Let’s take a moment and think back to when you were a kid. Remember the time when you or perhaps it was another kid you knew, decided they really wanted to have a new puppy? For the sake of this conversation, lets figure that it was you who decided you could not live with out having a new cute, little puppy. You dreamed about having that puppy for weeks, maybe even months, and every time you saw one of the neighbor kids with their dog walking down the street, or playing in the park, your desire grew and grew until you couldn’t stand it and you just had to work things out so you could have a puppy. So, you went to work on your parents begging and pleading.
“Please Mom? Please Dad? I really want to have a puppy!”
“I don’t know, dear. This is kind of a sudden request. Do you know that having a puppy is a lot of work? Are you sure you could handle taking care of a puppy?”
“I’ve been dreaming about it for a long time, Mom. I’ll take really good care of it, I promise I will! Please can I have a puppy?”
Still a little uncertain, your parents queried you a bit further, “Having a puppy is a lot of responsibility for a kid like you,” your Dad said. “Are you willing to do whatever it takes to take care of a puppy?”
“My friend at school has a puppy, and he takes care of it, no problem. I can do it too. I know I can!”
“Well, let’s think about this for awhile. If you get to have your own puppy, you are going to have to clean up its messes that it makes in the yard every day. Are you willing to do that?”
“Yes! I’ll do it! I’ll clean up after the puppy in the yard everyday, I will! I promise!”
“I hope so,” says dad. “I don’t want to have worry about anyone who walks around or plays in the back yard risk stepping into something your mother would go crazy over if it got dragged into the house on the bottom of someone’s shoes.”
“I’ll clean up the puppy’s messes every day, Dad. I will!”
“And the puppy needs to be fed every day. When the dog is still a puppy, it will need to be fed two times every day. So not only will you have to be sure the puppy gets fed, but you will have to clean up after the puppy, and you will have to bathe the puppy, and brush it’s fur and take it for walks. And if the puppy chews anything up, you will have to clean up that mess too, and be sure it does not chew up anything that belongs to anyone else in the family. And if the puppy does chew up someone else’s things, you will need to responsible enough to replace it. Are you sure you can handle all of that responsibility?”
“Yes, Mom, Yes Dad, I will do whatever it takes to take care of the puppy.”
So, your parents gave in and decided to let you pick out a puppy. That next weekend, you went down to the Pet Store together with your parents to make a decision of which puppy you were going to have. There were so many choices. So many different puppies to choose from. Finally you discovered one little lonely puppy sitting all alone in the back of the kennel, and your heart melted and you decided that was the puppy you wanted to have.
That particular puppy was pretty expensive. So Dad decided he better grill you one more time about your commitment level in taking care of the puppy. And so you committed one more time, almost swearing an oath that you would do whatever it takes to take care of the puppy. The sales guy who sold you and your parents the puppy told you how much it might cost to take care of a puppy, and how much time it might require to take care of a puppy, but you were so excited about your new puppy, you did not catch every thing the sales guy told you. But that was okay. You had your new puppy, and everything was going to be just fine. You knew you could take care of it, no problem!
For the first couple weeks, you did a wonderful job taking care of your new little puppy dog. You fed him every morning, and again every evening. House training your puppy was a bit tedious to do, but even when your puppy made messes in the house, you were willing to clean up the mess, and take the puppy outside to train him to use the yard instead of moms living room carpet. And then even though you had to hold a piece of rag cloth over your nose to mask the smell of the puppy messes, you still went out into the yard every day and found the little doggy messes and cleaned ’em up. When he whined and yelped at night because he was lonely, you went and got him and kept him company until he went to sleep. Every week you gave your puppy a special bath and you even made sure you found time every other day to brush him and keep him all groomed and clean. It was so much fun, and when your friends came over to see your new puppy, you were so proud and happy to be able to show them your new, cute little puppy. You loved your puppy so much. You knew you would do anything for him because you loved your puppy.
