Bring the Energy (The Law of Attraction)

Good Friday Morning!

It’s on us to BRING THE ENERGY. The customers feed off it. The employees feed off it. The winning feeds off it.

I used to hear this when I worked own retail…”Nick, it’s so much busier when you’re here!”

You’re right! The store attracts more customers because the ENERGY is up.

Its the LAW OF ATTRACTION at work.

I’m not special. I PROMISE YOU I’M NOT. I was only selling from 10am to 12pm. The girls did all the rest of the winning. I just brought the energy, and it changed how “work” felt for everyone. It changed how the store felt to the customers.

That energy that YOU bring creates an atmosphere that makes customers want to talk to us. Makes employees want to win more. Makes the assistant want to stay late to hit their goal, and makes associates want to check their stats 5 times a shift.

Don’t over complicate it.

So how do you bring the energy???? It’s actually my new email signature…

HAVE FUN. BE YOURSELF. HUSTLE.

Bring it this weekend!

The Place You Belong

Good Tuesday Morning!
Finding the place you belong is a powerful thing. As we go though adolescence there are countless times when we feel lost or out of place. Like no one understands us.
Some people find the place they belong with education…college.
Most do not.
A majority of people find a place that they can JUST BE.
Few refuse to accept that fate
A small amount of lucky people actually find the place that means more to them than anywhere else they have ever spent time.
A group of individuals that “get them” and “speak the same language”
Where a person’s core values match that of the group.
I am categorized as one of the lucky ones…
But what I invite you to consider is that it was not WHERE I ended up that I “belong to”, it’s actually the WHO I ended up WITH that gives me a sense of connection and belonging.
The countless hours spent talking to bosses, leaders, mentors and peers that added perspective.
The numerous lessons that have been taught to me, from how to ring up a customer to how to touch another person’s life.
The amount of stubbornness that my supervisors were patient with me on.
All those people, they changed the world. MY world.
Yes, you are a part of this same group. Yes we love you for who you are. Yes you add to MY world…
But realize that you have the opportunity to change the world for every single person you interact with today.
You have the opportunity to show them the place that they belong!
Enjoy making that impact 🙂
-NG13

 

Inspired by…
Echoes by August Burns Red
The pressure is endless
The tension is pounding
Life change after life change
It’s too much for me to take
While mourning the loss I am forced to celebrate
Celebrate new life, celebrate new life
When is it too much?
When is it enough?
Burrow deep down inside
Somewhere, anywhere, a place to hide
I’m collapsed, about to burn
This will end me, set me ablaze
I’m collapsed, about to burn
I am about to explode
I can’t take much more of this
Where is my way out?
Waiting for this page to turn
I can’t even bear the silence
Where is the ringing in my ears to sing me to sleep?
Where are those who feel what I feel?
Why can’t I see the lights shining down on me?
Home will always be where my heart lives
But this is, this is my way out
This is our home away from home
Pouring our hearts across the stage
With every word, we sing together
Screaming our anthem with one another
The open road is what I need to breathe freely
Free me
The open road is what I need to breathe freely
Free me

Two Things That Got Me Here (The Lesson)

Good Tuesday Morning!!

So, at the end of every interview I ask, “What questions do you have for us?”

Last week, a gentleman named Devin asked me…

“What was the thing you focused on that helped you be successful?”

Good question, right? So what was my answer?

I said…

“100 things had to happen, including hard work, dedication, LUCK, timing etc. However, I’ll break it down into the TWO things that got me here…”

“First, sales. I figured out pretty quick that better sales mean more hours, and more hours mean more opportunity. I make goals by more, I get more responsibility. So I honed my selling skills by asking for help! As I got better and better, I got promoted again and again.”

“Second was people. I focused on sales for close to three years and it got me to a certain point. But I actually remember where I was when it hit me that sales can’t get me any further, and developing people was the next piece of the puzzle that I had to get, and accomplish.”

“I put a major focus on those two things, I got A TON of help from my bosses and mentors, and with a ton of hard work and luck, here I am!”

So as you get your day started today, I invite you to learn a valuable lesson that took me three years to “get”, so you too can have the opportunity to answer that great question that Devin asked me last Friday.

