There seems to be an all too common theme I’m seeing these days. People know subconsciously that they need to make radical changes in their lives, but then their egos talk them out of it and they revert to form.
Change takes courage, change takes a different attitude.
This is why I advocate adopting fierce reinvention, or something similar, as your mantra for change.
Let me give you a recent case study. Markus has spent the last decade and a half getting up at 4am, kissing his sleeping children on the forehead and then hitting the road to get to his business. He works the corporate treadmill solidly until late in the evening. He repeats this every day of the week and his business is thriving. On weekends family time is sacrosanct.
But here’s the thing: his business isn’t scaling and he cannot take his eye off it for more than a minute. Over the years he has tried a few different angles to introduce scale and reduce frictions. He diversified from being purely services-based and introduced a product line that leveraged his strong brand. But without the resources to market this product it hasn’t progressed beyond a novelty. He’s diversified his personal asset base, but the upside hasn’t eventuated.
He admits he has no real strategy, plan or goal in place. And frustratingly, every time he tries something innovative he quickly gets pulled back into the day to day of his current business.
He recently bought himself a luxury motor vehicle as a reward for his years and years of hard work. He feels guilty driving it.
A couple of weeks ago Markus woke in the middle of the night with pains in his chest. He was terrified he was having a heart attack. Death felt imminent, but he convinced himself it was an anxiety attack due to the pressures he is under. He didn’t go for a medical check up, yet was sufficiently shaken up to give his wife a brief on what to do with his estate should he die.
And then he went back to the corporate treadmill. He convinced himself that he is in control; he will consider making a New Year’s resolution to bring changes to his life.
What would you do in Markus’s situation?
I put this question to Hamish Thomson from Priority Advisory Group. His answer:
Markus should take a step back to evaluate. Changes are necessary, he knows this.
Being fierce resonates with him. If he is going to implement changes that can improve his relationships, business, health, why would he wait?
It doesn’t make sense to say I’ll be fierce next week (or in January), or I’ll be slightly fierce today.
Fierce implies urgency.