Posts Tagged ‘ Trump ’

“All Ya Gotta Do Is…”

“All you gotta do is…”  How many of you have had this one laid out on you?

I found this term in my industry at first–airplanes–when listening to the turnover from one shift to the next during heavy inspections.  The current-shift lead would say, “The stab actuator is most of the way in–all ya gotta do is cotter pin the mount bolts, connect the cannon plug, and ops check it, and you’re good.”  The lead who took the turnover would find out later on that the mount bolts are rediculously difficult to get to (thus severely limiting access to see where to put the cotter pin in), and the ops check procedure is eighteen pages long, and requires an engine run.  Yeah, “All ya gotta do is…”  Easy as pie.

I think it’s the most annoying because it’s as if success were just the simplest form of existence when someone says that.  You could ask Donald Trump how to get to the point where he’s at, and he’d say, “Well, all you’ve got to do is go to a good business school like Wharton (where he went–at $70K/year), then buy a couple of properties that no one wants, and turn them into the most quintessential big-city phallic properties anyone has ever seen.  Oh, and be enterpreneurial, relentless, and think big and kick ass.”

Well hell, there you have it.  The last 25 years of Trump’s career combined into one sentence.  What the hell are you waiting for?  Jump on it!

“How could I be a successful pilot?”  “Oh, well first you’ll have to get your certifications.  Then you’ll have to spend a few years doing what we call “getting experience and building hours,” and then you’ll have to find a flying gig where the hours and money are both good.  If you find the right gig, you can easily knock down $90-150K a year.”  

Easily, huh?  God–why didn’t I think of that?

I can tell you why.  The reason is simple–it’s because everything is more complicated than it seems.

My Dad always used to say, “If it was easy, everyone would do it.”  (Add that to the ever-growing list of crap that Dad was right about.)  The fact is that when I show up to work and someone tells me, “All you gotta do is,” I immediately assume whatever work is left over will be hard to accomplish.  Otherwise, the job would be done already, and I wouldn’t have to hear about it.  The fact is, it takes far, far more than simple persistence, drive, entrepreneurial spirit, or a dream to get big things done.  If you want to get big things done, of course you need some of these other characteristics, but there is no way anything you want to see happen will get done without the support of many, many other people.

One of my favorite quotes is by Niccolo Machiavelli, who said, “Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.”  I love this quote because it really explains to you that, in most cases, success is a process, not something that simply happens.  This applies everywhere.  If you really put the effort into college, you’re more likely to have the ability to harness opportunity when it knocks on your door; if you don’t, you’ll end up like me–headed back to school at the dawn of my 30s, while most others have finally finished and gotten settled.  I would be completely guilty of saying it, too–I’ll probably tell my kids, “All you’ve got to do is go to school, do well, and you can move into whatever field you want to.”  But the truth is, the power of the world lies in networking.  Trump is a self-proclaimed bully in the business, but he’s got people under lock-and-key doing what he needs them to do (because they need paychecks too) to advance his agenda.  He didn’t do it alone, and no one else does it, either.  People like Tony Horton, Tony Robbins, Sir Richard Branson…every single one of these people has a legion of people dedicated to their cause, and they are able to accomplish things because they have convinced people of their message, and are actively working toward whatever their goals are.  It’s the reason, I believe, that Trump did not do well during the announcement of his 2012 Presidential run–he did not come off like a uniter of people; rather, he did interview after interview where he bloviated about his own specific accomplishments.  (For the record, this is consistent with the messages in his books.  Smart guy, but in social settings, sounds like a douchebag.)

The truth is, even the Village Idiot is a success, if only through the actions and support (however misguided) of the rest of the Village…and I’m sure they would like credit where credit is due for their part in it.

So, how have you been boned by “All you gotta do is…”?  There’s five bucks to Starbucks for whoever comes up with the best reply.  I want to know your stories, your reasons….tell me whatever you want, and I’ll reply to it.  Hope you’re having a good week!

Change Vs. Momentum

Not This Kind, Silly!

From the time we are kids, we literally throw a tantrum in some form every time a change whips through our lives–particularly ones that alter the course of what we were expecting (Mom denying you a candy bar in the check-out aisle, for example).  As children, most of us don’t want a constantly changing landscape around us; we need consistency to be able to focus on the things that kids should be focusing on.  You know–school, developing social skills, character, and a decent work ethic, etc etc.

Later on as adults, when change comes through, we find that we have to be prepared for it:  For a big job opportunity that requires a move to another state, there is the house to pack, the movers/U-Haul rental to organize, the address change and forwarding services to request, and the new state ID and car registrations to get.  For a wedding, there’s the date, place, food, cake, invitations, liquor package, dresses, tuxes, and bridal party to select.  These days you can even customize your own ceremony.  Actually, in both of these cases, you have to factor in the management of people as well–if someone drops the ball on their task, the whole thing becomes more disorganized for you to deal with.

Consider now finding out that you have only a week to pack up your house and make it across the country for a great job, or only three weeks to plan and execute a wedding.  How much more of a pain would these things be to do without the luxury of being able to plan for them?

I had finally found a job out here.  It happened to be three hours away, but it was only a 60-day contract, and would get my wife and me somewhat caught up financially after being without a paycheck for as long as we have (last week of June was it).  I had signed the offer letter, spent an an hour and a half doing the paperwork, peed (cleanly) into a cup, and submitted to a background check.  I had a list prepped of the different Extended Stay places I could live through the duration of the contract, and had compared rates.  I even finagled a deal out of one of the property managers. This morning, I found out that the contract had been “indefinitely placed on hold,” which means I’m not moving down there temporarily any longer, and I’m still looking for work.  In this case, there was really no harm, no foul.  After all, I didn’t spend any money, and didn’t waste any gas.  But what I did have to do was spend the entire weekend with my wife giving me the puppy-dog eyes because I had to leave soon, and I had to mentally rally myself (after nine weeks of sitting on my duff) to get pumped to go out there and be the best damned employee they ever had.  (A first impression–a two month first impression, at that–will go miles for you.)  When I found out about the cancellation it was no big deal, except that mentally, I had to literally “shake off” the feeling of having to anticipate a long goodbye to the missus, being displaced, and being at work without my toolbox (wouldn’t fit in the trunk).  It got me thinking:  am I limited by the amount of change I dealt with to get here, or the lack of momentum I’ve built up so far?

Obviously, change is not hard to overcome and deal with, but it sure is a momentum-buster.  Donald Trump once said that you won’t be able to “Think Big and Kick Ass” like he does until you have enough momentum at your back to carry you through toward your goal. Think of it:  for the most part, change is only “change” because it forces you to reset your stance and plant your feet to head in a different direction–or to the same direction, but from a different angle.  Things that are pushing you toward your goal–a new location to set up your business’ headquarters, for example–aren’t really perceived as a change; they’re perceived as just part of the intended path despite that you have all kinds of new things to do to get settled there (like move stuff in, get an address change request service, rent the U-Haul if needed, staff your office, get registered with the state, put a sign with your name on it out front, etc etc etc).  These are the things that help you build the momentum you’ll need to succeed..and suddenly, you’re doing the same things you did to move out to that spot, but it’s exciting instead of frantic.

I want you, whoever is motivated to do so, to make a small list of the three or five things you are doing to build momentum in your life, and list them in a comment for everyone to contemplate.  You never know how your ideas may inspire others to find more efficient ways of reaching their own goals!

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