Are You An Action Hero?
There are many different kinds of heroes in movies and television these days - the rich guy with the alter-ego (Batman), the teen with the super powers (Spider-Man), the guy that turns green and shreds his clothes when he’s angry (The Hulk), and so on.
Being in business is not so different than the situations these heroes face daily, although it is much less exciting and we don’t wear the cool outfits. We face numerous threats to our business daily and have to use almost superhuman strength to overcome some obstacles and keep the doors open.
One of my favorite heroes that has become iconic and universally recognized is Angus MacGyver from the TV series, MacGyver. He was always coming up with creative, inventive solutions to the problems he faced each episode. While laughable, he was always able to use what he had on hand to prevail, and not rely on a gadget from his utility belt or from a well-stocked inventory of the best technology to solve his problems.
We tend to think that if we just had an unlimited bank account like Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark that it would be so much easier to be in business. All problems and threats could be eliminated because we have a great team working 24/7 to make the tools and gadgets to make us successful. So we take little or no action at all, like we’re waiting for a rich benefactor to come along before doing anything substantial.
I propose that many of the successful entrepreneurs and business people that you may look up to today had an attitude and persona more like MacGyver than Batman or Superman. They used the resources at-hand, thought “out of the box”, came up with a solution and took action. If it didn’t work, they tried something else and eventually overcame the obstacle and were victorious. When many of these small actions are chained together it equals huge leaps but is really many, many small steps. And when we look back at their career or business lives it seems they were born with superpowers or had been exposed to gamma rays early in life, and we wish that if only that had happened to us, too.
You may have heard the story of Colonel Harland Sanders, who (at age sixty-five!) was turned down one thousand and nine times before someone took a chance on his recipe for fried chicken. There are many other inspiring business success stories about people just like yourself that through innovation, hard work, a little luck and a can-do attitude became successful entrepreneurs. Some of these include Tony Hsieh (Zappos.com), Richard Branson (Virgin Group), Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus (Home Depot) and of course, Steve Jobs (Apple). All of them were MacGyvers before they were supermen.
We each have many opportunities and situations presented to us on a daily basis that we ignore, pass up and overlook either out of fear or feel that we lack a great great gadget from our utility belt. We wish and dream instead of using the gum wrappers and paperclips all around us to improve our situation and overcome our problems. We should be relentless and dedicated to looking for the way to surmount the challenges and not succumb to them or become overwhelmed. An action hero doesn’t give up.
Always search for new ways to improve your business, learn new skills, and be inspired to take some form of action every day. I would expect that it will result in a young entrepreneur looking at you someday and thinking that you are the action hero that they want to be.