The lesson: Crush all goals and develop others.

Start the lesson TODAY with the first customer you help, and the first teammate you work with.

-NG

Brass Knuckles

There’s many times that we need to be patient

Then there is crucial times that we need to be AGGRESSIVE

Said differently…

“…that’s not to say there isn’t times that you just put on brass knuckles and deck life in the face.” -Tim Ferriss

My opinion has shifted on this subject recently…I used to be more the patient type to wait for people to grow, or to get the full picture, or to collec more data…

To hell with that!

Life is better when you keep those figurative brass knuckles in your pocket and you’re not afraid to use them.

And when you’re quick to use them!

-NG

 

The Impact of Your Words

Good morning D13!

We have come A LONG WAY this year. I’m proud of all the growth that we have had in one short quarter! We’re a whole new team from January to now, with more focus, higher performance, and MOMENTUM.

That being said, of course there is still more growth to be had. At the rate we’re going, we will be on top of the results in all categories by years end! But it’s only going to happen WHEN we have the conversations that we need to have with our teams…

Impact.

It’s really the largest part of our jobs.

When you took over your store, you had an immediate IMPACT on the numbers

It was from getting YOU on that sales floor for the first time

It was from the conversations that you had with the employees

Teaching. Coaching. Pushing.

Don’t underestimate the IMPACT that those words of yours have. You can make or break a teammates day. You can change the course of their entire life with just your words.

They look up to you, and they look to you for guidance.

Today, show the impact that you can have by getting the team fired up, and out on the sales floor doing the things they need to do!

Keep it simple, make it fun, help them be themselves 🙂

Thanks!

NG13

5 Memorable Jocko Willink Quotes from Discipline Equals Freedom

31 Phenomenal Jocko Willink Quotes from Discipline Equals Freedom. Get [Infographic] #infographic

Here is an infographic featuring 5 Memorable Jocko Willink Quotes from Discipline Equals Freedom.

 

Jocko Willink is a former United States Navy SEAL commander, and author of six books:

  1. Discipline Equals Freedom – Field Manual
  2. Extreme Ownership – How Navy SEALS Lead and Win
  3. Way of the Warrior Kid
  4. Way of the Warrior Kid – Marc’s Mission
  5. The Dichotomy of Leadership
  6. Mikey and the Dragons

He focuses on teaching the leadership principles that he learned as the Commander of the SEAL Task Unit Bruiser, where he was stationed in Iraq fighting in the Battle of Ramadi. He is the co-owner of the leadership consulting company, Echelon Front where he, along with Extreme Ownership and The Dichotomy of Leadership Co-Author Leif Babin, provide practical solutions to create high performance success in professional teams.

Jocko’s Incredible book, Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual

In Discipline Equals Freedom, Jocko hones in more on his personal methods for life, and leadership.

The book is separated into 4 parts:

  • Thoughts – This is where Jocko covers his personal views on many things
  • Actions – This is where Jocko goes more pragmatic in how he attacks life
  • Fuel – Feeding the Machine – Jocko’s take on food
  • The Workouts – Here Jocko outlines his personal workouts, and breaks them into Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced with 4 tiers of difficulty in each

Discipline Equals Freedom is a phenomenal read, and it’s also a bad ass design.

The book is all black, with no dust cover. The pages are all black with white type, and each page has a black and white backdrop behind it.

The writing style of Discipline Equals Freedom is like no book I’ve ever read…It’s almost written in poems.

The writing style is incredible, and as you read each passage, the whole book is practically narrated in Jocko’s distinct surly voice.

While Jocko is very well known for his aggressive style, rough exterior, and assertive attitude, he actually has a bachelors degree in English. This, combined with his extensive leadership experience, and take-action attitude, make him a phenomenal motivator and a role model for many.

Enjoy the Quotes. Enjoy the Book!

-NG

 

Who's Your Data? (How to Properly Use Business Metrics. With analytics growing, it's so easy to let the numbers get you thrown off of working on what counts...but what is it again that counts? OH YEAH...Investing in your people!

Who’s Your Data? (How to Properly Use Business Metrics)

So a few weekends ago I was hanging out with my dad, and he said to me…

“I have so much to do today, I don’t even know where to start.”

