Personal Development and Growth

You will become what you think about most.  This is a powerful statement when it comes to your personal development and growth.  What you think about most becomes the foundation for building your confidence and self-esteem.  And, what you think about most can help to improve your self-confidence or it can diminish it.  So, what are you thinking about most?

As a business coach, who also plays the role of a personal development coach, it is not necessarily easy to answer the question, “What do you think about most?”

I find a way to get something complex and deep started is to simplify it.  It is important to break it down into manageable pieces.  Let’s take a look at what I like to call the 5 Areas of Life.

  1. Spiritual-The spiritual is about how much you are conducting your life in alignment with your gifts and talents, who you are. If you are not, don’t panic or beat up on yourself.  This doesn’t mean that you don’t have a good life.  You probably do.  What it means is, that when you are living your life using your gifts and talents that you and your life will be happier and more fulfilling.  That definitely builds your confidence and self-esteem.
  2. Family-How is your relationship with your family? This is critical. Poor relationships will drain you of energy, focus and the desire to expand yourself and your world.  It is important to get this as right as possible.  It is hard to have build confidence and self-esteem in a constant cauldron of negative relationships.
  3. Business-This is what you do to earn a living. Or, what you do to exist.  The goal here is to be doing things that not only let you survive, but thrive.  An environment where you thrive will accelerate your personal development and growth.
  4. Financial-This is pretty straight forward. Have your income exceed your expenses.  Be a good steward of your money.  And, if you aren’t earning enough money, even if you have good financial habits, you can embark on personal development and growth, which will increase your value and put the odds in your favor of finding something where you will be paid more.  Actually, in the United States, this is the easiest area to change.
  5. Personal-This has three sub areas: The Mental.  The Emotional.  The Physical.  This is the area where you recharge yourself.  When you recharge yourself by focusing your mind on good things and progress, by feeling good about yourself and what you are doing then you are much more likely to create new pathways for your successful personal development and growth and ultimately your successful performance.  The last area, the Physical, is very important to supporting the mental and emotional.  When you feel good about yourself physically it is because you are doing good things for yourself.  The physical serves as an impetus to build your confidence and self-esteem in your thoughts and emotions.  The physical acts as a reservoir that the mental and emotional can draw on.  Take care of the reservoir of the physical and you will have the energy to become all that you can be.

These are five areas that you can focus on to take your personal development and growth to the next level.  Let them guide you to what you think about most.  After all, you do become what you think about most.

Self-Improvement Tips for Success

Your personal development and growth are built directly on the foundation of your self-improvement.  The more you embrace your own self-improvement the greater the possibilities in your business and life.  As a business coach, very often my primary role with clients transitions into that of a personal development coach and personal development coaching.

Today, business owners, executives, and managers have a wealth of information available on systems, processes and what I call the “how to” of how to have a successful business.  If marketing is a challenge there are hundreds of solutions and services.  If manufacturing to higher tolerances is the challenge, there are processes to achieve them.  Regardless, almost anything you need to improve business today can be found.

Yet, there is one area where you can’t call someone in or bring a company to institute a process without your active participation.  And, that area is your self-improvement.  Much has been written on self-improvement.  Some people call self-improvement personal development.  I will use the terms interchangeably here.  Why is self-improvement or personal development critical?

Quite simply, seldom will whatever you want in life exceed your self-improvement or personal development.  The following I have found to be useful guidelines for many clients when I am in the role of personal development coach and do personal development coaching.

  1. Know your philosophy. Your philosophy is how you think.  Your world and your personal development can only become as large as your thinking.  What are the lids of your thinking?
  2. Know your attitudes. How do you feel, your attitude, about what you think?  All thoughts are things.  Every thought has an emotion attached to it.  Thoughts are things.
  3. Activity is the result of your thoughts and how you feel about your thoughts. If you wish for increased activity to accelerate your personal development than you must examine your thoughts and how you feel about them.  If your activity is not leading you to where you want to go then you must re-examine your philosophy and your attitudes.

At this point, to have the activity you want, you must be willing to amend your thinking.  When you amend your thinking and attitudes that is when you can create new habits and activity.  This is where a personal development coach and personal development coaching can be helpful.  It is important to have someone outside of yourself to support you in making the advances you want.  After all, if you are in the picture, it is hard to see yourself as you are.

  1. Results are the accumulation of your philosophy, attitude, and activity. If you wish for different results all you need to do is go back and amend your philosophy and attitude.  In turn, this will change your activity which will change your results.

