Sometimes, one necessary thing to do in order to become successful is to sacrifice something. Throughout the history of some great people, an underlying theme is giving something up. But what? Ken discusses how success can sometimes demand for you to let go of something, be it a thing or even an attitude. He shares his own personal experiences with having to deal with this, showing how giving up can make more room for bigger goals and success.
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Giving Up, What?
I’m going to hit on a good one. This is age old. This is good now and this is good in 100 years. You can put this one in the bank. The title of this podcast is Giving Up What? If we think of some of the greatest sports heroes, if we think of some of the biggest business owners we know, if you think of every major chemist or inventor, Einstein, and you watch their biographies on TV or you read their biography, some of you have heard me say, “I’ve read countless billionaires biographies before I was 30 years old,” there is one underlying theme and that is they gave things up. When I say they gave them up, they dropped them cold and it was a conscious decision. I’m going to use this from the analogy of sports, big business, and walk through it.
The key is this. It’s my opinion and many others that if you are going to hit the pinnacle of success, there is going to be a direct proportion of sacrifice, of conscious giving up. I’ll give you some example. In a previous podcast or two, I talked about how in my early twenties I was mentored by a man that was very strong, helping people analyze their sacred cow. The sacred cow for a guy often is golfing, drinking on the weekends, some with their close high school, college buddies, spending a lot of time bowling. A sacred cow is something that you use as a goal and you say, “I’m going to temporarily give this up. I’m going to put it on the shelf.”
I remember somebody in Hawaii, he was a spear fisherman as a hobby then he was doing it 30 hours a week and working 42 hours a week. That guy gave up spearfishing and it’s his sacred cow. He did a second business in nights and weekends and the second business ended up making more money than his day job. He quit his job and retired and now he spearfishes 50 hours a week. That’s a sacred cow. A sacred cow is something you’re going to drop only to pick it up again. I’m not talking about that. I am talking about a different level of success. I’m talking to the people that need to make up lost time. I’m talking to the people that want to win at the highest level.If you want to compete in business, you're going to have to give things up. Click To Tweet
I’m going to use my life as an example. Some of you know that early on, based on how my brain is wired, I was counseled that I might want to give up Myspace, Twitter, later Facebook and all forms of social media because as an OCD, once I would open them, I would not surface for two to three days. Many of you know, it’s been eight years since I’ve opened up a Facebook page, a Twitter, or any social media. I looked at my LinkedIn profile two or three years ago. It’s completely outdated. I don’t have the time or energy to jump back for fear that it’ll suck me in and I’ll connect with people I haven’t connected with in a long time and a lot of you will say, “That’s the goal of those platforms.” Yes but then I’d have to sacrifice my business, which doubles every year and that’s not going to stop.
I gave up personally social media, friends and not taking that lightly. I haven’t seen a friend from high school in fifteen years. I gave up negative comments. I went eleven years without saying a negative word and all of a sudden, one of my kids was falling down the stairs, I accidentally said a foul word. Since then, I slip about once a week, once a month but as a rule, pretty seldom does anybody hear anything negative come out of my mouth, whether it’s negative comment about business or about a person. I’m usually slow to speak and conscious about that.
Finally, I gave up television to a fairly high level. I went seven years without a TV in the house. I got my wife’s support on that. The last few years we have some big screens, but I’m very selective recording TV and only watching it when I can truly say that it would be appropriate. My friend, David Corbin, wrote a phenomenal book called Illuminate and in the book, there’s a running theme that, “It’s simply time to get real.” Everybody could say to themselves, “The first step of all success is to stop lying to ourselves.”
Everybody lies to themselves. I lied to myself and the key is this. To what degree can we shut down the lies of how great we’re doing, how well things are and look at them with a bigger microscope and say, “What couple of few things could I give up permanently that would free up a tremendous amount of time so that what I could put in its place, these vitamins, these chunks, these growth nuggets? If they were to compound weekly and continually stack on top of each other and allow for explosive growth,” so you could either make up lost time or you could set bigger goals.
Every Olympian that won a gold medal sacrificed food. They sacrificed friends. I’m going to guess they even sacrificed social media. I know they sacrificed to sleep. Some of them get up at 4:00 AM or 5:00 AM. Why? They know they have to proactively give things up or they can’t win because the people that are competing with are giving up the same thing. If you want to compete in business, not rub-a-dub your way to success, you’re going to have to give things up. The question is, “What?” I hope this helps. Take care.