What Happens When Things are Under Control?

Control Key on Computer Keyboard
The alarm clock went off and Steve couldn’t even bring himself to turn it off. He shuffled like an injured turtle to the bathroom while it continued screeching from his bedside table, hating himself with every step, swearing for staying in his thankless job at the office.

Standing in front of the sink, staring into the cursed mirror at his three a.m. shadow, the cold of ceramic tile beneath his feet wasn’t what he felt at all.

What he felt was the emptiness in his soul. And ran to the toilet to regurgitate his self-loathing.

After washing his face, he straightened his back, and as if the devil himself had been exorcised from his miserable body, he was rejuvenated. On fire. Almost literally.

He KNEW what he needed to do. He KNEW the why behind his staying at that forsaken office. And he was done with it.

The reason he’d lost so often at the battle called business, the reason he was still in his $750/month rental hole-in-the-wall and not in his dream condo on the West side?


He was the reason for his loss. He trucked along. Doing what he was supposed to do, when he was supposed to do it. And he kept things “under control” living this way.

But “under control”? Never earned what he wanted.

Sitting down at his desk, answering emails, checking the company’s social media, sneaking in a few reads of his hero’s blogs, none of it scored him the big moula. Sure, everything was “under control”, but that’s not how you make it big.

And with his realization, he was done.

Steve walked into the office, did what he had to do to survive, after all, he had just “woken up”, not lost his mind. Leaving this job wasn’t an option. YET.

But when he had time, he delved into his ideas and started developing the business that he’d wanted to start 5 years ago.

Working that plan, everyday, Steve’s “luck” changed. He shifted into the pattern of success that he’d grown tired of reading about online.

He was up every morning before work, working his grind. He was home while everyone else was out, working his grind. When it was time to relax, he was working his grind.

And two years later? He walked out of that office door for the last time. The businesses that he worked so hard to develop were thriving enough to allow him to survive on them alone. That wasn’t all. He had sold two other ideas that made him enough money for a down payment on that condo and he was living his dream. Hustling. Grinding. Making his mark.

That’s what business is all about. If you want to make it, you can’t sit still. You have to constantly move forward. You have to constantly make mistakes (which ALSO move you forward). You have to develop your ideas, your strategies and your plans.

Because, in business, if everything seems under control, you’re just not moving fast enough for success to find you.

No Talent, No Problem, No Excuse

You think you’ve got talent.

But guess what. It doesn’t really matter.

Because “hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard”.


Even Kevin Durant, the freakishly tall, amazingly kind basketball star knows that being tall doesn’t mean you’ll be a great player. Kevin worked hard all through high school to play with the best. He knew being tall didn’t mean he’d be able to make three-pointers with ease. Unless he worked at them.

Because he’s known the value of that hard work since his earliest days on the court, he worked his grind to become a 4x NBA Scoring Champion. And he didn’t get there because his grandma recognized being tall was a blessing.

He got there because he was on the court day after day. He got there because, even though he had to pick himself up off the floor more times than he shot his rookie year, he struggled to get the ball and take shot after shot at that hoop.

Kevin Durant is the epitome of guy that knows the meaning of hard work, regardless of his level of talent. And his success proves it

Talent Is Never Enough

You can have the greatest ability in the world (which is inarguably the ability to speak foreign tongues), but if you don’t work with that talent, you’ll go approximately nowhere.

On the flip side of that coin, you can have almost zero talent (just to be realistic here since everyone has SOME kind of talent, even if it’s tying your shoes with your tongue – can I just say “ew”?), yet you can still make enough to live in that penthouse in New York City that you always dreamed of. You know, the one that overlooks the harbor and is completely furnished in black leather? And you can still have that 2015 Jaguar XJ parked in the parking garage of said penthouse.

ONLY if you work.

Talent is awesome and it makes the work a little less, well, stressful, BUT you still have to work at it. You still have to hustle. You still have to work the grind.