After awhile though, it stopped being so much fun. Your puppy was demanding so much of your time. And now that he was getting bigger, you had to spend more money on dog food instead of puppy food, and that was more money than you thought you were going to have to spend! You started to find out that you could not just go and play with your friends whenever you wanted too, and you could not watch your favorite TV show reruns for as long as you wanted to. And you could not buy your favorite candy bar at the corner store whenever you wanted to because you had to save your money to buy food for your dog. It turned out to be a lot more time and money than you thought it was going to be. You found yourself making excuses and finding ways to try to blame others for the times you did not feel like dealing with the monotony and boring chores of taking care of your dog.
You were warned by your parents that it would take a lot more to take care of the puppy, but you knew you knew better, and after all, didn’t the sales guy at the pet store tell you how much time needed to be spent to take care of a puppy, and how much puppy food would cost? You think you remember that he told you it was so easy to take care of a puppy. Well, it was not so easy now! You find your self slipping into the blame game instead of taking more of the responsibility for yourself. You think you remember that when the sales guy told you how much the puppy food would cost, you knew you could cover that cost, and when he told you it would only take a few hours a week, you were so sure you could handle it. No problem! But now you are finding that it is taking way more time than the sales guy told you it would take! You are starting to feel a lot of resentment at the sales guy for not telling you it would take more time. It does not matter that you were warned by your parents. That danged sales guy lied to you! Sigh… Cleaning up the doggy messes is such a drag, and you started to get so tired of having to deal with the stink of it all.
One day one of your friends came over and had a new toy they wanted to show you. You knew the puppy who was now becoming a good sized dog needed to be put outside in the back yard so he would not make a mess in the house, but you couldn’t wait to see how the new toy was going to work, so out the door you dashed to spend time with your friend and their new toy. That night when you got home, you got into big trouble with Mom because the dog had made a mess on the living room floor. You had to clean it up and sanitize and perfume the carpet so it would not stink up the house. After that, you made darn sure that dog stayed out in the yard all the time.
Then one day, when you felt like you wanted to play with your dog, you went outside for a moment, but your dog was no where to be found in the back yard. Where was he? You searched and searched all over the yard, and then you saw what happened. Part of the fence around the back yard had been busted down, and there was a hole in the fence now, just large enough for your dog to slip through. You started combing the neighborhood with your friends, calling for your dog. You even spent some extra money to have fliers made up with a picture of your dog on it indicating a reward to whoever found and returned him to you. Finally at the suggestion of a friend, you went down to the local dog pound and there you found your dog waiting happily to greet you inside a kennel. It was expensive to pay the fine to get him out of there. Unfortunately, you had depleted your budget with the extra expenses of printing up the fliers for your dog. You did not have enough money to pay the fine to get your dog out of the pound. Nobody told you that you would have to spend all this extra money on things like this! So, you ended up having to borrow some extra money from your Dad to get your dog out. Not only did you have to come up with the extra expense to get your dog out of the pound but you also had to borrow some extra money to fix the broken down fence. You definitely did not have that set aside as part of your budget.
So what are you choices now? You can quit on the dog, get rid of him before he costs you any more money and time. You could possibly sell him or give him away and lose all that you have put into having your dog. Or you can realize that no matter what the costs in time and money, the benefits of having the dog, of receiving and enjoying it’s love and devotion to you, and experiencing the love and joy in return make having and taking care of your dog all worth while. In order to pay back what you borrowed to get your dog out of the pound, and fix the fence, you decided to take on a News Paper delivery route in the mornings before school. Eventually, you figured out that you could take your dog with you while you delivered the papers, and that allowed you to get him out on a walk while taking care of your responsibilities. Your life style with the dog is definitely different than it was before you had the dog, but the benefits are great. You love your dog, and your dog loves you.
Lets take a few moments now to review and really take a deeper look at what has happened in this little episode up to now.
First you dreamed about having a puppy, and you set out to start that dream in motion by talking your parents into the dream.
Then your parents took you to the pet store where you made the decision of which puppy you were going to have.
You committed to your parents that no matter what, you were going to take care of that puppy.
