Today marks the 50th Anniversary of the first time we sent a man to the moon. Coincidentally it is also the same day I was born. My running joke is I was so special they sent astronauts to another celestial body to celebrate. This event has always held a special place in my heart even if it wasn’t done in honor of me.
When we look at that point in time it’s wonder we got there at all. Our nation was in the height of the Cold War with Russia. In the late 50’s the Space Race was in full force and Russia was winning. While the Russians were putting satellites, animals, and eventually people in space, the United States was struggling just to get a rocket off the ground. Then, in 1961, President John F. Kennedy made a stunning announcement that the US, “should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” That message unified a nation to do the impossible. Though President Kennedy never got to see his Vision, we did in fact put a group of astronauts on the moon and brought them safely back.
Kennedy’s bold statement is the perfect example of Vision. It was simple, concise, and easy to understand. At its time the goal was motivating and established a common ground that both political parties could stand behind. How times have changed. Most importantly that lone statement brought a level of change to our lives that we can still appreciate to this day.
Many companies struggle to define their own moonshot. The owner may have a vision locked in their head, but rarely does it materialize in a way to motivate others to act. In an era where many companies complain about the lack of employee loyalty the idea of defining a singular direction that teams can get behind is critical. That message is also the key to becoming the business of choice instead of battling for the leftovers.
Any company in the United States today has the opportunity to succeed. Most will never reach their full potential. Much of this is because leaders are reactive instead of proactive. It’s only when they are pressured to change that they actually do. When you are always playing catch up in a race it is hard to get ahead. When they do try to enact change they often use the soup du jour method of gravitating towards the latest trend. There’s no consistency of message, nor is there any accountability or follow through.
Steve Jobs once said he wanted to make a dent in the universe. One could say he accomplished that goal. Your full potential is unwritten and while your impact doesn’t need to be to the degree of Steve Jobs, you can play your own part in changing the universe and take your own moonshot.
Choose to define your life – Your company is a vehicle to get you from where you are to where you want to be. Its capabilities are only limited by you. Defining what you want in life goes a long way to solidify the scope of your enterprise. Only then can you see its full potential.
Get others to come along for the ride – Many companies have employees. Many business owners complain about the quality, and ability, of their workers. That’s because they hire people to do a task. These laws are true today as they were throughout human history: 1) People need purpose, 2) They need to know they matter, and. 3) They need to be empowered to make a difference. If you hire for tasks you do nothing to satisfy any of the three laws described above.
Ask for help – Owners who are too proud to ask for help, or afraid of what others will think are the ones who will struggle most. The Midwest work ethic is also surrounded by a lot of Midwest pride. Asking for help is a sign of weakness and even failure. Many times the captain would rather go down on a sinking ship than invest in getting help.
Live Fearlessly – David Lee Roth, the frontman for Van Halen once said, “Remember life is a game and no one gets out alive”. Play it for all that it’s worth. Go to your grave leaving no regrets. Each of us are handed a puzzle to solve and each move can create a multitude of outcomes. Quit worrying about what others think or if you fail. Everyone else is too busy worrying about their own shit to spend all their time focused on you, and if they are it’s because they will dream to live as fearlessly as you.
Fail – Speaking of failure, you need to fail multiple times to learn your own path to success. I’ve failed too many times to count. Each time I pivot and move forward. Once a new achievement is unlocked I change the bar again. The key to failure is try not to take it personally. Speaking from experience I can tell you that’s much easier than it sounds. It’s human nature to compare your road to others. I’ve had a few monumental downfalls and each time I learn and get stronger. That doesn’t stop the pain of losing, but it does make the wins all that much sweeter.
Build a strong network – Surround yourself with success. Find people who will believe in you as much as you will for them. Build a team of winning attitudes and you will become unstoppable. I’ve been blessed to have met a lot of great people in my life. The ones that cheer you on spur further growth. Find those who will build you up instead of tear you down.
Just keep going! – When things aren’t working out it’s easy to stop. We have all been in those situations where we aren’t getting the results we want. Unfortunately most of our world is aligned to encourage us to stop. It’s too hard. You’re just going to fail again. Society is negatively wired and average is acceptable. You don’t have to raise the bar too high to achieve something extraordinary. Sometimes it is just the fact that you keep moving forward.
So as I charge headlong into my 50th year on this planet I’m excited about the potential that lies before me. While others think of slowing down I’m looking forward to hitting the gas. After all, you don’t write a book called Go Far, Go Fast! for nothing! Join me on the journey. Define your moonshot. Surround yourself with those who will support you. If you need someone, just reach out. Connect with me, join my groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. Connect with me directly through https://www.gofargofast.com and sign up for our to get help, ask questions, or connect with others here: http://eepurl.com/gofargofast. My vision is to make an impact on the success of others so come be a part of my tribe.