2018-02-01 / Columns

‘They Do It Because They Can’

Think Outside, No Box Needed: Advice for Growing Your Business
By Jim Plouffe

Four things happened last week that may have a couple of lessons in them. I started exercising again, and now I have to find an extra hour in my schedule every day, when I didn’t have any spare time to begin with. I always have to start exercising in the winter, or I will turn into a slug in a puddle. I don’t have that same problem in the warmer months because I’m outside and active. I have never been one of those lucky people whose working out invigorates them. The only reason I do it is that I know it’s good for me. If you don’t work out, you already know that you should, because you know it would be good for you, too.

The thing that I hate most about exercising is that some days I have to take two showers because of it. It is no secret, if you’ve been reading this column for a while, that I am no fan of the morning. You are not going to find me in the gym early in the morning before I start working. I don’t even like early morning meetings or appointments, although often they are unavoidable. That requires me to get up, take a shower, and get to wherever I have to be. So, that means if I exercise later in the day or at night, I have to take another shower. I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it does take me away from other things I could be doing at the same time. There are still only 24 hours in a day.

On the positive side, I sleep more deeply when I exercise, and I feel like I naturally eat better. I feel physically stronger, maybe because I am. I keep good records of where I started, my baseline, and how I improve in speed and distance.

There is a lesson that you can use that applies to business and life: Keep track of whether you are developing. You can only coast downhill. Sleeping more deeply has been scientifically proven to make you a better mental performer.

All the big collector and classic car auctions took place in and around Phoenix, Arizona, this last week. I am lucky enough to be able to attend. It’s like going to the St. Ignace Car Show, only 20 times bigger, and everyone is going to sell his or her car. And that got me thinking, why does a car sell for millions of dollars? Is it because there is only one of them, or an insufficient number of them? Is it because of the role it played in history or who owned it? I could continue to list questions, and the same questions could be asked about art, or anything else that is sold, for that matter.

You could also simply remove the million-dollar price tag, and ask why does any object, wherever it is, sell for a certain price. The answer is straightforward. Things sell for the prices that they do because someone is willing, and able, to pay that amount. The reasons that people pay these prices have nothing to do with logic and everything to do with emotions, but that’s another topic altogether for another time. The lesson is that people do things because they can, not because they need to.

I have been refusing to watch NFL football this season because of all the hassle with the national anthem. I have refused even to watch the highlights on the news. When sports come on, I switch the channel. Maybe that is extreme. I was never a huge fan to begin with, however, I love seeing those spectacular, seemingly impossible, plays made. It never matters to me which team made them, just as long as it happened. Every time I see one, it inspires me to believe that the only way you can win is if you try, even when it seems impossible. Those plays make me realize that the impossible is possible. Those are two lessons that we all should remember. You can’t win if you don’t play, and sometimes the impossible happens, but only if you try to make it happen.

The last lesson here is that when you say you are going to do something, then do it. This will be the first year in as long as I can remember that I won’t be watching the Super Bowl. I said I was not going to watch NFL football, and I am going to be true to myself. This lesson applies to every part of life. Do what you say you will do.

And lastly, Margaret and I had our 29th anniversary last week. She should get a medal for putting up with me. Send her your condolences, and remember, a deal always lives up to the commitment you make.

Jim is a speaker, trainer, and business coach. He is the author of “The Lazy Manager’s Smart Guide to Remarkable Results,” available soon. For a complimentary strategy session, contact Jim at (906) 643- 6643 or Jim@ThinkOutside- NoBoxNeeded.com.

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