To bring these four areas together, philosophy, attitude, activity, and results you must have one purpose at the forefront.  You must be willing to take action and to take it consistently and to be persistent.  Learning about your philosophy, attitude, activity, and results are good.  But, without the miracle process of applying, taking action on what you have learned, you will remain stuck.

Take action and the other self-improvement tips for success will transform you, your business and your life.

Definitions: Part 4-What a Personal Business Coach May Look at for Your Self-Improvement

In the last post we looked at the terms intuition, discern, solutions and environment and their definitions. In this post, we will look at shifts, leaps and strengths.All the terms we have addressed and defined so far are important. As a personal business coach or a personal development business coach I enjoy seeing shifts and leaps in my clients’ businesses and lives. And, for these shifts and leaps to occur, you must have strengths. So, let’s get started with the first term, shifts.

Shifts:Literally, a shift is a transfer from one place or position to another and includes a change, exchange, or substitution of something. It means to put something aside, such as a concept or understanding, and replace it with another. A shift can be systematic, following an established path of growth, or it can happen suddenly. Shifts are observable in resulting behaviors.

For example, in my personal business coach practice I had a client who was very talented, very bright and extremely impatient. You probably have already guessed that his impatience would end up sabotaging his talent and intellect. You are right. This was exactly what would happen. He would be overlooked for promotions because he was seen as reactionary with some mild displays of temper.

In his youth, he was a boxer. I asked him how he liked to box. He said he always liked to see what the other person was doing and react to it. He liked to be a counter puncher. He was very quick with great reflexes. I asked him if that was successful.

He said that in the beginning it was. Yet, as the competition improved he would lose because he would instinctively react, and everyone knew what his pattern was, so they were ready for him. Interestingly, everyone at work knew what his patterns as a manager were. They knew how he would react.

And very often, after he reacted, he would regret his behavior. We came up with a shift in thinking. Instead of reacting the next time someone says or does something, relax for a moment or a few minutes and then choose your response. Over time he changed from a react and respond leader to a relax and respond leader. This was huge shift. The benefit was that over time he became better liked and more trusted. Ultimately, he became the senior vice president of operations for the international company he was working for. To this day he is grateful for his shift from react and respond to relax and respond. Shifts will absolutely necessary to continuing self-improvement.

Leaps: To leap is to literally “spring” from one point or position to another. It involves jumping or springing over something to get to another place. In personal development business coaching, a leap is sudden and quick, not following a prescribed pattern of growth, and is usually accompanies with dramatic evidence of the leap. Leaps can be made over short or extensive distances. Leaping is the most obvious of all forms of client development that I have observed as a personal business coach. I have seen this in clients in many areas. It is a great reward as a coach to see clients make leaps in self-improvement that take their businesses and lives to a higher level.

Strengths: Literally, strength is the quality or state of being strong, an intellectual or moral force, a source of power, an attribute, or something with great value. Strengths are a collection of attributes, those things that a person excels at doing or has natural ability for. Strengths can be physical, emotional, or spiritual; they are values, skills, talents, attitudes, relationships, resources, and other sources of power, sustenance, encouragement, and satisfaction.

In self-improvement business coaching, identifying a client’s strengths is critical. Ultimately, for the client to be at his best and to give the most of himself he must be spending a large part of his time in his areas of strength.

When clients do not spend time in the areas of their strengths they will feel stuck, overwhelmed and are unlikely to improve. As a personal development business coach, I must identify a client’s strengths and guide them to developing a business and life around them. Yes, it is important to be aware of our weaknesses and to have a way to address them.

Yet, the greatest advances in self-improvement take place when we identify our strengths and design our businesses and lives to allow us to focus on them. When we do, this is a shift in and of itself. And when this shift is made, it leads to more shifts and ultimately leaps for the client to clear the way to greater self-improvement and creating the business and life he or she desires.

Definitions: Part 3-What a Personal Business Coach May Look at for Your Self-Improvement

Previously, we looked at needs, wants goals and priorities.  A personal business coach or a personal development business coach also has to bring an aptitude to help the person being coached to better understand themselves internally.  As a business coach in Houston, I believe the following are areas that most coaches, regardless of the category, life coach, self-improvement coach, business coach or some other coaching discipline, use to benefit their clients.  Interestingly, regardless of the type of coach, they are all focused in some shape or form on self-improvement tips that can accelerate the process of your successful performance. This is critical because in the self-improvement business coaching model, all progress starts from within.  The first place to better understand yourself is with intuition.

