I’m only sending this to people who are likely to ‘get’ what I am trying say today, and even though I’m posting it on my blog, I’m not putting it in my public news feed.
My wife was moved today by the 9/11 ceremony, the new memorial, the names of the fallen and today’s three-trumpet rendition of Taps. If your emotions are especially raw today, if you were literally or figuratively close to Ground Zero, this message isn’t really for you.
This message is for everyone else.
Sometimes events are so cataclysmic, they forever define the world as “before” and “after.” 9/11 wasn’t BC vs. AD, but it certainly signaled a whole new landscape.
When landscapes change, opportunities shift. Old paradigms fall away, those who once were in favor are suddenly displaced, new realities come into their own.
For the entrepreneur, that means TAKING ACTION.
Towers crumbled and there was a span of time when the only thing to do was mourn. Even a single American flag, or the phrase “God bless America,” took on a whole new meaning.
Weeks passed and many remained in a state of hypnosis. “Is it really OK to go on with my life?”
If you’re not digging through rubble where the Twin Towers used to be, if you’re not engaged in some directly helpful and necessary effort, then… yes. You must go on with your life. If you don’t, you lose and the bad guys win.
“But I feel like a money-grubbing capitalist, rushing in where new opportunities have opened up.”
Fine. Then let someone else win the victories and you can stay in BC instead of moving into AD. Is that what you want?
Early this year I talked to a client whose husband had died about 8 weeks before. She told me she’d been feeling sorry for herself and one of my emails had snapped her out of her malaise. “Yes, I’m sad, but I’ve got a life to live. It’s time for me to put my clothes on and face the world.”
One of the hardest things to accept about business is: Even though business is NOT a zero sum game, even though alchemy really does exist, there are still winners and losers.
There is misfortune. And there is the business of dealing with misfortune.
If you’re afraid of the business of misfortune, then you’re living in the SHOULD BE world instead of living in the IS world. Because the only reason ANY business exists is because people have problems.
Every business in the whole world only sells one of two things:
-Pain relief, or
That’s it. If you provide either of those things, you’re entitled to your fee.
If you’re smart, you find a way to sell pain relief AND endorphin rushes.
Pain is real, pleasure is real, life is real, death is real, misfortune is real, terrorists are real. Fortunes won and lost are real.
You’re only immortal for a limited time. The only time you ever have is NOW.
No doubt there was a massive competition for architects and plans for the 9/11 memorial in New York City. Eventually only one person could win. But that person didn’t win because they had the deepest feelings or because they’d been hurt more by what happened.
They won because the people who mattered liked their design the best.
If the guy who won had been sheepish about stepping into that opportunity, then we’d be looking at a different structure won by a different person, a person whose design was possibly inferior to what we have now.
You have to know — it’s OK to win. It’s the only way the rest of us ever get to enjoy and experience excellence.
Never apologize for being excellent. And don’t shrink back from the gritty reality of solving real problems.
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