- THE MAGAZINE
Everyone wants a phenomenal life, yet few seem to be truly satisfied with all aspects of their lives. “L.I.F.E.” stands for “Living In Freedom Everyday.” Not just the wonderful freedom we enjoy in this country, but the freedom we can have in our hearts, and in our minds. The freedom of knowing that we are doing what we are called to do in life. The freedom that comes from knowing we are making a difference.
When I started my carpet cleaning business out of the trunk of my car 27 years ago, I never imagined I would be a top consultant in this industry, much less be working with some of the top business authors and trainers in the world.
This is especially surprising since I grew up on welfare. There were seven kids crammed into a teeny-tiny 600 square-foot shack. The roof was so bad that every time it rained, we had to get out all the pots and pans to catch the leaks! My mother somehow fed us on $140 per month from the welfare department.
Building a high-end, multi-truck operation wasn’t the easiest thing to do either. Since that first cleaning job (which was a whopping $25) on November 4, 1984, I have been blessed to learn a few things about life and business. At this special time in my life, I would like to share with you some secrets. I hope they are a blessing to you.
No. 1: It’s a Phenomenal Life.
In the classic film It’s a Wonderful Life, Jimmy Stewart’s bank had all but collapsed and he was on the verge of jumping off a bridge to end his life. Little did he know that he had a guardian angel assigned to him and many wonderful people that loved him. He also found that he had made a huge difference in the lives of others.
Like Jimmy Stewart, the first step is to realize that your life has value and you don’t have to live by circumstances. Have an attitude of gratitude and know that you can make a difference and that your life has meaning.
And understand that you can live the life you are called to live. You must develop a compelling vision for your life. A vision so strong that it creates a burning desire in your heart to pursue it with phenomenal passion. If you don’t have that, you won’t do the things you need to do to have a phenomenal life. Create a vision of the kind of person you want to be, the things you want to do and the things you want to have (not just material things). Keep that dream in front of you every day.
No. 2: Thinking and Growing to be Phenomenally Successful
Over a century ago, a man by the name of Napoleon Hill published a book titled Think and Grow Rich. Hill studied 500 of the most successful people in the country and found that the biggest difference is how they think.
John C. Maxwell, the No. 1 leadership expert in the world also confirms this. What controls your mind controls your life. Many years ago I was part of a small group of carpet cleaners that met weekly. Some of them laughed at me because I was wearing a sport coat and tie as well as an always positive attitude. They complained about the economy and moaned about how customers wouldn’t pay them a decent price.
When I responded with positive words and suggestions, they just laughed and said “Who do you think you are, Zig Ziglar or somebody?” I did not know Zig Ziglar then, but I am now Ziglar’s exclusive small business coach. Little did they know they were speaking prophecy!
It’s vitally important what you think about yourself, what you believe you can do, and what kind of live you think you can have and deserve. Zig says you are what you are and where you are because of what you put into your mind. You can change what you are and where you are by what you put into your mind.
No. 3: How to Make Phenomenal Money
Bringing up the subject of money triggers all sorts of weird emotions. Everyone seems to want more of it, but can’t stand those who have it! The fact is that the business you are currently in is the best vehicle you could possibly have to reach your dreams. The profit margins are great. The investment is comparatively small, and you can go out and get business right now, today without investing a dime.
So, how much is “phenomenal” money? And how much money should you have? You should have the amount of money that is required for you to fulfill your life goals and dreams. If you don’t have a dream and you don’t have clearly defined goals, you won’t make the money you need to make. Instead, the amount of money you make will be by accident, and most likely won’t be enough.
No. 4: Systems of a Phenomenal Business
I have written extensively on this subject just about every month for over five years for ICS, so I’ll let you check out the 60-plus articles on ICSmag.com for that. Let’s just say that your small business is the vehicle that can help you get the things you want in life. But you must learn the proven systems. You must work “on” the business instead of just “in” it. If you learn the proven systems that have helped every other successful business owner in this industry, you can make whatever you want to make of it.
A successful business is not reserved for the smartest people who live in big rich cities, but is for anyone who simply follows the simple recipe and is willing to work hard and smart.
No. 5: Your Phenomenal Body
A few years ago, night after night, I would repeat the same routine. Famished from a busy day that started with too much Starbucks coffee and no breakfast, I would consume everything I could find in the refrigerator.
Overweight and lethargic, I became desperate enough to change. I consulted a certified nutritionist who began to paint a very bleak picture of my future. I learned that I would most likely end up like so many Americans – shuffling around with a myriad of diseases – surviving on medication - all because of an unhealthy diet that could have been avoided.
And that, my friend, is not very phenomenal! The result of getting a vision of being healthy and following the eating plan was a loss of 50 pounds! I then began to exercise and became very fit. Outside of a sickness out of your control, you can become fit. You simply must get desperate enough, or inspired enough, to do it.
No. 6: Phenomenal Relationships
At a dinner celebrating my in-laws’ 50th anniversary, someone asked them what their secret of a long marriage was. They looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders. Like an excited schoolboy who knew the answer, I piped up with “I know, I know!” I had been watching them all these years and realized they were simply unselfish.
Today, our problem in America is that we’re selfish. We want others to change and conform to our specifications of what the relationship should look like. I don’t know about you, but I have realized that you can’t change anyone. When you try, the result is a broken relationship or you tolerate the other person rather than having the kind of loving relationship you should have.
It could be that the other person may never change, but would you agree that if you change, there is much more of a chance of them changing? If you are waiting for someone else to be or do something before you are all you need to be, you have already lost the battle. Let go of the ego, forgive and be the one to build healthy relationships.
All of life is about relationships.
No. 7: I Am
The final chapter is about spiritual things. You were created to be phenomenal. After all, as the old saying goes, “God don’t make no junk!”
Let me conclude by saying “thank you” to this entire industry for the love and support you have shown me. I am forever grateful.