So you know what he did? He ignored it all and went to a garden show with my son and I instead!

So did he finish his to-do list that day?

Probably not. But you know what he DID do? Spent time with his son and grandson. That’s way more valuable and important than cutting the grass! PLUS we both bought some SWEET plants too 🙂

Now how does this apply to business?

Stick with me here…running a business involves a lot of NUMBERS; metrics, KPIs, and the like…and man can it be overwhelming.

You can get paralysis by analysis and start to feel like my dad on that Saturday when we ended up at the Garden Show.

Data EVERYWHERE…

Now the question you have to ask is this; with all that data at your fingertips, do you USE it to accomplish something REAL and VALUABLE, or do you get distracted by it, wasting time dwelling on a stupid number?

Or worse yet, do you find empty distractions to avoid the flood of metrics? (Enter Snapchat and Facebook)

In this post I’m going to clarify just WHAT to do with all these numbers, why they exist, and just exactly how you can use them to WIN. And it doesn’t matter what numbers your business keeps track of and holds you accountable for. It all applies here!

So the logical place to start then would be…

So What’s with all the Numbers Anyway?

We all WANT to win. We mean the best with the actions that we take, but so many of those actions actually lack serious focus because they are about a damn number, and not about WHAT IS REAL.

The overall POINT to business is to win. No one goes into business to break even, and certainly no one goes in to lose (money).

Save your money laundering comments plz!

So with making money as the goal, things quickly move to tracking numbers to measure success. Metrics. Stats.

These numbers mean a lot because they can show you of an area of weakness, or strength, or opportunity. Analytics are important because they tell you the story that your eyes can’t see.

BUT…Data, organized into what generally becomes a spreadsheet or PowerPoint, really only does one thing…

What Exactly is Your Job Anyway, Data?

To INFORM. That’s it.

Analytics tell the story that your eyes can’t see.

Data will tell you more of the story, and shed light in areas that you previously didn’t know existed, but the impact stops there. Numbers don’t do anything…

As in: Don’t DO anything.

They are merely the results.

Measure any number you want.
Make beautifully designed spreadsheets.
Use some new system or app.
Compose yet another PowerPoint…

And nothing happens except people know more numbers. And you can probably vouch for us all in saying that the last thing we need to do is memorize more numbers!

Besides…

There’s REALLY Only 2 Goals in Business Anyway (read more about that HERE)

Goal #1 Sell to more customers (Conversion)
Goal #2 Sell more product to the existing customers (Dollars per Transaction)

Those two things can be said many different ways, but the principles stay the same: Increase number of customers that make a purchase, and/or increase the amount of items/money that the customer purchases/spends.

OK, so what can you ACTUALLY do to cause more of each of these two things?

Hint: Numbers ain’t it.

The True Secret to Winning

So there is ONE thing, that if you get more in tune with, will cause winning. Lots of winning. That is, if you really devote attention to it.

This thing isn’t actually a thing.

It can’t be looked up, can’t be researched, and it’s NOT any sort of data. And, its different with YOU than it is with me….

What is it??? What’s the thing that transcends all the supposed precious data?

It’s easy…THEM.

YOUR TEAM.

This group is far more powerful than you’ll ever know, and the impact that your words has on others cannot be understated.

And the words that you choose with your team will be different than the words I choose with my team.

But…

When those words are YOURS, and you are having fun, and loving the things that you do, WATCH what happens! Oooo it’s like magic. All these numbers…all this “DATA”… it starts to turn THE COLOR OF MONEY 🙂

Ok so let’s get to it…

So how do you tap into this TRUE secret to winning? For starters…

Data should RARELY be the topic of conversation.

Any kind of data. Leave it out of the next conversation that you have with a teammate and instead talk about the things that matter (we’ll get to the specifics of that in a sec).

What to do with the Mountain of Data

The numbers, metrics and stats truly are EXTREMELY important…

I know, I know… I have been bashing them this whole time right? But it’s only so I can make THIS POINT:

We just use numbers as a tool that they weren’t intended to be.

Numbers don’t lead people.
Numbers don’t inspire people.
Numbers don’t motivate people.

Leaders do all those things…Its the Leader’s job to find self-motivated people.

