 January 2018
What would it feel like if at this time next year you looked back at how you lived your 2018 and said, “That was a wild awesome ride, let’s do it again!”?
I invite you to put away the resolutions for a minute and stop listening to the troll on your shoulder dancing around mocking all your bad habits, failures and what needs to be changed. Instead think about one dream that you’ve always said ‘someday you’re going to do’ and imagine accomplishing it in 2018.
You see your dreams are like the pea in the Princess and the Pea fairytale. There’s a mile-high stack of old mattresses on top of that pea. You shouldn’t be able to feel it anymore, but yet it’s still there.
I call this whisper of dreams the Desire Effect™ and it’s the marriage between yourself and life. Even if you hid your deepest desires away they’re still there in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, and for better or worse. They never leave because they’re the key to your true happiness, self-esteem, and a life lived without regret, yet they are covered everyday with another mattress. This marriage with your desires may be the least nurtured relationship in your life.
Your desires are the most powerful allies in being able to live the life you’re meant to live and to break the desire/regret cycle, yet most people will die never having let the desires come to full effect.
Most of this has happened subconsciously. Once you understand it, well then it does become your responsibility to change it. So decide if you’d like to take control of your life and throw off all those mattresses before you read on, because what I’m about to tell you will leave you in control and some people would prefer the excuses. They’d rather leave their lives in the hands of programs and gurus, doctors, and bosses, bad relationships, and blame, because there’s a part of their brain that says, “We’re safe. We don’t like discomfort.” Seventy-five percent of the population is motivated by external forces: praise from others; fear of pain; fear of being reprimanded; love from others, etc. So oftentimes you make decisions based on what society will deem success and right.
So are you ready to see what those external forces have done to you?
Let’s take a little journey together.
Everyone starts with dreams and desires. Little kids imagine what their lives will look like. They dream big. Every adult has a list of, “Some day I’m going to_____.” So imagine you’re standing at a split in a road with a huge mountain in front of you.
That mountain looks steep and rocky. You’re holding a treasure chest of all your dreams.
When you look to the right you see the people in your life. They’re urging you to follow the path they’ve taken or want you to take. “You want to be a dancer? That’s silly. Barely anyone makes it and you don’t have the body. You want to be a writer? I wanted to be a writer but it’s not practical. An artist? Well maybe if you go into graphic arts. Sail the world? Everyone wants to travel, but then it’s time to realize that life doesn’t turn out the way you want and it’s what happens when you’re making other plans.”
All these external voices are coming at you telling you what you should be. Many of these voices are well intentioned. These people love you and they don’t want to see you fail. Their personal fears and experiences are placed upon you. Add in the media and all the propaganda you’re fed about what makes a successful life and there’s a constant bombardment battling with your dreams aka the mattresses on top of the pea.
Let’s turn away for a moment and look at the left split in the road—the chance to follow your desires. This path is terrifying. There’s very little data on how it will work out, because it’s a unique path, one that only you can take and no one else has ever done. There’s no map, no one to take your hand and say, “See this is how it will end up.”
So you take the path on the right. At first it works out well. You see the design in front of you, and you know the goals. You work hard to get there. Yet underneath, The Desire Effect™, keeps haunting you like that little pea that won’t allow you to sleep comfortably. Suddenly life, even if it looks perfect on the outside, starts feeling like a chore and resentment builds along with unhappiness. The stress compounds and the psyche yearns for release. Food, alcohol, social media attention, fighting with loved ones, creating drama that gives you a boost of brain chemicals, all create bad patterns that are hard to break. You begin to zone out; to get away for one minute from the life you’ve built by binge watching television or just shutting down.
Ultimately you need an outside force to break you from this pattern and you see commercials for workout systems, diets, financial programs, counseling, coaching, etc. They give you a new vision of what will make you happy, and forward momentum happens as you get an endorphin rush based on a future results. The feeling is fleeting, failure starts to be debilitating and once again you start to simply make it through the day.
By the end of most people’s lives they look back and wonder, where did all my dreams go? Where is my health? My life? Oh well this is just the truth of living.
But it’s the biggest lie ever told.
What if instead, you got off of the right path and stepped into the unknown. It’s scary, your brain and that troll are going to tell you it’s impossible. You can’t remember your dreams anymore, or you can, but they aren’t practical. You have responsibilities. You like your life. There’s no real reason to complain. There isn’t enough money.
But what if you could climb the Appalachian Trail? Or take a month off and live in Italy? Or write that novel? Or learn to dance? Or whatever your pea has been whispering for so long.
Let’s take an imaginary stroll down the left path. There’s excitement and fear wrapped together because it means so much to go after your dreams and you don’t know if you have what it takes to do it. You take the first small steps and think, “Well at least if I fail I’ll know I tried, but to fail would hurt so much because I want this badly.”
And then you do fail. It’s inevitable. It happens, yet instead of running back to the right path you realize you’ve started to climb the steep mountain and didn’t even notice. You learn from the failure and decide, “Hey it hurt, I fell, but I’m still okay.” Your confidence goes up.
