Your greatest tool - the one that is guaranteed to have the surety to gain you your next achievement, or to keep you from it - is there between your ears. It's in the way that you think, believe, and act.
Are you thinking that I am about to pull out my violin and launch into some Zig Ziglar or Napoleon Hill power-of-positive-thinking song and dance? Hardly. But there is at least a modicum of truth in what they taught. You only have to look no further than the COW forums to see it in action...
Sometimes, we watch COW members who seem to be perpetually on a treadmill where the "magic" - that "Next Big Thing" that will make them serious and real enough to finally succeed - is just out of reach. Maybe it's the next revision of software, or a new computer. Maybe it's that new office that they've been needing to make them "real." Whatever it is, it is always "one more thing" just out of reach.
We have invested 14-and-a-half years into building media professionals communities online, and from that vantage point of watching people and how they act and react, you learn something about humanity.
I remember when I was in my 20s and someone told me that according to science, bumblebees cannot fly. Their body mass is far too great, and it is a scientific impossibility for the bumblebee to flap those little wings - no matter how fast and hard they may try - and lift themselves into the air.
Fortunately for the bumblebee, they don't know anything about science and do not subscribe to aerodynamic journals - so they merrily fly in spite of the evidence.
Many creative types are unlike bumblebees. We are often looking for that "Next Big Thing" - usually that "missing" component just out of reach - that will allow us to succeed.
We do subscribe to scientific journals, after all, and we do consider the "aerodynamics of our situation." And because of it, we oftentimes never fly - buying every excuse with our reasoning, instead. It is rational and logical evidence, after all. Isn't it?
Whether it is a creative process, a technique, a piece of equipment, or adding another member to our team - there is always something missing that is keeping us from achieving either the creative or business success we aspire to. But sadly, it isn't true - at least not something you could call Absolute Truth. Don't believe me? Do you think that I am wrong?
Consider this: in a marketplace wherein we have to compete against international publishing conglomerates that are armed with huge wallets and teams far bigger than we could possibly muster, we are far ahead of our competition.
Some say that this was a fortuitous accident, one in which we got really lucky. But the COW Leaders who have been close to us and have known us the longest, know that much of what we are doing today, is no accident. It was born in discussions we had in our car driving home from a users group meeting in San Francisco, back in early 1995. On the four hour drive home, we postulated what the market was going to be like in the days ahead.
We made some wrong calls and made some stupid decisions along the way. At one point, we lost everything in a bad business decision.
We didn't have everything we needed when we began fighting back - we didn't even have any money in the bank, and we had no investors. In a fight against companies with millions of dollars, we had our friends who believed in us. And we worked like fools with what little we had, adding another thing here and there, along the way.
We took what we had today and sold that. We have never had everything we wanted, but always enough for what we needed - after all, the only car you can't steer is a parked car.
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