Intuition:  This is the perception of truth, facts, information, or other input not based on any reasoning process.  It is the ability to have insight into something based on our own inner knowledge and truth, and not on external stimulus.  Intuition is that “little voice from within.”  Here’s what’s interesting.  The “little voice from within” very often counsels and supports our fears.  When our fears are affirmed, rightly or wrongly, they will keep us from taking a path to self-improvement.

The key to intuition and the “little voice from within” is to understand what we are truly saying when we talk to ourselves.  With self-improvement our intuition and what “the little voice from within” is saying to us will change over time as we gain in self-confidence and are on a more certain path.

Discern:  This means to be able to perceive and distinguish between things, usually through intuition or other internal knowledge. It means to recognize contrasts such as good and bad, right and wrong, timely and untimely, truth and untruth, real and false. Discernment is your natural ability to see at times what can’t be seen as well as what you can see and to take a course of action.

To move your self-improvement to the next level be aware of your level of discernment. For example, if you feel that very often you don’t see things coming or are often surprised in ways that are not pleasant, this is a call to up your level of discernment.  After all, only you can protect yourself from you.

Solutions:  The answers and/or solutions to a particular problem, situation, challenge, or dilemma.  For example, a common solution to miscommunication is to clarify what you hear the other person saying.  “Just to make sure I understand.  You said that we are going to meet next Wednesday, not next Tuesday?”

Solutions bring clarity.  Here’s a point that as a personal business coach, personal development business coach, or as a self-improvement business coach that I must always keep in mind for myself and my clients.  An answer is not necessarily a solution.  It is just an answer.  If the answer is something that can be reasonably implemented, then it can become a solution.  Very often an answer is the premise for a solution.

For example, a company wants to reach the next level.  The answer is to increase sales.  The solution is how to go about increasing sales.  In this situation we have an answer, to increase sales.  But, until how to increase sales is defined, we do not have a solution.

Environment:  The environment we are in is critical to our well being and our ability to embrace self-improvement.  In fact, one of the great challenges of personal business coaching is to support the client in creating the environment necessary for his or her personal development and improvement.

Environment can be defined as the aggregate or combination of surrounding things, conditions, and influences, including social, cultural, relational, personal, and professional forces, that shape the life of a person.

In conclusion, when you develop your intuition, you will discern better.  When you do these two things you will come up with solutions more quickly and as you do, you will create an environment that will support your continued self-improvement.  There are many self-improvement tips and ideas and my hope is that the above gives you some insights into how a self-improvement coach in Houston or anywhere in the world can support you in creating the business and life you desire.

In the next post, we will look at shifts, leaps and strengths.  All of which are key markers on the road to your successful performance.

Definitions: Part 2-What a Personal Business Coach May Look at for Your Self-Improvement

In the previous post, I have shared some of the definitions to bring a better understanding as to what a personal business coach does, or as they are also called, personal development business coaches. Self-Improvement business coaching which is truly what a personal business coach or personal development business coach does can, like any coaching, have tangible and intangible results.  Whether I am business coaching in Houston or outside the area my goal is to collaborate with my clients to see real benefits as well as discovering others that are not so readily seen.

When you have an understanding of the terms and their definitions that coaches use, you will gain insight into how a personal development business coach or a personal business coach may benefit you.

Self-improvement does not happen in a vacuum.  The greatest strides in self-improvement are intentional.  They are intentional in that they require us to reach out and beyond ourselves to obtain the feedback and education to create our personal path to greater growth, satisfaction and happiness.  With that in mind, let’s continue our voyage of self-discovery and understanding with some more definitions.

Needs:  To me, as a personal business coach, the understanding of needs is central to connecting with a person you are coaching.  And, if you aren’t a personal development business coach, your ability to understand your needs will provide an essential key as to what drives you and what path you must take to self-improvement.

Needs are the emotional aspects that drive individuals.  The driving force behind needs is based in a human yearning for wholeness.  Often, needs direct major life decisions until they are met. Needs can also sit on top of, or get in the way of, a person’s clearly identifying their values and living life based on those values.

The kinds of needs I am discussing here go beyond the basic needs for food, air, water, and shelter to the things that person feels they must have.  Notice the word “feels.”  What you feel is emotional and defines your needs and drives you to satisfy them.  For example, one person may feel the need to be accepted.  Another has to accomplish. Needs take many forms such as acknowledgement, to be loved, to be right, or to be cared for.

People have multiple needs.  Yet, to be a successful personal development business coach you must be able to identify two or three key needs of your client.  If you create pathways to meet these needs, you have provided great value on a person’s path of self-improvement.

