Don’t Lose Your Dinosaur

So this has to be one of my favorite scenes of my favorite movies:

In this scene from Step Brothers, Robert tells Dale and Brennan that they shouldn’t “lose their dinosaur.” He tells a story about when he was a boy all he wanted to be was a dinosaur, and he lost that dream when at 17 his dad told him to stop acting like a dinosaur and get a job.

As ridiculous as the scene is, didn’t it happen to all of us at some point?

When I was a kid all I wanted to be was a writer. I would write short stories, and try to begin novels. I wrote poetry, and in high school was editor of the school paper. In college, I studied creative writing. On graduation day the main question from my family was, “Now what are you going to do.”

In our society, there is a perceived separation between childhood dreams and reality, as though the two could not exist. The reality is that in this society, for it to function properly, we can’t all be movie stars, presidents, and athletes. But overall why do we need to lose our dinosaur?

Social media has given us the ability to take back our dinosaur. In my case, you are reading this blog post, so while I may not have written a book (yet) I am obviously getting to leverage my love for words.

Other things I wanted to do when I was a kid:

Be an archeologist – I really thought Indiana Jones was cool, and wanted to run away from giant boulders. If this was still my passion why couldn’t I take a video camera on some amateur archeological digs and highlight them in blog format.

Be a musician – When I was in college I was convinced I would spend the rest of my life playing music, this didn’t happen, but again there is no reason I can’t self produce my music and share it with the world via P2P software, iTunes, and some web savvy.

Even my teenage cousin has started to pursue his dreams in this fashion:

However, Dr. Seuss said it best:

I’m sorry to say so
But, sadly it’s true
That bang-ups and hang-ups
Can happen to you.

Society needs people to do all types of jobs, and with that we often settle. However, the bright side of this is that we do not have to be defined by what we do for money.

Find your dinosaur again. Begin to experience those things that your dreams used to be built on, and share them with others in the world. Don’t be surprised one day that on top of being happy you all of the sudden have a profitable blog, youtube channel, or some other revenue channel you have made just because you love it is what you are doing.

The Two Sides of Business Relationships

The Two Sides:

1) Friendly, Giving Attitude Towards Your Business Relationships
2) Fierce Adherence to What is Right

You never know…

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.

Lao-Tzu

In November, at Pubcon, Greg Boser and I took a number of people who were very new to the industry out to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in the world. We escorted them there via limo, and then we took a party bus to one of the Pubcon happenings afterwards.

The concept behind the dinner was to pay it forward. I have been able to excel quickly in my field based on the support more seasoned individuals have given me, and that jump start has meant the difference.

Everyone at the dinner seemed kind of confused as to why we would do something that nice. The answer was two fold:

1. We are nice guys that like to give back to our community, as is the whole BlueGlass crew
2. However, we were also scouting out the future of our business

That brings me to the first side of business relationships, a lesson sometimes hard learned:

Be humane to everyone, because you never know who they will be in the future

Greg and I are a perfect illustration of this idea.

I first met Greg in 2009. By then he had been in this industry around 13 years, and had seen many people come and go. However, Greg took the time to get to know me, and find out what I was all about. Him, Todd Friesen, and Dave Naylor were all old guard search guys that took me in, with little reason on their part to do so.

A year and change later Greg and I are business partners helping each others dreams come true.

You never know who that goofy kid next to you at a conference is going to become. A vendor, a client, a partner, all possibilities are within the realm of reason. Outside of the simple concept of being humane for the purpose of being humane, this concept should be enough to guide us in business.

The flip side of this coin is the old adage that people will mistake “Kindness for weakness.”

I can tell you that this is unequivocally true.

You are wrong, unless you are right.

Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

Sun Tzu

People throughout my career have mistaken my large heart for a fools mind. In these times I am able to flip a switch , and you must be as well.

Business is guided by items like contracts to set the record and guide disputes. As long as you are in the right in areas where business relationships may test you, then stand by your principles and make them stand by their agreements.

However, even in these places of combativeness, never lose your humanity. Remember the rule above. Nothing makes an opponent angrier than when you handle a disagreement in a calm, straightforward, and polite manner. Not only is this the right way to deal with a fellow human being, you will also find that it gives you incredible leverage in the dispute as you trudge forward with a clear mind and they almost always find themselves being worked into a state of emotional imbalance.

By setting your relationships with people in your professional life, including employees, into these two places you will always find success. You shouldn’t sway. Is this a time where becoming defensive or getting on the offensive is correct? If the answer is no, be guided by principle #1. Make it your default setting for all of your relationships. On top of being more successful, I guarantee you will find yourself happier.

Young Entrepreneurs, 8 Things You Need to Know

1. Get Ready to be Broke

Tough lesson to learn. It gets even tougher when your company is actually generating revenue, but you need to reinvest it rather than take it off the table. Starting a company is about the long term investment, not the short term payoff. If you are focused in the short term, affiliate marketing or consulting is likely a better fit. These types of ventures allow you to run lucrative solo enterprises. If your goal is to build a company with a product or service that you are passionate about, then prepared for the early days of scraping.
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