Kendra: Thank you Jerry for joining us for another episode of The Founder’s Table. On the last episode we talked about your story and you shared with us some really great insight into your past, how you got started in the business, and now I’m excited to move from past to present.
So we’ll be covering a lot of the most relevant and important subjects that face entrepreneurs today. Let’s get started with talking about the big picture. We know that if we have big goals we have to know how to get there and have to be motivated to get there. You’ve always reinforced the power of having a strong but clear and concise why – “why are you in this business in the first place?” Can you please speak to that?
Jerry: Yes. I believe it all starts there. In fact, you mentioned ‘the big picture’ and I’ve always felt that my reason or my ‘why’ was big. Even though looking back, my ‘why’ has changed many times. Now my original ‘why’ looks rather small.
So first of all, to understand your ‘why’ or ‘why am I doing this’ or ‘why should I do anything’, I believe we must first recognize we were created to do things. That we were created to improve, as individuals personally and that we’re put here to help other people. So we start there and then realize that our ‘why’ changes as we go on forward. So it starts with ‘why’ and that has everything to do with our personal dream. In other words, what do we visualize in our minds that we would like to be, we would like to accomplish, we would like to build. The first step is to visualize that dream, and then realize that dream needs to be strong enough, powerful enough, attractive enough, and big enough to pull us up. In other words we don’t quit because our dream is motivating us to keep going even when it’s tough going. I don’t believe that any of us are strong enough on our own to accomplish our total dreams. So if we have a dream, we need to get that down so that we take the step of making it attractive enough so that the power of that visualization pulls us up to success. So that is the first step.
Kendra: Could that be summarized into saying that an effective ‘why’ has to answer the question ‘what do I want my legacy to be after I’m not here anymore?’
Jerry: Well I think it can be your legacy but my first ‘why’ was ‘what do I want to accomplish in the way of the size of my business’. My ‘why’ is maybe I need a better home, maybe I need a more stable financial situation. Maybe my first ‘why’ is ‘I’m so miserable with all the debt I have and I just want to get out of debt. That was my first ‘why’ – getting out of debt. It seemed pretty big to me at the time.
Kendra: I love how you talk about reevaluating that and looking at what’s going to motivate us where we are today. Now, what kind of reevaluation did you do in your own personal life?
Jerry: Well for example if we go back, I remember my first goal, my dream, was to be debt-free and I wanted to get up to zero net worth. I was a young man that owed money to my father, to my uncle, to a couple of finance companies, and I needed to get that debt off my back. My dream was powerful at that time because I realized what this debt was doing to me. Along with that, thinking very big, I wanted to have $4,000 cash in the bank and not owe anyone anything. So then the next step is to have some goals in my business that might allow that to happen. By setting goals I was able to write them down. In other words, goals are not effective unless we visualize the goal, we write it down, we think about it and then we assign a timeframe to that goal as part of our dream. By assigning a time frame to it, this keeps us thinking about it because we’re running out of time. With that in mind once, we shoot past our goal and dream, we have to set a new goal and a new dream.
It’s an ongoing process that evolves as we put in place the things that cause us to accomplish our dreams and our ‘why’. And that involves other people and the relationships that we build in our lives that allow us to do something. We can’t do it on our own.
Kendra: How do you go about finding those people? What did you do initially starting out? What were you looking for?
Jerry: I started out looking for anybody that would just join me. I would talk to anybody even if they were very negative or very positive. I soon refined that process a little bit. I found that people that were too much bother, too much trouble, that were just so negative, maybe not their fault, but life had dealt them so many hardships and setbacks and they were around other negative people. The effect of these deep-rooted negative beliefs made it almost impossible for them to make progress. So I would choose not to involve them in my team and family because they were too much trouble.
So I would look for the basics. The same things we look for when we hire employees in the company, I would look for in my team. I believe that if you have the right attitude, basically positive, normal, and good cheer, then you can teach the skill. So that was what I look for. Just people I like to be around.
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