Wants:  All of us can get our needs confused with our wants. What’s the difference between a want and a need.  Wants, unlike needs, are flexible and/or optional; if you get it, great, if not, you are still okay.  When your needs are met, and your life is oriented to your values, your wants tend to proportionately decrease. For example, a person may want to succeed in business, have a great body, or have a big house.  Since these are flexible, they can change over time.

Goals:  A lot is written about goals and rightfully so.  Goals allow us to create a future and a pathway for our self-improvement.  With a goal, once the future is finished in your mind, then what you need to do in the present becomes absolutely clear.

A goal is the objective of a strategy.  Or, I like this definition.  A goal is a dream with a deadline.  A goal can be very simple or extremely complex. It is the result or achievement, toward which effort is directed:  the aim or end of something.  A goal implies that work (or effort) is involved to achieve it.

Priorities:  If you are to accomplish your goals, meet your needs and satisfy some of your wants, you must have priorities.  A priority is something that takes precedence over something else: something given special attention.  In general, priorities are a set of ideals (physical, spiritual, or emotional), that when grouped together compose the items most important to an individual.  They are considered to be at the top of any list of things to achieve in any area of life.  As an aside, there are many self-improvement tips, self-improvement tips and ideas or tips on self-improvement or however you wish to phrase it.  Yet, without priorities, most people will not take the first step, which is taking action, to enhance their self-improvement.

Moving forward on your path of self-improvement take a moment to write down your needs, your wants and your goals.  Then decide what your priorities are to achieve in each of these areas.  When you do, you will start creating pathways to accelerated the process of your successful performance.

Definitions: What a Personal Business Coach May Look at for Your Self-Improvement

To better understand self-improvement coaching and what a personal business coach does, or as they are also called, personal development business coaches, I find that a great deal of the mystery around coaching can be taken away when we understand some key terms and how they are defined.

Self-improvement does not happen by itself.  All of us can improve some without a focus.  We have to do that to live, let alone to survive.  Yet, to live a happier, more fulfilling and peaceful life it is important to understand the definitions of key words that are central to the overall theme of self-improvement business coaching. In a way, these words provide some key tips on self-improvement.

Personal Foundation:  This is a structural basis to support an individual in living an exceptional life. The personal foundation is comprised of three elements:  the Who, the What, and the How.  Your personal foundation will determine where and how far you can go in your self-improvement.  The good news is that your personal foundation can be made stronger.

Personal Growth/Development:  Personal growth and development is the overall process of evolving to fully express your purpose and values.

Self:  Our “self” is who we are versus the terms we use to label ourselves.  It is our distinct personality that creates our individuality.  We draw upon this self as we are called upon to respond to the world.

Integrity:  Integrity is a state of personal wholeness, well-being, and fulfillment—not something to achieve, but rather a statement of our being.  It is a reflection of who you are in any moment and is the dynamic relationship you maintain between purpose and path.  It is vigilant development, or continual adjustment, of the fit between our calling and our conduct that allows us to sustain a high level of integrity.  Integrity, in my opinion, is one the key words in guiding us to a better life.

Values:  Values are ideals that are personally important and meaningful for you and draw you forward.  Values are inherent in each person’s makeup; we all have them.  They are specific and individual, but people can share common values.  For example, people often value honesty, openness, and respect in a conversation.

It is important to know your values.  It is critical to know the values of those you associate with.  As a personal development business coach or when I am doing personal business coaching I strongly encourage my clients to know the values of those they associate with.

An example that comes to mind was a discussion I was in where the person was having a lot of relational disruption with a group of people who were, in his opinion, important to his business.  I asked him to articulate the values of the individuals in this group of people.  At first, he resisted.  He said, “They have good values.”  Yet as he explored it and spoke about the people it became obvious they all had the same values, but they were not his.  Interestingly, they were thieves of other people’s time and money.

The conclusion was that someone can tell you they have good values.  Yet, without a frame of reference we cannot know if they are good or not.  A group of thieves all have the same values.  And they think those are good values.  Always know the values of others.  What tips on self-improvement can we take away from this story?

Know your values.  Know the values of others.  When you do, you are less likely to put yourself in situations where you are compromising your values and your principles.  When you do compromise in those areas it diminishes your authenticity and your trust which leads us down a path to poorer relationships and more problems.

In self-improvement coaching, I always ask my clients to identify their values.  When you know your values, your self-improvement can rise to a higher level because you will make better decisions that will honor you and your gifts and talents.

