by Robert Lindquist / MerchantMuscle.com
Just Do It! I’m sure that somewhere along the way you have heard the saying “Just Do It.” In fact, Nike® used this phrase and coined it as part of their trademark back in 1988. Over the years I have had coaches, parents, employers, etc. say that exact thing to me. It was not until recently that this phrase took on an entirely new meaning. I want to share with you why this common phrase has now taken on such an entirely new meaning in my life.
You see up until now, I have been OK with being average. I know, BORING! But in a recent article I read in the 100 Day challenge, the question was posed, if you’re going to settle, why not settle for being great?
The Young Entrepreneur
I began my experience as an entrepreneur as a child back in the late 60’s, collecting glass “pop bottles” for their refunds and raking leaves throughout the neighborhood. Please know that raking leaves were not my favorite thing to do in any way, shape, or form. I would come home with blisters all over my hands and filthy dirty from head to toe. However, the local convenience store had racks full of candy, and I wanted to be able to purchase some! I remember my grandfather speaking with me when I was going over my business plan (borrowing his rake) 🙂 saying “you can do whatever you put your mind to, just go do it.” That stuck with me.
Time For A Shine
I remember a few month later going with my grandfather to the shoe repair shop to pick up a pair of shoes he had repaired. As we walked up to the building, I was captivated by an older gentleman shining the shoes of a customer. I stood and watched in amazement as I had never seen this before. As he worked, he looked at me and smiled asking “would you like me to shine those sneakers when I get done here?”
I thanked him for the offer but informed him that I did not have any money right now which produced quite a laugh from both the shoe shine guy and his customer. Inside my mind, however, the wheels were turning and then came a question for the shoe shine entrepreneur, “do you make a lot of money doing that?”. His response came with a gentle smile as he replied, “yes son, I do alright.”
My grandfather then appeared from inside the shop, and we began to walk across the parking lot. As we did I told my grandfather that I had an idea. I was going to try my hand at shining shoes. My thoughts were that I could make more money doing that than raking leaves which were killing my hands. His response was again, “you can do whatever you put your mind to, just do it.”
Time For Action
That weekend I built a portable shoe shine box out of scrap wood and an old toolbox and borrowed a few supplies from my grandfather. (He was retired Army, and his shoes were shined every day, and he had plenty of extra supplies) The next weekend I remember sitting in front of Publix Supermarket on Saturday and shining the shoes of the older gentlemen as their wives shopped inside. I thought that I had hit the big times! I made 3x the money and worked in the shade. At that early stage in my career, I didn’t know what I couldn’t do.
“Stinkin Thinkin” Hinders Becoming Great
I share this memory to preface my earlier comment about “Just Do It” and how it has taken on a new meaning to me as an entrepreneur in my mid 50’s. Throughout my life I as I grew older, I slowly adopted the mindset that there will always be someone better, smarter, richer, better looking, etc. and that I should just settle with that fact. A friend of mine calls that “Stinkin Thinkin.”
We are always bombarded through the media with images of the best of the best, success in everything they happen to be marketing. We see images depicting people living their “dream lives” constantly. The result usually ends one of two ways, either it will motivate you to somehow achieve that “whatever” or more often sets in a mindset of someone has already done that and is better than I could ever be. Over the years we tend to become OK with being average. This slow fade robs us of ever becoming our very best. We give up on our dreams. We settle for less than greatness.
My question to you is,
if you’re going to settle,
why not settle for being great?
Fast forward to today. I am in my mid 50’s. I have owned several small businesses and have done OK, nothing spectacular, just average. The funny thing is that I recall what my grandfather said to me years ago, you can do anything you put your mind to, just do it. It’s a fresh reminder. One might say, it’s a little late, isn’t it? Not a chance, this is just the beginning!
Empower Yourself, Settle For Being Great
To me, entrepreneurs and small businesses are what makes our country great. They are the very fabric that holds our country and our economy together. That’s the reason I decided to create MerchantMuscle.com. Over my 30+ years of being an entrepreneur, I’ve learned a lot. Now I feel that it’s time to give back.
MerchantMuscle.com was created to empower entrepreneurs and small business owners in their pursuit of achieving their very best. I am continually working to add new resources, tools, and information that can help you achieve your goals and dreams no matter how big they are.
Let Today Be Your day
Every journey begins with the first step, great businesses start with just a crazy idea, a seemingly impossible dream. But then, someone took that first step, they put that vision into action. They refused to be average. What have you always dreamed of doing? Perhaps it’s building your own business. Or, take your business to a new level, being #1 in your industry.
Remember, no one can be a better you, than you. Don’t settle for being average, if you’re going to settle, settle for being great! Hustle and determination can outperform talent when talent doesn’t hustle. I encourage you to just do it, take the first step, make today the day that you decided to go after your dreams whether you wear Nike® shoes or not. 🙂
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