In part six on the Magic of Thinking Big, Ken shares the final magic accelerator: to expect results. Recalling back the power of speaking your goals to the world, you will find the magic of the many ears listening to you and having them work with you towards it. On your part, you have to speak while expecting results. This pushes you right through it, knowing full well that you’ll emerge with your goals complete. Ken imparts some insights and great stories on why expecting your results matter.
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Magic Accelerator 2
This episode is the sixth part of a four-part series on The Magic of Thinking Big. These include the four main nuggets of how you go about thinking big and then two accelerators on making it happen a little bit faster. This is the final accelerator, which is accelerator number two. I’m going to probably write a book on these six parts. This chapter is called the Ultimate Accelerator. If you’re catching this episode for the first time, you might want to go back five episodes to hear The Magic of Thinking Big Number One. The final accelerator is to “expect” the results and it’s much deeper and much more difficult than it sounds.
To a small degree, you do need to speak your goals to an accountability buddy. You need to speak your goals to the world, your team, and everybody around you. It’s only hard in the beginning until you witness these little small miracles continuously that Kerri and I have. You speak your goals to the world then you sit back and you watch as the world goes to work on your behalf. You’re definitely going to want to check some back episodes to see that not only is speaking your goals into the world and into an accountability person, not woo-woo, it’s how things are done. In the magic of thinking big, results happen in part because you speak to the world, which is those around you. You speak what you’re going to do.
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Interestingly enough, there are people around you, whether it’s employees, friends, people on the golf course, people you’re shopping with. When you’re speaking your goals to the world continuously and it’s all you talk about, there are ears listening. They hear what you’re saying and then, ironically, for some reason, they then speak what you want also. They speak your goals to their peers, bosses, friends, and spouses. Others then hear your message. It’s a metaphorical call to arms as the world comes your way and helps you with your goal.
I have read dozens of billionaires’ biographies. I read The First Tycoon and Andrew Carnegie. It happens right in the beginning, middle, and at the end of the book where he is speaking this audacious, never going to happen, completely impossible dream or goal. He does not realize that there is someone in the room listening, pretending not to listen, on two occasions. They take what they’re considering as gossip and they’re running to their friends telling them, this crazy man thinks he’s going to do this and do this with trains and boats. All of a sudden, that person who thinks they’re being coy, speaks of Carnegie’s dream to other men. These other men then go right to Carnegie and say, “I can help you.”
There is an incredible story that proves this out for those that ever want to read a book called The Making of a Blockbuster. My wife and I, in the ‘90s, had a chain of video stores. When we’re very young, we were very aggressive and full of energy. For whatever reason, we stumbled into the video store industry where we rented VHS tapes. There is an incredible story of how the VHS industry got turned on its ear. A gentleman named Wayne Huizenga sold waste management for $7 billion. He’s sitting on $7 billion cash.
There’s a young man in Texas and he’s got ten video stores. He starts telling his friends and everybody knows that he’s going to have national chains. He’s going to blow this thing up, have so many video stores, and be a household name, but this guy doesn’t know anybody. He’s not speaking to his banker or investors, he can’t keep his mouth shut because he’s so excited. It turns out that somebody tells somebody who tells somebody that goes back to this young man in Texas and they go, “I know exactly the guy you need to tell your story to and show your business to.” He says, “His name is Wayne Huizenga. He just retired and he’s got $7 billion in the bank.” This young man just starts shaking. He knows right now, this is the guy. He was in the garbage can rental business. Wayne Huizenga used to buy a garbage can and rent it until the lifetime use of that garbage can was over, meaning until it was battered and bruised, and then he would sell the garbage can and start all over.
Guess what you do in the rental business of VHS tapes? You buy a VHS tape for $70 and you rent it and rent it until it’s lifetime use is over, and then you sell it off as used video for $6. It’s the identical industry. He knew if he could get Wayne Huizenga somehow to go down from Illinois to Texas, they can make magic. As the story goes and it’s an incredible story of how it happens, the guy finally talks to Wayne into flying down to just sit behind the counter for three hours on a Friday or Saturday night. As Wayne Huizenga describes it, he goes, “I sat there stunned. I saw banks of computers with cash registers underneath them. Just banks of them six, eight, ten across with people in lines twenty deep with the cashier saying, ‘Give me five bucks, give me five bucks, give me five bucks’ and it never ended. It lasted until 11:00 at night. I knew right there that this kid was onto something.”
They did some incredible partnership deal where the young man with the original ten Blockbuster stores kept a tiny percentage. Wayne Huizenga said to him, this is amazing, he goes, “Son, we can do this on the one condition. We have to open 4,200 stores in 36 months. If we can’t do that, we won’t be first and fast and it won’t happen. We’ll get our lunch eaten by the big boys.” Sure enough, as everybody knows, they did it. They opened 4,000 stores in 32 months. The point was that young man spoke his audacious goal of a national chain to the world and people heard it and they took the message to somebody else.