In the next post we will continue with some more definitions to bring more clarity to your self-improvement.

What Are the Benefits of Working with a Personal Development Business Coach?

In a previous post, I talked about whether or not you are a candidate to work with a personal development business coach.  If you are ready to be held accountable, to collaborate and to co-create with another person, your personal development business coach, then you are quite possibly a good candidate for personal development, or as some call it, self-improvement coaching.

So, you are ready in all these areas.  You have started to look for a personal business coach.  How do you find a good self-improvement coaching?  Quite simply, find someone who understands that they are not the best coach for everyone.  This is critical.  Let me state that as for myself, I am definitely not the coach for everyone.  A good personal development business coach understands the value he can bring when he collaborates with others. And he is specific, not general in his approach.

For example, in my practice, I collaborate with only those people who are already successful in my facets of business and life, or who have been successful and are on their way back.  I have found that I work best with those types of clients.  I am better with those that have a sense of themselves, their strengths and their vulnerabilities. Find a coach who can specifically identify where they work best.  There is no right or wrong here.  There truly is a coach for everyone.

The challenge for you as a prospective client is to discover the best fit for you.  As your coach I should be providing you in each session tips on self-improvement.  For every ten people I interview for coaching I work with two or three.  I have a process that takes about four hours and about a week.  Both the prospective client and myself are determining together with guidelines and a process if we have the potential to be a good match.

During the qualifying process, the client or myself is free at any time to say, “I don’t think this is going to work.”  Very often, either the prospective client or myself will come to the realization that yes, coaching is needed, but that we aren’t a fit.  One way I go about doing that is offering my prospective client some tips on self-improvement.  If the prospect is excited about them and wants to take action, I know that the odds are more favorable for a good coaching relationship.

After all, when you seek self-improvement coaching, the personal relationship with your coach will determine not only determine your level of enthusiasm but what you are willing to undertake in order to accomplish your goals. If you see the benefits from the tips on self-improvement, but can’t see the relationship as a client, then it is time to step away before you get started.

Let’s say you have found your personal development business coach.  Now what?  You will start to develop a vision of the future and what you wish to accomplish.

  1.  You will determine your strengths because those are the areas where you can more quickly see personal growth and development in your business and your life.
  2.  You will discover how to strengthen your personal foundation. When you do, you can accomplish much more.
  3.  You will begin to understand the path or pathways that are most conducive to developing your personal foundation and subsequently yourself to take you on the path to accomplishing your vision.

These are three benefits you will see in self-improvement coaching and working with a personal development business coach.  There are many more.  The key is to start in these areas.  Do well in these areas.  When you do, you will increase the odds of your self-improvement taking you on a path to make your vision of the future a reality.

Are You Ready to Work with a Personal Business Coach?

Are you ready to work with a personal business coach?  Or, another way to say this is, are you going to be receptive to self-improvement business coaching?

Over many years of coaching I have observed that those who do well with my style of personal development business coaching, have a good personal foundation.  They have many things working for them.  They are now at a point where they want to take it to their business and life to the next level.

What is the next level, you ask?  It is a good question.  There are hundreds of paths to self-improvement and they all lead to the same place.  So, it really doesn’t matter which path you take.  What matters is that you take a path and commit to it.  That’s where I come in to support others in going on their chosen pathway.

I am not here to fix anyone.  I am not here to help anyone.  Yet, I am here to give others my unconditional support.  A fix it mentality in coaching or the “I am here to help” offering, for me, is starting from a negative.  The implication is that something is wrong.  The truth is there is something wrong, or that can be improved in all of us.  That includes myself.

To me, the best path for self-improvement business coaching has four key elements.

  1.  Unconditional support
  2.  Accountability for the things the client wants to be held accountable for
  3.  Collaboration:  This is not about me and you.  It is about us.
  4.  Co-creation of pathways to accelerate the process of the client’s successful

performance.

Now that I have listed the components for successful self-improvement business coaching I want to get back to the original question, “What is the next level?”

The next level for virtually everyone is greater peace of mind and happiness.  You may say, and rightly so, this doesn’t make sense.  Don’t most people want more success in their businesses and lives financially?  Yes, in a sense.  No one has ever hired me and said, “I want to earn less money and have a diminished lifestyle?  All of them would like to earn more, sometimes it is very little, sometimes it is a great deal more.  Yet, the one thing they almost always agree on is that they want a better lifestyle.

