Moving One Step Forward

04 May

Moving One Step Forward

Don Loyd

If you want to succeed (however you define success), you have to take an active role in your own future. Don’t allow others to dictate your success. Sometimes this means working past, through or around a disadvantage and physical limitation.

To use a sports analogy you have to step up to the plate, lift your bat over your shoulder, and take a swing. I introduce you to home run hitter Mickey Mantle, center fielder and first baseman for the Yankees in the fifties and sixties.

Whenever “the Mick” strolled to home plate to take his turn at bat, people paid attention, knowing they might see him hit a ball out of the park for a home run. What most people don’t realize, however, is that Mickey Mantle, before Reggie Jackson in the 80s, held the record for the most strikeouts.

In other words, the Mick was the biggest failure at the plate in all of professional baseball.

Yet what we remember are his successes – not his failures.

The same thing can happen to you: keep getting into the “batter’s box” and swinging… hit a home run or even a base hit now and again, and people won’t remember your failures. They will remember the times you “hit it out of the park.”

People who choose to sit out in life’s game, limit their options. If you are living a life as a spectator, you aren’t getting in the batter’s box. You’re not even sitting in the dugout.

Here’s a couple of examples of people who got in the game and struck out a few times:

I know of a real estate broker in a wheelchair who earns six figures each and every year. He figured out a way to sell real estate with a niche market - without picking people up in his car and showing them property. He does it all by mail, email and fax from the comfort of his office.

He targets out-of-state owners and lists their property for sale.

There is a general contractor in California I met while I was a roofer in my early 20s who is in much the same position. He pulls up to a job in his truck and never gets out of it.

He can’t. He can’t walk!

A man in our church, owned and operated a successful restaurant. He had once owned a profitable tire re-capping business. One day, while working at his plant, a tire blew up in his face and blinded him. Steel plates were put in his face. He wasn’t able to return to the work he knew, so, in his forties, he opened a successful restaurant.

I’ve seen him stand at the cashier’s box and make change for his customers.

I have a friend who arrived in the United States from Russia with a wife, two small children, three suitcases and about $200 in his pocket in the early 80s. He didn't know anyone nor did he have any prospects for a job. In just a few years, using real estate as a vehicle, he became a millionaire.

I have seen him stand before a group in a seminar, speaking broken English to an American crowd in Denver, Colorado.

I became a general contractor when it became apparent that I could no longer work construction. One day, nailing cedar shakes on a roof outside of Santa Rosa, California, I bent down to plug in my skill saw so I could cut shakes on a hip roof. As soon as I connected the cord to the saw, there was a short in the wiring and I was thrown off the roof.

In my early 20s and a new baby daughter at home, I broke three vertebrae in the fall that “terrible” day.  I was flat on my back for a time and when I recovered, I found I had neither the strength nor the stamina to do the work I had previously done. For years, I lived with chronic pain.

I’d been pulled off of the playing field.

But I didn’t stop playing.

I learned how to play a different position in the same of game. In the process I stopped working for hourly pay (which is a sure fire plan for just getting by) and began making very serious money and receiving positive recognition from others.

Rather than presenting a stop sign, a handicap or disability can be your ticket to great things. If life serves you lemons, rejoice in the lemons and find a way to sell lemonade, as the cliché goes.

I’ve read many stories of penniless immigrants coming to this country and becoming millionaires. If someone new to this country can go from rags to riches, so can you!

Enough about other people – here’s how you can succeed: 

1. Think about all the things you can do and make a list of them. Decide what you want to do, and find a niche. 

2. Set some measurable goals, both long- and short-term. 

3. Define how you will attain those goals, and write a plan. You must have a road map directing you to your destination. 

4. Your plan must include an activity for each day. Do the daily activity. Focus on it, rather than the goal. 

5. Make adjustments as needed. 

6. Be a mentor to others. A ton of folk would like to be where you are. Take one or two along for the ride with you, and teach them what you have learned. 

7. Learn to give. In order to have a complete, balanced and fulfilled life, you have to learn to give some of your time and some of your money to something greater than yourself and your bank account. He with the largest list of assets at death is not the winner. If you can’t learn to give, you are controlled by your possessions – a very sad and lonely way to live.

As a footnote, by the time I was 24 years old I had my first home built and paid for - as in NO DEBT. It was a very nice 1,800 sq.ft. home in a new subdivision. I had learned to work smarter, not necessarily harder.

I can help you too, if that's your goal.

Remember, if you don’t make it happen, it won’t happen. Get in the game!

Now, it's up to you. Determine to take ONE STEP FORWARD - and then stretch out for one more.

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