The Biggest Lessons Learned
On June 1st I celebrated my 20th anniversary of quitting my job and starting my professional speaking business. When I took my staff to a luncheon celebration, one person asked a thought provoking question. “What are the biggest lessons you learned in your 20 years in business?”
My answer was quick, “Three Simple Things!”
1. Make it important to always pursue your dream!
2. Always be willing to take calculated risks!
3. Always work on building your network!
First let’s talk about your dreams! Dreams truly are the seed for success! Scripture says, “Without a vision the people perish!” What goes unsaid is that “With a vision a people can flourish!” You must work on your vision and pursue your dreams with passion and persistence!
If you do, you will see that dreams can and do come true. But you must be willing to find your dream, focus on your dream and then fight for your dream!
As I look back over the last 20 years, I remember writing a list of goals and dreams that I would attempt if I knew I could not fail. It is amazing that I now look at that list and see how many of those dreams have become reality. I have been able to travel around the world speaking, write books that have become best sellers and appear on television and radio. And most importantly, I’ve been able to work with my wife and family! WOW!
Next is the importance of taking calculated risks! Last weekend I was in High Point NC with my dear friend Nido Qubein (President of High Point University), who often talks about the risk taking formula. I didn’t articulate those 4 questions when I quit my job 20 years ago, yet intuitively, I lived the 4 questions!
First question is “What is the best that can happen if you take this risk?” The second is “What is the worse that can happen if you take this risk?” The third question is “What is the most likely thing to happen if you take this risk?” And the fourth question is the kicker…”Are you willing to live with the worse to get to the best?!!!”
I look back and realize that I lived the questions by saying to myself, “What is the best that can happen”?” My answer is that I can live my dreams and create a national and international presence in the speaking industry and in the process create some wealth!
The next question is “What is the worse that can happen?” The worse would be that I could go bankrupt and could lose my home! Yet, death was not on the list. If I was still alive, I could come back from bankruptcy and could buy another home!”
Third, “What is the most likely thing to happen?” And the answer there was that I figured that it would be hard and I would struggle. But I believed that somehow, someway I would be able to keep my head above water!
And finally, question number four “Are you willing to live with the worse to get to the best?” And it was a resounding YES! I was willing to struggle to live my dreams! I am grateful that in 20 years, I have not missed one mortgage payment, even when I could barely pay the phone and electricity bills! Somehow I was always able to pay my mortgage! I am truly grateful!
Finally, I learned that it is important to build your network!
Like Harvey McKay says, “its best to dig your well before you are thirsty!” In other words, do for others before you need them to do something to help you! I am inspired by all the amazing people who are my friends and in my network. lt is true: your network ultimately does determine your net-worth!
I am grateful for the wonderful experiences and the lessons I’ve learned over the last 20 years. Yet, I truly believe, the best is yet to come!
I would like to give everyone reading this article a special gift. Here is a link to my message, “The best is yet to come!” Plus a free download of my song…”Highly Motivated.” It is one of the most requested songs from my Money Making Music CD/DVD set. I give you this song with my love! It tells my story of stepping out on nothing but faith and a dream. I pray it will inspire and encourage you to keep pursuing your dreams!
Thank you for your support over the past 20 years, and keep your eyes and ears open, because the best truly is yet to come!
God Bless You! -WJ