Let’s talk about some personal traits of the most successful entrepreneurs and business owners.
Paul Newman is an inspiration. It’s my hope to age as he did. He was on Leno, while in L.A. for the Long Beach Grand Prix. At age 80, driving professionally in races. At age 78 or 79 , he did the 1,000 mile Baha endurance race in souped up dune buggy. Man, would I like to be able to function like that at 80.
On Leno’s show, the two raced little go-karts around a Grand Prix-ish course backstage. Newman was out there walking the course, checking out the cars, working on winning before the show. When the green flag moved, he zoomed past Jay to take the lead and never let up, trouncing Jay by a commanding distance.
In his book, talking about his food business, he says that, somewhat to his surprise, he really enjoys kicking competitors’ butts.
This is a guy for whom competing and winning is very important. At 80. With not one damned thing he needs to prove to anybody.
Any hugely successful entrepreneur who claims not to be so competitive is, I imagine, a liar. The downside is that it’s almost impossible for us to enjoy doing much of anything just for the doing of it.
In one of my two speeches at one of the SuperConference, I didn’t sell anything. And as much as I’d like to speak without the pressure of such accurate measurement of effectiveness, I ultimately feel it’s pointless, like playing a game without keeping score.
If you don’t have competitive bloodlust in you, if you don’t wake up eager to compete and win today and tomorrow and the next day, I don’t think you’re a true entrepreneur, and I’m certain you are not getting optimum value out of your own capabilities and out of your business. One of the secrets of my extreme personal, day to day productivity is turning just about everything into a game where I win or lose, often competing only against the clock, only foes being vanquished my own worst behaviors.
As I am writing this , I have amassed a large mountain of assorted tasks; writing four of these e-mails , answering two weeks of “B” Faxes and letters; writing checks; etc. I want to clear the pile by 4:00 PM. If I do, I win. If I don’t, I lose. I really do not like losing. People who too easily accept losing are losers. People who hang out with losers become losers. Trump made that point in ‘the Apprentice’.
He actually demonstrated it by moving a guy who’d been winning to a different group of habitual losers. Right before our eyes that guy became a pathetic loser too. Whatever your game is, you ought to get up extremely motivated to play it to win. Or find a new game.