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The Source of Inspiration


This last weekend, while working on our 2009 Business Plan, I reviewed my notes from the books I have read this last year, the webinars, seminars and courses I have attended.  I noticed a lot of similarity. In general everyone is saying the same things. There may be sixteen steps or they are collapsed into ten, five or three but the information is common. Common to what resonates with me. What have I been looking for in all this?  I have been looking for the “Big” why, the motivation, the inspiration, the right dream, the best answer, the ideal that will put me into action and keep me going. I have watched people, especially young people who have a burning ambition to do something, to attain some object or skill. The worlds refrain is slow down, don’t push so hard, lighten up, take your time, be more considerate of others…. A burning ambition frightens some people.


In 1980 I served aboard a USN submarine and I had spent the previous five years aboard her and one other. I was eligible for shore duty. I was very good at what I did.  I was offered three years aboard the USN NR-1. I could take three years of duty as a recruiter. One other choice was two years working on a submarine base.  I took the recruiting opportunity.


After six weeks of school based on Psychological Reciprocity and Decision Dynamics sales courses I arrived.  The goals were set and achievable. If you did not make your minimum goal you were sent back to sea. If you managed to find twelve in three months you earned special recognition. I did not want to return to submarines, not in three months or three years. I thought if I totally broke the records and I would be allowed to stay.


I offered my plan and was given some extra leeway in how to organize. My first month I recruited six, sixteen in month two, twenty-seven month three and never less than thirty a month for the next thirty months. My ideas about how to arrange certain things changed how everywhere did it. I also was sent back to a new submarine after my three year tour.


I really enjoyed the experience and still the monthly climb back to the top of the mountain got old. Recognized by your peers, superiors and yourself as being the best is a kind of drug too. The goal, the why, that motivated me produced huge results but not the outcome of my intention.  The experience “That’s it? That’s all?” is a cruel joke and an insight into existence.


Since then I have had many successes but I have been hesitant about going for it all.  I have been considerate and understanding and willing to be comfortable instead of climbing the mountain all the way to the top again. In reading my notes I noticed I was looking for someone else to motivate me, something outside of me that could be held responsible for every outcome good and bad. I was stuck and afraid of the experience of “That’s it? That’s all?”


How many ‘gurus’ does anyone need to follow anyway?  Are we all supposed to become gurus?  The latest info spin seems to be ‘raising the bar’ on the industry, making it work for everyone or something similar.  I like Randy Gage’s Manifesto as a place to begin the conversation. The steps are clear to those who are willing to take them.  For those who choose to do the same thing… nothing usually… they will continue with their normal results.


My insight is that motivation, inspiration, the “burn” for success, the BIG WHY, the dream or whatever it is that keeps people engaged is NOT going to get it done.  The source of it all is also not a guru but only YOU. Perhaps only a select few ever achieve their dreams, the ones we are afraid to talk about out loud. The rest attend seminars, buy ‘how to’ literature to feed their dream and guru pockets. The “Burn” does not make anything happen wherever it’s located or whoever is providing it. It is necessary and needed but does not get it done.


Some effective action(s) moving you in the direction of your choice is necessary and required. If you do not know what effective action is, any action will do fine to start. If that action does not work, do something else. DO. 


Perhaps you need to be ‘motivated.’ Then when “IT” disappears you stop. Whatever reason we use to stop never gets it done and appears to be the most common refrain. Getting people over the line, getting you over the line with a commitment to never quit no matter what is a tall order. There are ‘gurus’ who appear to hawk a new deal, a new come on, every quarter. Look at your book shelf. How many different ways can you rewrite Think and Grow Rich or the Science of Getting Rich?


The business we are in, in my lowly opinion, is learning how to lead and then how to create others who will lead. Too many Lone Rangers pitching being the Lone Ranger will not get it done.  I will produce and publish our 2009 Business plan by this Sunday. It will be a work in progress and the mountain top beckons anew!


Join us on our trip to the top of the mountain. Start your tour at


There is an old Polish Proverb roughly translated says,

“Stick your hand out in friendship and shun any person
who hesitates to return the gesture without thinking.”

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