Get Real: Waking Up to Achieve Your Dreams
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney, founder of that Disney World, Disneyland, Mickey Mouse stuff all the kids are talking about
Years ago I had a unique opportunity to work with a client who had a grand vision for changing the world and helping a thousand kids who were terminally ill through a celebrity endorsed foundation. The woman who hired me was very well connected and the vision she had was powerful, yet she indicated that after having spent nearly 20 years of her life working on the project, she had generated nearly zero momentum.
When we met for our initial visit, she showed me photos of herself with a number of celebrities who are household names. She lovingly showed me pictures of the A-list guests who had attended previous events and mountains of newspaper clippings highlighting events she had hosted in the past. It quickly became apparent that attracting A-list celebrities was not her problem.
In order to get on the road moving from point A to point B, I began methodically working through my business coaching Needs Assessment Work Sheet with her. I asked her on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, how happy she was with the foundation’s website. I asked her on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, how happy she was with her business cards. I had her indicate her overall satisfaction with their video production, their social media presence, their public relations campaign, their database, their newsletters, their email campaigns, their phone scripting, their donation follow up processes, their customer service systems and much, much, more. It was at this point that we both discovered some “major opportunities for growth” and some “major areas of concern” that we needed to address quickly if we were going to turn her big ideas into reality.
Together, she and I discovered that despite the big time celebrity endorsements and her near magical ability to attract A-list celebrities to events, nearly every other aspect of her organization was somewhere between extremely broken and downright pitiful. As a business coach, this type of scenario doesn’t bother me at all and in fact, it somewhat energizes me when I get an opportunity to meet with an entrepreneur or visionary who has a big vision and a big heart, but is lacking the systems that are needed to turn these big dreams into reality.
As we wrapped up our meeting, I told her that fixing her organization was totally doable and that it should only take around four months, if she was willing to get each small to-do list that I assigned her done each week. I explained to her that each week she would have around four hours of homework and that when it was all said and done, she would have a turn-key system in place that she could manage in a scalable and duplicable way in as little as ten hours per week. This immediately energized the client and I could tell that we were really going to be able to help change her whole world. That’s about the time when productivity came to a screeching halt.
When it came time our first next weekly meeting, I received a text message moments before the agreed upon start time for our appointment stating, “Hey I really need to reschedule something personal came up.” When it came time for our second meeting she showed up, but had not completed her to-do-list because “things have been crazy.” Week number three, she called last minute to share that she couldn’t come on time because of a “fire she had to put out.” Unfortunately I must share with you that I ultimately had to call this person after week four’s schedule time to let her know that the behavior she was demonstrating was consistent with the behavior of “most entrepreneurs” and that it would certainly lead to failure, poverty and frustration. I let her know that as Napoleon Hill stated, “The time will never be just right we must act now.” I shared with her how my best friend died when I was starting my first business, how my son was born blind right at the peak of some of my early career success and that my Dad was diagnosed with “Stage 4 Cancer” just months ago as I was leaping into my busiest travel schedule of the year. I explained to her that life happens, but successful entrepreneurs are the people that find a way to get things done no matter what is going on. Successful entrepreneurs are people that do not let emotion get in the way of their motion. Unfortunately she did not like the sip of water I was offering her from the “fire hose of truth,” and we mutually agreed it was time for us to move on. Today she is still stuck, and she doesn’t have to be. And unfortunately this is just another powerful example of how right Thomas Edison was when he wrote, “Vision without execution is hallucination.”
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About Clay Clark
Clay Clark is the CEO, Show Host and Visionary of Thrive15.com. Clark has been a U.S. SBA Entrepreneur of the Year, a Metro Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year, and the U.S. Chamber National Blue Ribbon Quality Award Winner. As a business consultant, entertainer and educator his clients over the years have included: Hewlett…