Most of us have something. Which means we have something to lose. Now. We may have had a glimpse of ‘having nothing’ and possibly even had nothing at some point but I would argue most of us truly have never hit bottom. Come close? Sure. Maybe. I know I have. But until you truly have had nothing … absolutely nothing … you have always had something to lose.
Which leads us to have expectations.
And expectations are tricky things.
Expectations seem to rear its ugly head most when you begin thinking you already have something <and … well … you actually DO have something>.
I was reminded of this topic once again when I spoke with a small company who wanted to discuss ‘rebranding’ themselves.
After some talking … they didn’t really need to rebrand … they simply needed to remind themselves of when they had nothing. When they first started their company.
They needed to refind their original ‘mojo.’ Refind the ‘nothingness’ they initially embraced to believe in themselves and create something <from that nothing>.
As time had gone on … their successes made them wander from who they were when they first opened their business.
We all mature and learn as we experience more and more … but when you first start a company you typically have some ideals and ideas.
I see so many business people benchmarking and casting about “what the market wants’ and trends and a whole bunch of other mumbo jumbo <albeit often good things just to check on>.
More often these same people would find their time used more productively by simply refreshing their original ideals and ideas.
And by refreshing I don’t mean ‘redoing’ or ‘rebranding’ but simply pulling them out of the drawer, reminding what they were, blow the dust off of them … and make sure they remain the corner stone to whatever may be planned for the future.
Expectations are tricky things.
Then you had nothing.
Now you have something.
And we justify changing or redirecting off the infamous “well … I have learned a lot since then.”
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Mostly you learned that your ideals and ideas were solid. But sometimes you had to wrap them around some tactical ‘doing’ shit you just never envisioned you would be faced with when you got up and running.
Running a business is hard.
Sometimes we expect too much.
It also sometimes seems like the key is to just expect nothing … and then that one time when you’re not all caught up in thinking about what you really want to happen … it will.
In business … there are a shitload of people who don’t like that last thought.
“It will just happen.”
And they don’t even like it looking backwards <wow, that was good, it couldn’t have just happened though … what specifically can we attribute it to?>.
I am certainly not suggesting business based on faith.
Because a ‘build it and it will come” business ideology is doomed for failure 99% of the time.
I am suggesting that if you stay the course with solid ideals <of what you want> and solid ideas <what you believe is the right thing to do> that more times than not “it will just happen” and you will not be able to specifically point to one thing that made it happen <other than maybe your ideals and ideas of course>.
I read this somewhere … that two things define your personality, the way you manage things when you have nothing & the way you behave when you everything.
I like that thought.
I like that thought for Life in general … but really like it for business leaders.
Many people misread this discussion.
This discussion is NOT about risking everything. It is simply just thinking about ‘what would you do if you had nothing’ businesswise. Because what that leaves you with is your character and doing things you want to do and saying things you want to say.
And you can look at nothing several ways.
In thinking long term … your vision for your company or ‘who you are’ as a company … or simply in making decisions within the moment.
As Mr. Magorium suggested … “you can live a lifetime in 37 seconds.”
Sometimes I think all you need is 37 seconds of insane courage.
Just literally 37 seconds of just embarrassing bravery.
To paraphrase that incredibly bad movie ‘little black book’ … “in that 37 seconds I believe we have the ability to write our own stories.
And each time we think we know the end, we don’t. Perhaps luck exists somewhere between the world of planning, of chance and in the peace that comes from knowing that you just can’t know it all. Life’s funny that way… once you let go of the wheel, you might end up right where you belong.
Thinking like you have nothing.
Most people may not like the actual feeling of having nothing but they liked who they were when they had nothing.
Having things is nice … really nice … but it can clutter your thinking.
Think like you have nothing.
It is a good business practice.
Mostly because while you may look at all the dollars and cents you have accumulated … inevitably you will end up looking back on HOW you made all those dollars and cents.
As Wonder Years reminds us:
Then you begin to make your mark.
You face decisions, make choices.
You keep moving forward. But sooner or later there comes a time where you look back over where you have been … and wonder who you really are.” - The Wonder Years
Looking back … or looking backwards. I tend to not like doing this … and I tend to rarely suggest a business do so … excepting with some very specific situations and needs. Maybe I could say it better by suggesting we not look back at the horizon but at specifics … specific events, times, places & words. Seek out something very very specific. Like when you had nothing for example.
This was some shared thinking for businesses … but I imagine components are relevant to Life in general.
What I mean by that is … in business or in personal Life … if you practice thinking like you have nothing … I promise you … you will look back someday and never wonder who you really are.
Who you have become will simply be a reflection of who you are … not of ‘things’ or anything you have accumulated.