That kid was expecting results. He wasn’t going to stop and he was totally in expectation of results. The king of expecting results was Walt Disney. Walt Disney kept speaking his dream to the world expecting results. The accelerator number two is you have to expect the results. You don’t go into it halfway, you expect the completion. Walt Disney filed bankruptcy officially seven times, yet he kept speaking his vision to the world and guess what? The investor’s kept coming, they kept buying into his dream.
I’m going to bring up an amazing paragraph. Many of you have heard me say it half a dozen times over the years. This is Napoleon Hill from the famous book Think and Grow Rich, “Isn’t it amazing that a man with definiteness of purpose goes through life and watches how the world steps aside and then comes beside him and helps him with his aims?” That describes accelerator number two of expecting results better than anything I can imagine.
For about nine months, Kerri and I have been searching for a property in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. We currently rent a 3,200 square foot office with our 30 or so people, but we are growing aggressively. We’re over 100 people. It’s an amazing situation and we knew we’re going to have to get something, not 6,000, not 8,000, maybe 10,000 square feet or more so we can prepare for long-term growth.
After six to nine months of building after building, “That’s not big enough. It’s not going to work. There’s no parking.” It was exhaustive, but you can’t stop the search, we need a bigger building. Kerri and I were resolute, “We need to buy something. I do not want to rent and give someone else all that monthly income and grow their asset. I don’t want to do that.” We had almost closings on a number of high-end lease to buys. We did put an offer on a 72,000 square foot building, but we got overbid by $600,000. It was bad news after bad news.
Finally, Kerri and I are there. We have to leave in two hours to go to the airport to come home. We have been looking at properties all day and we’re exhausted. Here’s what I said, “Kerri, this is nuts. We are going to a bar, I’m going to get a bourbon-based drink, you’re going to get a good wine. We are calling real estate agents and we are going to buy a building today.” She’s like, “We’ve got two hours.” I said, “Listen to me, we are going to a bar. As a matter of fact, we’re going to go to the Press Room. I know the exact drink I’m going to get. I’m guessing to know the wine you’re going to order. We are going to go online, call a couple real estate agents we have not met yet I’m telling you in the next two hours, we’re going to look at a building and buy something today.”
We went online and found a building, it’s 21,000 square feet. We had not previously seen it online anywhere. There were no pictures, no nothing, yet it had been listed for years. It had been vacant for eight years, but the owner had just put a new roof on six months ago because he wanted to sell this building. We called this lady, her name was Laura, we were so excited because we knew by the picture, this could be the building. The price, everything was right, city proper link, it’s 21,000 square feet. I’m like, “Kerri, this is the building.” I was shaking, I felt it. I get this lady on the phone and ironically she answers on two rings.
She answers the phone, I said, “This is Ken and Kerri. We have a building in Quarryville, twenty miles south of here. We need to move to Lancaster. We’ve been looking for nine months. I see you’re building. How do I get into your building in the next two hours?” She’s like, “Slow down.” In the next two hours, she goes, “I’m closing, I’m wrapping up for the weekend. I’ve got to go.” I said, “Here’s the deal” and I wasn’t stopping. I don’t think I took a breath. Finally, this lady is like, “Let’s slow down. What’s your current company?” I said, “Income Store,” and I could hear some keys in the background and in about three minutes later she goes, “You’re here in Quarryville.” I keep talking. She goes, “The code to the building is 1234, get the key out of the main door. It works on the door to the left and just turn the lights off when you leave.”
I got to Kerri. I said, “Kerri, this is it.” We get in the car, there’s a little daylight left. It’s three stories tall and we walk into the building, we get to the main floor. It’s an all cinder block, completely barren warehouse. It was the original warehouse for the Atari game baseball, later they made the football game there, too. It’s a rather historic building. We walked in the middle and I looked at Kerri, “This is it, no question.” We went upstairs to the second floor and the third floor. It is the perfect building for our company.
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We get in the car and we drive to the airport and we leave this girl a message. It was probably a little bit overly excited, but the bottom line is she called back. Before we got to the airport, we had roughly negotiated a price, then 48 hours later from home, we settled on a price. We physically spoke that building into existence. I was mentally done and I had this whole time search for nine months without using the concepts of the magic of thinking big. I was using the concepts that most people use, which is work habit.
We can work until we’re blue in the face. There are definitely some principles in the world that can be applied to anything. Have you ever seen an Olympic athlete that isn’t closing their eyes right before their event and physically picturing the finished product standing on the podium? You can even physically see these high-end athletes talking to themselves. They’re speaking what they want into existence and they’re expecting the results. Hope this helps. Take care.