Work the Grind

When you get out of bed, you can’t worry what your competition is doing or your neighbor or the guy from your your fraternity. You can lie to yourself and say that you’re only “checking” to see if they’re failing or succeeding. Because what you’re doing is 1) wasting precious moments of productivity, 2) disrupting your own creativity by allowing them to influence you, 3) doubting your own skill-set.

Talent or no talent, you have to spend your time wisely. Focused. You have to know where you’re headed and take the steps necessary to get there.

Success doesn’t create itself. Your time has to be spent creating it. If you really want it.

Create Your Success

Success comes from clawing and scratching your way through the mire, through the muck. It’s created by fighting harder than the other guys fight. It’s created by standing back and asking yourself, “What’s the next step?” Then doing it. Regardless of what’s in your face.

Because there will always be crap in your face. There will always be a reason to not plow forward. But you can’t stop because you have the blues or because your significant other has decided you’re just not enough for her. You have to block out the world. You have to maintain that tunnel vision.

When it’s all said and done? She didn’t matter anyway. Your new best friend? The words: So what? Because when So What is on the top of your head, you’ll not look back at those 1001 dates where she made you laugh. You’ll not look back at 6 months you spent as the Top Performer in your company and wonder why you’re not there anymore. You’ll eat the crow you need to eat to make your own success.

Because so what if you weren’t born with the talent your competition has? It’s YOU who will go farther because YOU are the one busting you’re ass day after day.

And if you’re an entrepreneur? That is the ONLY way you’re going to succeed.

Sure, you can get out of bed each day and approach your goals half-assed. Get in line bro… You can approach your million dollar dream with a minimum wage work ethic. But that’s all you’re going to get out of it: minimum wage.

Winning, succeeding, ONLY comes when you decide to single-handedly take on your goals, one-by-one. And doing the WORK to make them happen. Regardless of whether or not you hit the talent lottery.

Don’t wait…

a year from now

Actually we all can…

actually we all can

Failing does not make you a failure….


Do Something

Never deprive someone of hope, it might be all they have.  Ours is not the task of fixing the entire planet but rather of reaching out to mend the part of the world that is within our sphere of influence.

What’s your story?

You get out what you put in

Do one more thing each day before you shut it down.  There are approximately 260 working days per year.  Do the math.  Success is an acquired taste but one that you will come to enjoy if you will get in the habit of doing just a bit more each day.

It is by no means easy but nothing great ever is.  Stay focused on creating an authentic experience and you too can differentiate yourself amongst all the other poor souls waiting for something to happen.

It is about progress not perfection!

Advancement only comes with habitually doing more than you are asked”-Gary Ryan Blair

Are you a grinder?

I have been able to identify patterns of the times in my life that I have grown the most both personally and professionally.  The majority of those times were a result of some kind of  “setback”‘,’ maybe even a series of them.  I have come to appreciate those times more now than in years past for the lessons learned along the way.  I have discovered that part of the “secret sauce” for well accomplished people is how they view failure.   The  “great ones”  see failure as a learning experience not a defeat.  Do yourself a favor and read that sentence again!  Failure is a part of the success equation.  If you are not failing then you are far too comfortable and are not taking any risks.  Successful people are grinders!  They will never be out-worked regardless of the weather, the competition or the economy.

Choose to lead by becoming a grinder.


Here’s a simple process from Seth Godin to move to outstanding.  How would you finish this phrase from the perspective of your audiences, clients, customers etc…

A simple fill in the blank for creating a remarkable service, partnership or experience:

“I was pleased that I got what I paid for, that the food was properly cooked, that they honored their contract, that the roller coaster worked, that there was no trash on the ground and that the staff looked me in the eye.

But what really blew me away was _____”

By definition, whatever goes in the blank is an extra, more than you had to do. But what you must do to be considered remarkable. (Remarkable is what we call something we remark on).

Let’s try it.