And a better lifestyle, which comprises your business and personal life comes from understanding who you are and what can bring you greater peace and happiness.  Very often, when we focus on what the ultimate goal is, greater peace and happiness, we end up doing things that improve our lives and lifestyle significantly in other areas.

Ultimately, if you are looking for a better lifestyle and identifying steps to accelerate the process of your successful performance, you are a good candidate for collaborating with a personal business coach.

Self-Improvement: It Is All About Your Personal Foundation

As a personal business coach, I have observed that your level of self-improvement will not exceed the strength of your personal foundation. What is your personal foundation?

An individual’s personal foundation is his or her structural basis that supports him or her in living an exceptional life. Just as a house must be built on a strong personal foundation to avoid collapsing under stress, so must your life. A house’s foundation is made up of earth, cement, and steel. Your personal foundation is also made up of three major elements. The are the What, the Who and the How.

Let’s look at the “What.” The “What” is self-improvement business coaching is the package that person presents to the world. It is “What” the world sees when it looks at us. This element is also composed of several sub parts as well. We can include such things as behavior, the public self, what we show others. The “What” can be related to the “body” part of the body, mind and spirit.

The ”Who” part of you is easily understood as the real you, the core of who you are in reality, not in presentation of the “What.” As a personal development business coach, I find that discovering the “Who” is the key to unlocking an individual’s self-improvement. The “Who” often drives the “What,” but it is not always consistent with it. The “Who” can also be identified with the “spirit” part of the body, mind and spirit analogy in the previous paragraph.

The “How,” the third component of personal foundation is the set of processes, methods, and values that drive our behavior–“How” we do the things we do, and “How” we are “Who” we are. The fuel for the “How” of us is the “Who,” which essentially yields -the “What.” If you put his into an equation it would look like this: “Who” + “How” = “What.” The “What” equates to the “mind” part of body, mind, and spirit.

The “What,” the “Who,” and the “How” are the components of personal foundation that I start with as a personal development business coach. When looking at your own self-improvement start with these three areas. Know your “What,” “Who,” and “How.” They are the keys to unlocking your future growth and personal development.

What Is Your Lid?

John Maxwell, in his book, “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”, talks about the Law of the Lid. In short, the ceiling for your leadership ability will depend on the level of your personal development. All of the 21 Laws are interrelated. So a leadership experience may seem to lean more on one law than another but in truth, there are several laws at work at any one time.

In reflecting of the Law of the Lid and its relevance in my life I found my thoughts going back to when I was in Cub Scouts. I was eight or nine years old at the time. In my small town, we did not have a movie theater. The fund raiser for our Cub Scout pack was to sponsor a movie show in the high school gym. My hometown of Chappaqua, New York, which at the time had about 2,000 residents is quite hilly and the school district encompassed approximately nine square miles.

To sell tickets to the show, you had to go door to door between houses that could be up to a tenth of a mile or more apart from each other. Also, there were some elevation changes of up to 150 feet making the process of going door to door, even for a young boy, a rigorous physical challenge.

My mother and father were very supportive. That was good! I was excited about selling tickets but I had one problem. All my competition had bicycles. That was something that we could not afford. The good news was that if you sold the most tickets you won a brand new Schwinn 3 speed bike which at the time was the bike to have. Also, just for a historical context, this was not an era where parents drove their little Cub Scouts around to homes. As a kid you either walked or rode a bicycle.

Since I did not have a bike, I would have to walk door to door and it would take me much longer to reach people who, hopefully, had not already purchased tickets to the movie show. Also, my motivation to have a bike, and the Schwinn in particular, drove me to walk and walk and walk some more. On the weekends, I would start in the morning with a peanut butter sandwich my mother had packed and set off to see who I could sell tickets to.

This went on for several weekends. I walked as much as I could. I met many very nice people and in the process I got to know my hometown.

Then the big moment arrived. The movie was going to be shown at the high school gym and they would announce the top three finishers in ticket sales. When they called my name as the top ticket seller and the winner of the Schwinn bicycle I was stunned and elated. Also, I had doubled the ticket sales of the second and third place finishers, both of whom had bikes.

If I had put a lid on what I could accomplish because I did not have a bicycle, or thought that it wasn’t worth trying because it wasn’t fair that I had to walk, I never would have won the contest. Fortunately, at nine years old, I did not have the context to see that there could be a very real lid, no bicycle, on what I could accomplish. At nine, I did not understand the Law of the Lid. Yet, as I have gone through business and life, I am reminded that when I raise my lid more opportunity flows into my business and life. For greater success, raise your lid.