When you committed to feed and clean and groom your puppy, you committed to a cycle or a process of persistence. Unfortunately, for many of us, persistence can become boring and monotonous. But you do those boring and monotonous things anyway because you love your dog, and in this case, the emotional benefit of having and loving your dog is the reason you are willing to stick to it and do whatever it takes to care for your dog. You made that commitment.
Perseverance is different from persistence. When you have persistence, you have internal discipline to follow through and take care of your dog. But when you have perseverance, that is when you follow through in dealing with the unexpected and challenging aspects of taking care of your puppy; such as giving the extra time that you did not realize you would have to give when you found yourself having to clean up the messes in the living room, or when you had to give up play time with your friends.
There were also the unexpected times when you had to borrow in order to pay the extra expenses that you did not know you would have to pay, such as the more expensive dog food or the fines to the Dog Pound and the repair costs for the broken down fence. You did not plan on those extra expenses or the extra time that came up, but you dealt with it anyway, because you realized that the benefits would
eventually outweigh the costs.
Okay, now how do we take this little life’s story and compare it with where you are now in your life?
So… You want to start a new business, or become financially independent, or invest in the markets, or run for public office, or advance higher in your career! For the rest of this article, we are going to relate getting a puppy with starting your own business, but you can just as easily insert whatever project or desire you wish to focus on that is unique to you and your life.
Now, take everything we talked about in this story, and think of your experiences with the puppy in relation to your getting involved with succeeding at whatever you want to succeed at. You have likely spent lots of time dreaming about having your own financial independence by starting your own business, instead of continuing to work hard every day to make some one else be rich. You have probably felt that you wanted to have more control over your life to be able to do things the way you want to do them when you want to do them. Right?
After dreaming about your desire for financial independence with your own business, you made a decision of what business you wanted to get involved with or what plan you wanted to invest in. Just like the decision of which puppy to get. Then you made a commitment to make that venture work no matter what it takes.
After awhile, you may discover that the day to day tasks of starting and running a business are not so much fun. Sometimes they can be down right boring and monotonous. But you made the commitment to become a business owner, of learning how to think and act like an entrepreneur, and you are going to be persistent by maintaining internal self discipline to eliminate the tendency to remain or involve your self in the time wasting activities. You are going to remain committed to being persistent in doing all the little tasks that are necessary to set up and get your business running and become a committed business owner.
It might be a difficult process for you. It is very realistic to suppose that you may still be struggling with the mind set of an employee. Employees trade their time for a paycheck, and that becomes their sense of security. As an entrepreneur, you do not necessarily get a paycheck right away. You have to understand that you are trading your time for a life style. You want to be able to have control over your life, so you do whatever it takes to stay committed to the cycle or process of persistence in making things happen now, so that you can have the life style you want later.
Just like with your dog, any business is going to have times when there are challenges and difficulties that you did not count on. Maybe the money you spent on marketing is not getting the results you thought you should be getting, so you need to find a mew marketing alternative, or maybe your computer breaks down, and you have to spend time and money to get it fixed. Maybe your Internet Service Provider goes out, and you have to get it back up again so you can continue working on your business. Maybe a product supplier you are using did not follow through on their commitment to provide product in a timely manner, and you have an upset customer to deal with.
Things happen. That is life! And it is going to be part of your business. But you have committed to a process of persistence, and the discipline you create and follow through on leads you into a pattern of Perseverance. You are going to persevere no matter what obstacles block your path. It is your commitment and perseverance that will determine what your business becomes.
If you do not persist and persevere, you will have no one to blame but yourself when your progress and success falter. It is not the sales guy’s fault. It is not your business coach’s fault. It is not your parents fault or your spouse’s fault. Your success and or failure is not anyone’s responsibility but your own. The sooner you understand that, the sooner you can take control over your life and enjoy the fruits of having that control.
Remember this important thought: “You can have anything you need and want in your life when you are willing to be 100% responsible for making it happen.”
Just like you loved that puppy, you are going to love the results of taking control of your life and your business!
Success on purpose will become yours as you take charge and make it a reality sooner rather than later!