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  July 10, 2015
What Time Is It?...

 

 

"We must all suffer from one of two things... either the pain of discipline, or the pain of disappointment or regret"
 
                                         ~Jim Rohn 


After several weeks of being chained to my desk at the office, I recently found myself on a business trip where I had the opportunity to meet with a few OptiFuse Timecustomers and distributors in the Pacific Northwest region of the country. 

There are very few things I enjoy more than talking with people who actually work with our products. 

And although life on the road can be challenging and tiring, I am so overcome with excitement about the conversations that I have during the day that I am often unable to sleep each night. 

Although most customer interactions are frequently very positive, I also have the opportunity to hear about problems, quality issues, or times where we simply screwed up.  These meetings are also extremely important as they help us to identify areas where we can improve our products, quality and service.

As the de facto leader of OptiFuse, I take full responsibility for ensuring that we are doing everything within our power to provide the best user experience for our customers.  If we aren’t doing something right... then I want to hear about it!

These days too many people refuse to stand up and take the blame themselves.

Case in point...

During that same business trip, I needed to meet with our sales representative for the territory.  A sales rep is responsible for helping to create local demand for our products.  They are not direct employees, but rather independent agents who represent several different companies with perhaps synergistic products.

Over the course of breakfast, I listened to the rep give me at least 10 good excuses as to why the sales in his territory were not growing...

...Our prices were too high.
 
...The local economy still has not fully recovered from the recession.
 
...The tax policies of the federal government were killing new innovation and investment.
 
...He has never been properly trained.
 
...Our catalog was severely out of date.
 
...We weren’t providing him with enough leads.
 
...Our regional managers (direct employees of OptiFuse) weren’t spending enough time in his territory helping him.

Every other sentence out of his mouth was another excuse as to why sales were lagging... he had an entire laundry list of things that were holding him back.

His list of explanations was extensive and exhaustive... all of the reasons he mentioned could have been good reasons... if they were true... but they weren’t...

...but as I saw it... his list was still missing one key item...

He NEVER mentioned... not once... that maybe... just maybe... the reason that sales were lagging was simply just him.

Taking the blame for failure was beyond him... it was everyone else’s fault... never his own...

I could have tried to explain to him that all of his "good reasons" were just excuses and that the real reason that sales weren’t happening was because he simply wasn’t doing the work it takes in order to be successful... but I would have simply been wasting my breath... he didn’t want to hear that...

He wanted to be a victim of his circumstances rather than the master of his destiny...

Every day we hear stories of people who have somehow overcome horrible situations only to find different ways to succeed...

They had goals... they had detailed plans to achieve their goals... they worked hard in a smart and disciplined manner... they encountered problems, disappointment and failure along the way... they weren’t discouraged by the setbacks but continued moving forward toward their goals. They accepted their failures without complaint and accepted their successes without apology because they know that they earned it.

I personally know scores of people who have started from very humble (another way to say poor) beginnings... they had insurmountable obstacles placed before them and the odds were stacked against them in every way... yet despite all of the difficulties... they somehow found a way to create a positive effect in the world.

Now mind you... I was careful as not to write that these people were now "rich"... because frankly, not all of them are.

Success isn’t measured by the size of one’s bank account rather success is measured on how you live your life and the priorities that drive you.

Mother Theresa, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Jr., Helen Keller and Nelson Mandela were not necessarily wealthy.  They never said to the world, "I’m in this for the money".

What they had was a dream... then a goal... then a plan... then action...

Undoubtedly they had setbacks along the way...

...but I never remember hearing Martin Luther King, Jr. tell his followers... "well... we were all arrested today... I think it’s time to pack it in and go home..."

...Helen Keller saying, "I am blind and deaf... those are two great reasons to feel sorry for myself..."

...Nelson Mandela saying, "I wish I was born with fairer skin..."

They didn’t blame anyone else for their predicament... they took full responsibility for everything that happened... knowing that somehow... everything happens for a reason.

Disappoints are not special gifts to the poor... they happen to everyone...
 
They weren’t trying to "cover their asses" by not taking a stand... not making hard decisions... or not leading by example...

In the insurance industry... actuaries, within a very small margin of error, can predict how many people will die each year... they just can’t name names...

In the same way... there is a very high probability that something bad or adversarial will happen to each of us sometime over the course of the next year... we just don’t know exactly what it will be and who it will affect... all I can tell you is that it will undoubtedly occur...

The difference between individual success and failure will be measured by what each person does to overcome their particular setback... and this is what separates the winners and the losers...

Winners will find a way to overcome whatever obstacles or setbacks which are placed before them... whereas losers will allow those hurdles (or sometimes walls) to hold them back.

No matter what I did to help alleviate the issues from the sales rep... he would continue to find new excuses to explain his lack of success...

The real question I should (but didn’t) ask him was, "what are you going to do to make a change?... because if you don’t change anything... then everything will remain exactly the same... ".

Sometimes we need to take a look around... if we don’t like what we see... if success has been eluding us... if we have more questions than answers...

...then perhaps now is the time for us to make that change...

Thank you for your support of OptiFuse where we hope to lead by example by helping others to find their successes... wherever they may be.



Jim Kalb Jim Kalb President

Email -  jimk@optifuse.com
Website - www.optifuse.com
Blog - www.optifuse.blogspot.com 
Twitter - @OptiFuse


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