Can You Get Up Everyday and Go to War?

By: Dan Kennedy on: October 12th, 2009 5 Comments

In the 2-hour CELEBRITY APPRENTICE aired the week of the Super Bowl last year, the actor from The Sopranos wimped out, quit, and went home, unable to handle the stress of the in-fighting and the competition.

He asked Trump a question and couldn’t understand Trump’s answer. He complained about the war-like atmosphere, it not good for his health, and asked Trump:

“Surely you don’t get up every morning and fight like this, do you?”

Trump was as confounded by the question as the actor was by Trump’s answer. Trump said:

“My whole life is a war. Everyday I get up and go to war.”

This is the reality of entrepreneurial life. We get up every morning and go to war. We are at war with the coalition of the ignorant, incompetent and unwilling (i.e. the overwhelming majority of people around us).

At war with vendors, suppliers, staff and others who lack our urgency, a global conspiracy to slow us down. At war with government and business bureaucrats’ roadblocks. At war with the world. Even at war with ourselves, our own emotional baggage, our own self-sabotaging behaviors.

If you can’t handle this, you simply aren’t prepared to be an entrepreneur. In fact, you need to relish it.

The successful small business owners I know go to war daily with big swords, small shields, and joy for the competition with self, others and circumstance, deriving immense satisfaction from getting things done others can’t at speeds others won’t against opposition others would crumble confronting.

We may complain, but we – deep inside – like the fight. And the superiority.

As a side note, consider the actor who quit, and consider Trump. Look at them. The quitter is fat, very fat, revealing a lack of self-discipline, a lack of personal pride, and a handicap when it comes to physical stamina.

I’m embarrassed to say I lugged around 240 to 245 for a few years, and I can assure you, even on a 6’4” frame, it wears one down, slows one down, slows even your thinking.

Trump is in pretty darned good shape. The quitter whined. The quitter was indecisive. I have never seen and can’t imagine Trump whining.

Remember, the key point above all others that I make about successful small business marketers and entrepreneurs, their peak performance, their peak success is – it’s about behavior.

This is why Napoleon Hill didn’t list ‘desire’ as one of the 17 factors; he listed burning desire.

Everybody wants to win. Hardly anybody has the will to win. Almost everybody asks for things. Hardly anybody stands ground and refuses to take ‘no’ for an answer, as did that little girl in ‘Think And Grow Rich.’

The summation of war isn’t written “ to those who try…” or “to those who work hard…” or “to those who think happy thoughts”…or “to those who deserve nice things”….it is “to the victor, go the spoils.”

Contrary to the psycho-silly no grades, everybody’s equal pablum being fed to babies all the way through college, on the business battlefield in the real world, there are – everyday – victors and defeated.

The victors feast on game and wine near the fireplace in the castle, the losers huddle in the cold, wet woods and subsist on grubs and brackish creek water.

As it has always been.

As it is supposed to be.

As it always will be.

Remarkably, the invitation to join those in the castle is always open to any warrior adopting the mindset and behaviors of the victor. No one is barred. All are welcome.

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    5 Responses

    1. Thanks, we all need to be reminded of these truths from time to time!

    2. Rob says:

      wow…never thought of it (entreprenuership) as a battleground!

      28 years ago…when I was a 12 year old I went around and asked all the neighbors if they would like me to take care of mowing their lawns for them… I told them that I charged $20 per lawn, but if that was too much or too little that they could pay me what they could afford…

      I had no signs…no biz cards…nothing… heck I didn’t even own any equipment and they only experience I had was mowing my dads lawn.

      But, I was determined… in fact within 1 month I was mowing 10 yards per week (averaging more than $20 per yard)… $200 a week for a 12 year old!

      Well, I learned a hard lesson that year when and uninsured motorist smashed into the riding mower that I had parked on side of the street. It was totalled! And since it was my fathers brand new mower and I was using it… Guess who had to pay for it. Yep! Me! All the money I earned that summer went to buy my dad a new mower.

      I learned some valuable lessons that summer which made me the entreprenuer that I am… (1) always have a contingency plan (2) charge more than you need too to cover unexpected circumstances (3) have the necessary tools available to complete the job (4) don’t think because you are too young, or to old, or too fat, or too whatever that you can’t make money with your ideas (5) dont let anyone tell you, you cant do that, or you cant make money with that… never give up, never surrender!

      I suppose … it is afterall …a battlefield!

    3. As the lead singer of ManO’War said –
      “From a battle I come, to a battle I ride”.
      To be successful and not be defeated by the achieved goal (and the complacency and lost momentum) victory can be as big a challenge as defeat. If you are scared to step away from that moment of glory and toward the next battle. You will come to a place where you recognize that there is no end to the challenges, you must embrace the moments in the thick of battle where it all hangs on the line, and you face defeat, as surely as you must relish the fleeting moments on the dawn of victory. From a battle I come, to a battle I ride. War is for warriors, warriors are never at home but in battle. HAIL BUSINESS WARRIORS!

    4. David Bustle says:

      Love it Dan! We are warriors. We entrepreneurs are the modern day revolutionaries!

    5. War Metaphores and Hurling Feces. It’s all good.

      People fight and die every day, usually with s#!+ in their face. It works. We love to fight.

      No really.

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