Suddenly there’s a desire to be healthier because you want to climb this mountain faster and your diet and workouts are chosen to enhance what you’re doing. You begin to make financial decisions not based on stuff, but on a life well–lived with meaning and experiences. You realize if you’re out of debt or make more money you’ll have freedom to have more dreams, more fun, and you start making better decisions. Suddenly the view of the top of the mountain comes into sight and you’re not even breathing hard. You notice that you’ve been meeting like-minded people who also chose the unknown path and you’re happier in your relationships. The regret is gone.
You reach the top of the mountain, with a few bruises, a few healed injuries, but as you summit you see a whole world before you that wasn’t visible at the original crossroads and you realize that this one dream that you took a chance on has led you to a huge life. There’s no longer time for zoning out, or binge watching television or all those things that allowed you to escape. You need at least five lifetimes because there’s so much to explore.
Do you still want to make that resolution based on changing what you dislike about yourself?
Want to step onto the unknown path? Don’t know where to start? Take the Dream Survey to see where you stand with your Desire Effect™. Join our Facebook group A Year of Dreams and like our Page Dare to Dream/ Marci Nault for a year of inspiration and support. Only in dreaming can you see how magnificent your life is meant to be. Make 2018 the year you settle for nothing less than magnificence.
3 Min Read
"How did you ever get into a business like that?" people ask me. They're confounded to hear that my product is industrial baler wire—a very unfeminine pursuit, especially in 1975 when I founded my company in the midst of a machismo man's world. It's a long story, but I'll try to shorten it.
I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up—even if it involved a non-glamorous product. I'd been fired from my previous job working to become a ladies' clothing buyer and was told at my dismissal, "You just aren't management or corporate material." My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.
Over the years, I've learned quite a few tough lessons about how to successfully run a business. Below are five essential elements to keep in mind, as well as my story on how I learned them.
Find A Need And Fill It
I gradually became successful at selling various products, which unfortunately weren't profitable enough to get me off the ground, so I asked people what they needed that they couldn't seem to get. One man said, "Honey, I need baler wire. Even the farmers can't get it." I saw happy dollar signs as he talked on and dedicated myself to figuring out the baler wire industry.
I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up.
Now forty-five years later, I'm proud to be the founder of Vulcan Wire, Inc., an industrial baler wire company with $10 million of annual sales.
Have Working Capital And Credit
There were many pitfalls along the way to my eventual success. My daughters and I were subsisting from my unemployment checks, erratic alimony and child-support payments, and food stamps. I had no money stashed up to start up a business.
I paid for the first wire with a check for which I had no funds, an illegal act, but I thought it wouldn't matter as long as I made a deposit to cover the deficit before the bank received the check. My expectation was that I'd receive payment immediately upon delivery, for which I used a rented truck.
Little did I know that this Fortune 500 company's modus operandi was to pay all bills thirty or more days after receipts. My customer initially refused to pay on the spot. I told him I would consequently have to return the wire, so he reluctantly decided to call corporate headquarters for this unusual request.
My stomach was in knots the whole time he was gone, because he said it was iffy that corporate would come through. Fifty minutes later, however, he emerged with a check in hand, resentful of the time away from his busy schedule. Stressed, he told me to never again expect another C.O.D. and that any future sale must be on credit. Luckily, I made it to the bank with a few minutes to spare.
Know Your Product Thoroughly
I received a disheartening phone call shortly thereafter: my wire was breaking. This horrible news fueled the fire of my fears. Would I have to reimburse my customer? Would my vendor refuse to reimburse me?
My customer told me to come over and take samples of his good wire to see if I might duplicate it. I did that and educated myself on the necessary qualities.
My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.
Voila! I found another wire supplier that had the right specifications. By then, I was savvy enough to act as though they would naturally give me thirty-day terms. They did!
More good news: My customer merely threw away all the bad wire I'd sold him, and the new wire worked perfectly; he then gave me leads and a good endorsement. I rapidly gained more wire customers.
Anticipate The Dangers Of Exponential Growth
I had made a depressing discovery. My working capital was inadequate. After I purchased the wire, I had to wait ten to thirty days for a fabricator to get it reconfigured, which became a looming problem. It meant that to maintain a good credit standing, I had to pay for the wire ten to thirty days before my customers paid me.
I was successful on paper but was incredibly cash deprived. In other words, my exponentially growing business was about to implode due to too many sales. Eventually, my increasing sales grew at a slower rate, solving my cash flow problem.
Delegate From The Bottom Up
I learned how to delegate and eventually delegated myself out of the top jobs of CEO, President, CFO, and Vice President of Finance. Now, at seventy-eight years old, I've sold all but a third of Vulcan's stock and am semi-retired with my only job currently serving as Vice President of Stock and Consultant.
In the interim, I survived many obstacles and learned many other lessons, but hopefully these five will get you started and help prevent some of you from having the same struggles that I did. And in the end, I figured it all out, just like you will.