“If you want motivated people, you have to find them, not motivate them.”

Leadership is sparking change in results by changing attitude, adding inspiration, holding accountable…in short, it’s changing how a situation occurs to them.

You can’t do that by “reporting the news” and just telling them numbers. The more numbers you report, the more they will; fall asleep…roll their eyes…nod their head to get you to stop talking.

In short…

The more numbers you report, the more they stop following you.

Ok so leave the metrics and KPIs out of the conversation, got that…so what should I do with them all then?

Simple. Use data for what it was intended to do in the first place, to inform you.

Study the data to the point where you know the key metrics off the top of your head. Again, these numbers ARE very important!

You need to know them because they tell you the things that you can’t see. The things that go on in your absence. The things that you do but don’t realize that you do. The things that you need to start doing, or the actions that you need to adjust.

They matter because they measure the things that you do. But that’s just the thing, they MEASURE. They don’t DO. They don’t inspire. They don’t lead.

So Let’s Get to What it is That You Actually Do

RECAP: So the true secret to wining is your team, and the numbers ARE actually important, but you shouldn’t talk about them because they are designed inform.

Got it.

OK so what do you talk about?

Can’t talk about numbers, so instead, talk about what YOU want to talk about?

OH WAIT! NO…

Maybe you should talk about what THEY want to talk about.

Yep…

In order for you to improve their performance, you first need to know how they perceive their performance.

This is going to sound CRAZY, but it’s true…

The more you listen to your team, the more they tell you.

So, as you allow them to talk, they will TELL you the area that they need your guidance in. The area that your expertise is needed, the thing that they got lazy with, or the behavior that they weren’t taught.

They don’t come straight out and TELL YOU, but they tell you clear enough to catch every time, as long as you allow them to.

Story Time

So let me tell you a story to illustrate this point.

I was in a phone conversation with a member of my team, and he had just talked for about 2 minutes straight. Drawing off the things that he had said, I had five or six areas that I could use to teach.

I actually started my side of the conversation with a long pause, and something to the tune of, “Ok dude, hang on here, I’ve got a ton of things I can teach you, but I need to find my place to play…”

Then another long pause while I thought.  He started talking to fill up the silence, and about five seconds into that, it hit me like a ton of bricks!

I interrupted him and I said…

“Hang on, man. Hang on…I actually have a question for you. I have a question that I actually have never asked you for as long as you’ve worked for me. And it’s a question that actually starts with an apology…”

He says, “Apology? For what?”

I replied, “An apology because it was probably the first question that I should’ve asked you when I shook your hand after you got realigned to work on our team. But I never asked it.”

Confused, he just says, “…OK?”

Then I asked the question, and it may come as a shock to you…

I asked, “Did anyone ever train you for the job that you have?”

Mind you, I had just FINALLY figured out that he hadn’t been trained properly after about 2.5 months of working together. But I wasn’t exactly sure the full extent.

He was hesitant to answer the question. Naturally.

So what did I do? Tell him that he can trust me? Or worse, rattle off a ton of numbers that “prove” why I asked the question?

NO!

I apologized.

I apologized for the fact that it took nearly three months for me to ASK him, and for me to REALIZE it. I owned the fact that he was untrained and thrown to the wolves over a year before he started to even report to me!

Was it ALL my fault? WHO CARES! He’s a member of my team and he was NOT TRAINED.

Then what happens next is where the magic is. This is what it’s all about!

He paused, and then he did the most important thing that a person in a business relationship can do. He opened up to me.

He said simply, “No.”

From there you know what happened? We began to build a connection. We had a REAL conversation as business partners that started like this…

Alright, I’m Going In!

Real quick, we traced back his lineage in the company, and I found the area that I had gotten confused about with his training (or lack-there-of), and I apologized again.

I had some things on my mind from his rant earlier (the one where there was 5-6 things I wanted to teach him), but first I asked him if he had anything left on his mind.

He said “No not really…” in a way that was vulnerable, and unsure of where this was going.

I replied, standing up from my office chair, “Alright dude, then I’m going in!”

From that point I did the talking, and I was passionate. Heated. Not AT him, but in general. I was fucking pissed!

