5 Powerful Lessons in Practical Simplicity to Build Your Success

5 Powerful Lessons in Practical Simplicity…

What is the genius behind simplicity? We’ve all heard the saying “keep it simple, stupid.”  Yet the ability to break things down into their simplest form is much harder than it seems. Building your business and sales is no different. We get our training and business license then start into an industry ready to work hard and become the best we can be. Along the way we discover that there seems to be a lot more to making this business work than what we thought. In fact, it seems that not much of what we learned in school will really make us any money! What if there was a simple explanation for this? What if there was a step-by-step list or process, we could follow to achieve our goals? Think of the stress that would reduce!

Well, the good news is there is a series of steps that any entrepreneur needs to take to achieve success. In fact, these steps can be applied to any area of your life, and they will work. Let me explain more with a personal story of mine.

Research gives you knowledge

I remember a time many years ago when I was thinking of building a solar panel. Since I was a teen, I have been interested in solar energy, solar heating, and the self-sufficiency that this brings. I studied many different books, resources and building ideas in an effort to gain as much knowledge as I could. I learned about the theories of light diffusion, how energy is converted and what the best storage mediums are. I studied many examples of failed projects, most of which were funded by the government and headed by brilliant engineers. I read magazines that highlighted projects from average people and what their experience was. After all this research I was feeling overwhelmed and decided that the best way to overcome this massive complex arrangement of formulas and charts was to conduct a series of simple experiments to see what worked. 

Keeping it simple makes it understandable

I created a simple 1 ft sq. box for the sake of making future calculations easier to understand. I Put it in the sun and placed a number of varied materials in the container. The first thing I discovered I had not found any information on until many weeks after I had finished my experiments. Much to my surprise, the small experimental solar panel could really heat up. In fact, it became so hot that it melted the black paint that covered the materials I placed in it. This experience I later discovered is called ‘out gassing’. Out Gassing is when the paint gets so hot that it breaks down and a petroleum gas is emitted. The bad part to this is it clouds up the inside of the panel with an opaque film. I had discovered my first lesson! 

Lesson Number 1

  • You won’t find all the information you need to succeed in a book.

I then proceeded to try all kinds of varied materials. I tried the most recommended and some of the ones that were at the top of the list. Much to my surprise, the most recommended metal performed the worst! 

Lesson Number 2

  • Regardless of how much education an individual has, without practical application a theory is nothing more than a fantasy.

Then came the moment that separates all good ideas from fantastic accomplishments, I call it the acid test of reality, when things that look good on paper or even sound like a good idea get put to the test. After figuring out that the best place to put my solar panel was on the front wall of our bungalow, I ripped off the siding on half of the front wall and began to build. My wife, my neighbors and everyone who drove by thought I was crazy.

Lesson Number 3

  • Be prepared too stand-alone! Those people who supported you when your idea was nothing more than a “good idea” will think you’re crazy once you start.

After construction was underway, I noticed that my neighbour Harvey, a retired farmer, would come over for hours to talk about what I was building. He asked about each step, and it wasn’t long before he had some ideas to share. Not only had Harvey become one of my supporters, but he had also become one of my mentors. I’m sure most of my family and the neighbors thought I was crazy because when we talked about what I was doing they had a tone in their voices that said they didn’t believe in what I was doing. And really, from most standards ripping all the siding off of the front of your house in the winter was at best way out there so I could understand their skepticism.

Lesson number 4

  • The job gets done faster and more efficiently with a mentor.

Eventually I did finish the solar panel, I had to make some adjustments along the way and overcome a few minor challenges, however in the end, IT WORKED! It worked so well that the heat it created had doubled my expected out-put. What I had learned was that having good information gets you started but having experiential knowledge finishes the job. My neighbor Harvey had been there through the entire process helping me think through each step and giving advice when needed. It was great to have another creative mind with a different background there to bounce ideas off of.

Lesson number 5

  • You will meet obstacles along the path. They are there to fine-tune your ideas and build your character.

So how does this apply to building a business or a career in sales? Simple; as a business owner or sales professional you will need constant education, lots of sweat equity, your family will think you’re crazy at times, a mentor or a professional coach will make the learning faster and easier, and you will have obstacles to build your character. In fact, as a performance mindset, leadership and business coach in Canada and the U.S.A. I can say that reaching your goals goes from impossible, to probable, to done. Success is much more do-able with the help of a professional who’s helped many others carry out what you want to do. There are, after all, two paths to become successful, one is a long winding road with many painful obstacles, and the other is the short fast express route where you learn from other people’s mistakes. You get to choose!


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