Listen to the podcast here:
Understandings of Growth #6
I’m in the middle of a six-part series of the Six Understandings of Growth. This has to do with what are the soft things or the silent things or the things that are seldom discussed or seldom written about in books that hold a lot of companies together and allow hyper growth. They’re uncomfortable to talk about. I’m talking about them, I don’t care. If this is the first show you’re reading by me, maybe not the best place to start for fear you might judge what the other 399 podcasts are about because none of them are on what I’m about to talk about. I’m hoping you take the time to hear number one through five regardless. This is number six of the Six Understandings of Growth that I feel got us to a $50 million company with 150 plus employees. Most importantly, out of eighteen million US companies allowed us to hit the Inc. 5000 list for what looks like the sixth time. That means we are growing faster over a four-year span than all but 1,000 of the eighteen million US companies. That is something my wife and I are incredibly proud of.
How did we do that? I listed the first five criteria on the five prior episode. This is number six and it’s called the Understanding of Where Ideas Come From. Many people tell me that my wife and I have the ability to see around the corner. We can predict where our industry’s going. We’ve spoken on stages all over the world for a couple of decades. We’ve written books, we’ve podcasted and we have this supposed uncanny idea to see around corners. I don’t think so. I’ve read books like Think and Grow Rich and the like and many books talk about what I’m about to cover. I simply think I understand where ideas come from. I’m even going to claim that ideas come from the dark. They come from silence. They come from the source. In my case, they come from God.
You don't rest from your work. The truth is you work from your rest. Click To Tweet
I’m going to relate this to something I’ve podcasted once or twice about briefly. That is many years ago we had a new young pastor come into our church and I’ll never forget his first sermon. It was business. I was shocked. He said, “Raise your hand if you’re a business owner or a manager and you lead a group of people.” Many people in the congregation raised their hand. He said something interesting I’ve never forgotten. I’ve written about it a lot and talked about it a lot. He said, “How many of you can’t wait for the weekend to rest from your work?” I raised my hand high, so did a lot of other people. He says, “I’m here to tell you something. You don’t rest from your work.” He just let it hang. You could see the looks on people’s faces. He said, “The truth is you work from your rest.”
He went onto explain, “How many of you have had an amazing idea at 2:00 AM? Such an amazing idea that you had to get out of your bed and write it down?” I’ve done that. I don’t know how many times. He said, “How many of you had an amazing idea while you’re driving down Interstate 80?” I’ve done that. I had to pull over and write it down. He said, “How many of you had an amazing idea in the shower? An amazing idea on the toilet? An amazing idea while watching one of your kids plays at the movie theater? How many of you have had amazing life-changing, business-changing decisions while you’re checking email, checking text, on Skype, on a phone call while you’re busy in your day-to-day?” He said, “That’s not how it works. The reality is we were built to work and we were built to rest.” In our world, in my Christian world, we were commanded to rest.
He went on for twenty minutes and did a sermon on why that’s the case that God speaks to us subtly and silently while we are resting. I want to bring this to a pure business sense and bring Keith Cunningham into this. Keith Cunningham is the actual Rich Dad or the source or the storyline behind the book, Rich Dad Poor Dad. There’s a section in the book Think And Grow Rich that talks about this as well. The concept is Keith Cunningham has a thinking chair in which every Friday, he sits in it and he goes through all the little sticky notes from Monday through Thursday that came up while he was busy. In which he would come up with some thought, a little bitty thought. He’d write it down and he’d go, “I have to think on this. Martha, I have to think on a new JV partner,” just little thoughts.
What happens is Friday he turns his phone off, kicks everybody out of the office and he literally sits in his chair in total silence thinking and pondering upon each sticky note. How powerful is that? This is the source of the book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, he is the Rich Dad. He takes every Friday and in stillness, in semi-darkness he thinks. How many of you out there don’t take any time to think? One of the Six Understandings of Growth is the understanding that taking a timeout, retreats meaning corporate retreats where you unplug people. You literally build camaraderie, but most important you build silence, you build small talk, you allow networking, you allow brainstorming and germination. There are a lot of you in our audience that confuses activity with accomplishment. You think the more hours you put in the more productive you’re going to be. That is not always the case. You have to work hard, but you have to plan more.
If you’re reading this and you think you’ve been working hard and a lot of hours and you’re not where you want to be, one of your challenges might be you’re not planning enough. You’re not thinking enough. I don’t think you’re plugged into whatever idea source you want to plug into. I don’t care what it is. Mine happens to be the God Almighty, the Christian God. That’s mine. I pray every Monday at our company. It doesn’t have to be yours, but that’s mine. If you want germination of ideas, sit down in silence at your desk. Turn off your phone. Many of you know I check email at most twice a week. Some of you know this because you’ve emailed me at Ken@IncomeStore.com. I am not on Facebook. I’ve never been in a few years. I don’t plug into things. I’m an unplugged person. I’m plugged into a source, don’t get me wrong, but I’m conscientious of what I plug into. The sixth understanding of growth is that you need ideas and you need to know where to go for the ideas. I study competition like crazy. I study people that are masters of their space like crazy. I mentor under amazing people and I listen to them and I plug into them. On a regular basis, I’m plugged into a source. I hope this helps. Take care.