At what we’d done to him.
At the fact that I missed it for almost 3 months.
For not having asked him about his training on day onw.
And…at some of the things that he had said earlier (his excuses).

When I say I went in, I mean I WENT IN.

It was amazing. It was inspiring. It was LEADERSHIP.

The reason I describe my side of the conversation like that is not because of ego. I don’t think I’m great, trust me. I say that because of the result of the conversation.

What is that result?

That we now have the chance to…

Build Something Beautiful (Major Event Creation)

The relationship between two human beings is such an interesting thing to be apart of. Some people you CLICK with as soon as you meet them. With most others (for me anyway), it’s awkward conversation about the weather at first.

The thing that I want to talk about is how a major event can happen, and then people are different around each other. It’s often expressed as “It actually brought us closer together.

As a leader, creating these major events is how the relationship (partnership) grows. It’s how to improve things!

All those NUMBERS we were talking about earlier, they inform you as to where there is a possibility to create this major event.

I had now created that major event with this person, and he went from “employee” to “partner”.

I went from “boss” to “leader”.

We started the journey to building something together…

Something beautiful. A badass business relationship that will lead to a ton of winning.

Mind you that even though this feels HUGE, it’s really not. This is THE START. This is where the work begins.

Also needs to be pointed out that we didn’t talk about a single number this whole conversation, except at the very beginning of the conversation. I asked him about a number that he didn’t know. I DID know them though, and when I asked him about them, I was able to use the #1 Leadership Tool: Slower is Faster with People, to see that he wasn’t trained!

The Moral (People Fix it All)

This will be short…

The numbers don’t move the numbers, so don’t WORRY about the numbers.

Actions move the numbers, so pay attention to the actions.

BUT…

People take the actions, so spend the most time here…with your team.

Invest in the people, the numbers will start to take care of themselves. As things improve, you can lead the team from good numbers to great numbers.

Wrap It Up (and put a bow on it)

This post covered a wide range of topics and concepts. Let me stack them up and put a bow right on top!

  1. There’s probably too much data – We have it because we want to win!
  2. We then get distracted by the data – We think it’s the point
  3. We then try to work on the data…unsuccessfully (because it’s not the point)
  4. Data is really just there to inform…it tells you things your eyes can’t see
  5. Know the data! – It IS actually important
  6. Don’t talk about the data – Reporting the news bores people
  7. Build a connection with your team
  8. Listen more than you talk – 2 ears, 1 mouth
  9. When you do talk, don’t talk about data – It’s in there twice I know
  10. Find an area to make an impact by creating a “major event”
  11. Go slow, because SLOWER IS FASTER WITH PEOPLE
  12. People fix it all – Add value to them, and they change numbers and metrics

Keep working on being you. Not a better you, not a different you…the perfect you that you already are. Have fun, work hard, and TEACH!

-NG

Be Badass

Motivation is fickle
and
Inspiration is unreliable
and
Focus can come and go

Being a badass isn’t about being more motivated, more inspired, or more focused. That’s because a badass already knows that those things can’t be relied on.

What separates the badass from the rest of the world? ……”JUST GO”. That’s what.

It isn’t about if they feel like it, because they probably DON’T feel like it.
It isn’t about being moved to perform today because they don’t run on inspiration.
It isn’t about if they are focused on being organized, or winning, or engaging…

Nope! You want to know what makes them different?

The badasses see, they run on a different fuel. This fuel isn’t fickle and it isn’t intermittent.

This fuel makes THEM reliable.

That fuel they run on is…JUST GO

They JUST GO do the things they need to do. JUST GO do the things they are supposed to do. JUST GO do the the things that they are afraid to do.

That’s it. That’s the whole secret.

While the rest of the world look for inspiration on Pinterest and motivation on Instagram, the badass is out of bed early taking action already.

While the ones that SAY they “want it” watch Netflix on the couch, the badass is still out there grinding because there is work to be done!

The badasses JUST GO. Despite how they feel. Despite what others say. Whether or not they get the credit or praise.

Today, let’s all work on being BADASS. JUST GO. ATTACK.

-NG

Rome Didn’t Fall in a Day (Every Second Counts)

“Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

We all know that saying…but what I offer you to consider is that Rome didn’t FALL in a day either.

