Bruce Lee and Bananarama
You’d never normally link Bruce Lee and Bananarama together, but they have surprisingly similar philosophies. One of Bruce Lee’s favourite quotes was ‘Knowledge is not enough, you must apply’. Bananarama famously sang ‘It Ain’t What You do, It’s the Way that you do it’. Both are spot on the money. Bruce Lee has influenced me for nearly 40 years, the Bananarama influence has been a more recent phenomenon. I wrote last time about wanting a black belt in business; a lot of that training is coming from a thing called the Entrepreneurs Circle, run by Nigel Botterill. One of his key rules is the Bananarama philosophy. I love knowledge; to learn new things; to engage in seemingly useless facts, trivia and great learning. The problem with so much knowledge is that it is useless if I don’t share it; in other words implement what I have learnt. The challenge with this is that sometimes it’s not the right time, place or environment so you have to store it away for a future opportunity.
Really, it is your fault
What I’ve found is the correlation between learning new business ideas and martial arts is this learning and implementation idea. Learn, practice, do. The same is true of the psychological methods I was learning ten years ago. The thing is in all of these fields I have come across the great majority of people who attend seminars and workshops and do nothing with the knowledge. The same is true of some clients I’ve had. I never tell anyone what to do, but I can advise and it’s up to them what they do with that advice. It’s their life after all. Here, then, is the real kicker in life. If you are going through the worst time of your life (barring death or disaster), it’s your fault. If you’re going through the greatest time of your life it’s also your fault. I’ll vouch for this.
Six months to change things around
I’ve written before about how bad 2011 was for me; I’ve also written about how things have changed around. Six months ago my life was in the toilet; I thought I was going to lose my business and my personal life was a car crash. I had begun changing things, but it was taking time to kick in, but kick in it did. Things are definitely looking up. I’ve just won a national entrepreneur of the month award with the Entrepreneurs Circle – it has given me an immense amount of pride and a real cause for celebration. Many of my martial arts awards have come with a certain degree of nepotism – instructors have awarded them to me, and whilst always grateful, I have sometimes questioned whether I truly earned the award. Does that tell you a little more about me? Perhaps. With this national award I had no sway at all – I won it through blood, sweat and the occasional frustrated tear and I have since found out that some research went into my background to prove that I really did do all the implementation that I claimed. I have. It’s that work ethic again. I sometimes feel like the laziest man alive, and other days I create and work through vast amounts of material and projects.
What is your motivator?
Poverty is a real motivator. Not having money to pay the rent, buy food or fuel is a powerful stimulus to hit the day hard. When I was training for a challenge or for the world championships the mentality was the same. I must run, practice, spar; now it’s more of I must market, learn, implement and do more than I’ve ever done before. To have more enthusiasm when I teach, to understand and listen more to my clients, to be more creative in my writing and more passionate and eloquent in my speaking. Was it my fault I got in trouble? For a number of reasons, yes. Have I learned my lessons? On a business and personal front, yes. Has it been me that worked hard, sought help and learned more? Yes. Just as you face challenges so it’s down to you to sort them. There are days when we want to blame the world for the evils that befall us. Often the case is that we made poor decisions and have to live with the consequences. When things go right, give yourself credit for changing it all around and then do it all again tomorrow. Winning the award doesn’t tell me I can now take a rest, it tells me I have new heights to climb.