24 May 2017

What I would teach on the first day of business school.

I stood in front of the small group and asked them to reflect upon what their business would look like in 6 months time. I gave them instructions on how to bring the mind back to the task at hand and I gave them just 10 minutes to reflect on that.

At the end of the 10 minutes, I asked those who were willing to share their dream. One man in particular shared a very detailed story of how his business would look. I could tell by his clear articulation that this was something he had thought about for quite some time now. He even spoke about how it would feel to put the key into his toolbox in the  morning.

What was even more powerful was that at the end of the story, he said "I have no idea how I will make that happen." You see, he was flat broke and had just been turned down for funding even though he had a solid business plan and a burning desire to start a business. Like me, he was hard to employ and reluctantly entrepreneurial but his self worth hinged on his ability to provide for the family.

Contrast that with the folks who couldn't conjure up an image or who couldn't articulate what their life was going to look like. It wasn't that they didn't want to be successful. After all, they had paid to take the course - they were hungry for success. They had families to feed and starting a business was the way to go.

They admitted to not knowing how to dream and they didn't appreciate the role that dreaming paid in achievement. My task was to teach them to value dreaming and to start practising the art.

There is nothing more overwhelming in a business course for beginners and especially reluctant entrepreneurs than a class on finances/cash flow. It's totally overwhelming to speak about cash flow when there is no cash flowing. They haven't learned to turn on the spigot of cash yet and they're expected to speak about the stream. It's an unrealistic expectation.

There are learning cycles that need to take place before hand. In order to get them to suspend the disbelief  that they feel, they need to learn to dream.

I believe the fuel that will enhance the buy in is imagination so I like to teach that particular competency first?

How much time to do you spending dreaming about the dream already achieved? Are you a worry wart? How are you making out with that? Looking at your problems under a microscope doesn't make them go away -- dreaming on the other hand is electric. People come alongside folks who can dream, opportunities happen. You're more likely to step out and learn a skill if you're all in.

Learn to dream and I'll teach you to make money.  

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