There was a specific day where the city of Rome was sacked by the Visigoths (August 24th 410 ad), but it didn’t go from world power to conquered by barbarians in one day.

It began to fall hundreds of years before it was sacked…
One small decision here.
One little change there.
An outbreak of disease…etc

The culture began to change, and it OPENED UP THE OPPORTUNITY for it to be conquered.

Life is just like ancient Rome.

Impressive accomplishments DO NOT happen in a day. It takes time and effort to do something special.

Life also falls apart just like Rome did.

We don’t just wake up one day covered in rust, with no ambition and no drive.

It starts YEARS before as one decision, on one day, in one moment. And then it starts to repeat…

A small slip up here.
A little “lazy” showing up over there.
An erosion of focus over time…
And then we begin to cut corners. Life changes as our conviction changes.

Our Rome begins to fall so slowly that we don’t even notice it at first.
And then we start to feel like our mindset has changed…
And then we start to see that our behavior has changed…a tiny bit
And we say to ourselves something like, “Hey, I need to get back to doing THINGS like I used to!”

But it’s not a THINGS problem…
It’s a MINDSET problem.

Pay attention, because…

Every single second counts. EVERY. SINGLE. SECOND.

Those quick little seconds turn into minutes. And minutes turn into hours. And hours turn into YEARS. And then all the sudden you’re in a place that you never imagined being and you have no idea how you got there or what happened.

Every second of every day is precious. Because in these tiny little seconds we are either building or decaying.

We are either moving towards conquering goals, or we are losing ground…

So…make every second count, and guard that mindset that help you build your “Rome” with every bit of energy you have.

-NG

How To Solve All Your Crummy Little Problems (and Truly Make a Difference)

To Be a Human Being = Having Problems

Something unique about humans is that we have problems. No matter what, we have a struggle to fight against.

When things are going great, we find something to call a problem, even manufacturing things to be problems, just so we can have something to battle.

So what does it mean to be a human being? It means, simply stated, to have problems.

Now I’m using the term “problems” broadly here.

It can be a flat tire, or you being out of sugar for your coffee. It can be a breakup that you are going through, or a life changing event that’s much bigger. It can be your desire to make more money, or a boss you can’t stand. These are all problems, and we all have them. When we start to feel like we don’t have any, then we create new ones.

This realization could lead us into thinking that life is kind of a negative thing. It’s just all about problems??

But an important distinction to make is that this realization isn’t a negative, or a positive about life.

It just…is life.

So then, if what it means to be a human being is to have a bunch of piled up problems, then maybe life isn’t really about problems, but rather about SOLVING PROBLEMS.

After all, a problem only exists because you want to solve it. If you didn’t want to solve it, it wouldn’t be a problem.

Let me illustrate this…

The Plainest Water (Small Problems)

I drink a lot of water. It’s good for me, and I like it.

I have a buddy who doesn’t drink much water at all.

One day he says to me that he knows that he needs to drink more water, but he doesn’t because he can’t stand plain water.

It’s just too plain for him?

Ok whatever…

So that means that he has a water-taste problem. I however do not. Same water, both human beings, but only one of us has a problem, because only one of us want to solve this dilemma of water being “too plain”.

Small problems like this are easily solved…

If you want to solve all your crummy little problems…take on bigger problems.

So for my friend that can’t stand plain water, he can drink gatorade or lemonade instead. That might solve his problem…but in solving it, he’s going to create new ones.

Too much sugar, and he’s going to be drinking a large amount of calories, which leads to likely weight gain.

Small problems beget more, small problems!

I’ve got a better way that he can solve his crummy little water problem. Take on a much larger water problem.

Do a little research on clean drinking water in Cambodia or Ethiopia. Its enough to make you realize that we take for granted what we have, and that plain water is something that we should relish.

If he were to set out to help provide clean drinking water for these people around the world where it’s scarce, all the sudden his goofy little problem of water being just to plain to stand would go away.

If you’d like to read more about providing water to developing nations, I urger you to go here. Charity Water devotes 100% of it’s donations to building fresh wells around the world. The 100% Model is truly amazing, and Scott Harrison is a visionary for developing it!

The size of a person’s life is measured by the size of the problems they solve.

