“Quit Screwing Around, Get Serious About What You’re Doing, And Get After It!”
Those were the words of Adam Witty, recently named one of CHARLIE Magazine’s 50 Most Progressive in 2014, as he made a passionate plea for this Fall’s Praxis participants to spend more energy fighting for their possibilities rather than arguing for their limitations.
Here are a few other “Witty-isms,”along with my personal notes, from Day 2 of the Praxis Opening Seminar:
“Quit screwing around, get serious about what you’re doing, and get after it.”
Avoid needless distractions. Specify your goals, formulate a plan, find a way to stay accountable to good habits, and stay focused on doing work that matters. There will always be easy opportunities to goof around, but the opportunity to create something great is rare and requires hard work.
“If you never let go of your failures, you’ll never move on to your successes.”
Failure is part of life. Embrace it. Learn what you can from your mistakes and setbacks, then move on. If you sit around and brood for too long, you’ll miss out on the chance to redeem yourself. Redemption comes through forward moving action, not backward looking regret.
“You are most likely to be paid what you have the guts to ask for.”
You won’t get everything you ask for, but you’ll rarely get anything if you refuse to ever ask beyond your comfort zone. What often separates respected brands from lesser respected brands is the willingness of respected brand builders to take themselves seriously when they market their services and prices. Ask for what you’re worth and make yourself worth what you ask for.
“The people who make the most out of life are the people who get off their butts and do it.”
If you need people to constantly remind you to do your work, you’re headed for trouble. Learn how to be self-motivated. Take initiative. Think things through, but don’t get stuck in a state of analysis paralyses. Push yourself to start moving and learn on the go.
“Focus more on your vision than on your profits. It’s your mission, not your money, that sustains you when your back is against the wall.”
A good entrepreneur needs to focus on more than just making money. The sometimes harsh demands of entrepreneurial life can only be soothed by having a sense of passion and conviction that can inspire you even when money, fame, and acclaim are lacking. Revenue is the bottom line, but your mission is the main point. When you know your “why,” you’ll have what it takes to get through the valleys and dips.
“Some people who make you work for things are just waiting for you to show them how much you care.”
Sometimes you have to follow up to get the things you need out of life. Sometimes the difference that makes the difference is the persistence to keep at it even when the world seems uninterested. Respect is earned by showing up again and again with a determination to keep delivering more value each time. When doing business, be willing to prove to others that you mean business.
“2 things that make the key difference in your life: The 5 people you spend the most time with & the books you read.”
Keep good company and build a good library. There’s no way to succeed without constantly exposing yourself to creative ideas and constructive influences. Commit to reading an hour a day for the rest of your life and you’ll be smarter than most people in your company and community. Surround yourself with peers who challenge you to get better and you’ll go places.
“Everything you do amounts to a deposit into or withdrawal from your brand bank.”
You have a personal brand whether you see it that way or not. And everything you do has a potential effect on your public image. Be aware of that fact as you choose things like your style of dress, the things you post on social media sites, the places you hang out, etc. Make sure the reputation you’re building is consistent with how you want to be seen.
“The more you invest in your brand bank, the further you will go in life.”
Being conscious of your professional reputation is one thing, taking action steps to improve that reputation is another thing. Always ask yourself, “what can I read, learn, or do that will make me better at the art of winning the trust and respect I wish to have from others?” Ask others for feedback, try to overcome your personal blind spots, and never stop learning new skills.
“When investing, you’re betting more on the jockey than the horse.”
Investors care more about the character of the entrepreneur than about the entrepreneurial idea. A person of great character can elevate a mediocre idea or underperforming team. A person of unreliable character can make even the best ideas go bad. Strive to be a person of great character. Success begins with you.