Let’s use another analogy to explain this…

If you hand a granola bar to a homeless man, how big does your life feel? Slightly bigger, right? Like you “did you good deed for the day.”

If you volunteer to work at a soup kitchen, how big does your life feel? Much bigger! You’re giving your time back to the community.

If you were to solve world hunger for good, how big would your life feel? Indescribably big, right? You would be a world-wide hero!

To make that big of a difference would be life changing for billions of people…

It’s Actually Not About Making a Difference Though…

We’re all familiar with that term, “make a difference”.

As in, “I just want to make a difference in the world!”

Here’s the funny thing…

You already do make a difference in the world.

You commute to work, you made a difference in the traffic on the road. You cut a guy off, you made a BIGGER difference in the world.

You go to the grocery store, and you buy the last pound of sugar they have. You’ve now made a difference in the amount of sugar in the world.

Seems trivial? To you maybe. That guy you cut off on the commute to work, he’s under some serious stress, and for a problem like that to happen in the morning, you didn’t just wreck his commute, no, you wrecked his whole week!

So then…

The answer to the question, “do you make a difference?” is an automatic yes. We all make a difference. Every decision makes a difference.

There is a better question to ask. A better goal to set out after.

A bigger problem to solve…

Do You Make a Difference That Makes a Difference?

To actually make a difference, you have to make a difference, that makes a difference.

If you want to get up to something bigger than the rest of society, then you need to DECIDE what problems you are going to solve.

Obviously we don’t get to choose all of our problems…

Some were given to us at birth. Disease.

Some are our fault. Overweight.

Some are someone else’s fault. Car accident.

What we do get to choose, is how we react to our problems. We can take responsibility for these crummy little problems. Our problems. Own them, and then solve them, and quit whining about it.

You can obviously solve the “overweight” problem very simply. It’s called diet and exercise and all it takes effort and discipline.

You may have to solve the “disease” problem daily. Maybe multiple times per day. But you can almost be certain that there is another human being out there that had it worse, and not only overcame it, but then also took on bigger problems and overcame those too!

Some problems are simple, some are complex, but rest assured that they can all be solved. It’s called ownership. Stand up, take ownership for the fact that solving this problem is your responsibility, and GO. ATTACK.

Now you’re making a difference that makes a difference in your own life.

And on we go!

How Do You Change the World Then?

Paralysis by analysis.

You analyze the worlds problems, and it causes hesitation. Inaction. The problems are just so big! “What can I do…little old me? What can I do to change the world?”

The answer…

A lot.

The world is to you, what it is to you. Your perception. It occurs to you in a unique way. Maybe positive, maybe negative, maybe extremely neutral (if there is such a thing).

That also means that the world is to someone else, what it is to them. Their perception. It occurs to them in an entirely different way!

You want to change the world? You don’t do that by curing world hunger, or ending all war.

No…

You do that by changing how the world occurs for someone else.

You can’t change THE world (sorry to rain on your parade).

But…

You can change SOMEONE ELSE’S world.

How?

Take Action

First let me tell you how you DON’T change someone’s world…

Complaining. Moping around. Being lazy, selfish, ignorant.

So how is it done then?

Does it have to be huge? No.

Can it be? Sure!

I know this post seems like it’s going somewhere righteous, and holy, but I assure you it’s not.

Changing someone’s life doesn’t have to be you building a house for them, or giving them a car, or solving world hunger. It’s often more subtle.

And…

You are going to get less credit than you deserve for it.

I’ll tell you my favorite way to change someone’s world with a proverb used so frequently it’s almost clichĂ©…

“Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for life.”

The key to that phrase lies in one word…

TEACH.

To invest knowledge in another person is one the most rewarding feelings that you can have. You add something to them in a way that can never be taken away, and can never run out.

You watch them grow and you mentor them as they make mistakes and you watch them change their own life using the techniques that you taught them.

By adding value to them, you are altering the trajectory of their life, and you have accomplished the seemingly huge task of changing the world, by changing their world.

Those “Bigger Problems” that you need to solve, are someone else’s problems. Take those on, and you’ll solve your own crummy little problems, and you’ll be making a difference that truly makes a difference.

-NG