Here’s To Growing A Pair

Photo: Agence France-Presse

In an act of civil disobedience, Elon Musk openly defied the California shelter-in-place order, keeping his car-manufacturing plant open. He said if the authorities show up to arrest anyone, it should only be him. He’ll be on the production line, waiting. He simultaneously filed a lawsuit against Alameda County where his plant resides, to fight restrictions imposed during the coronavirus, calling them “inexplicable” and with “no rational basis,” threatening to move his headquarters out of California altogether. He tweeted, “I’m not messing around.” I wonder if he needs a wheelbarrow to carry his around…

To the point: This is a behavior that I see consistent among all high-performers – a fast, aggressive, no-holds-barred assault on anything that gets in their way or threatens to interfere with their plans.

Far too many people roll over and tolerate a LOT of misery, setbacks, failings, roadblocks and problems put upon them by others. In some cases, it’s simply failure to perform. Laziness and sloth. Worse, it’s willful and intentional tacks thrown under your proverbial tires with the sole intention of slowing you down or stopping you. An intention to force you to conform to THEIR agenda, THEIR rules. When that happens, what’s your reaction? Do you shrug and say, “Well, shit happens?” Do you silently fume but do nothing, say nothing to keep the peace and avoid looking “disagreeable?” The answer to that tells me a LOT about how successful you are.

When I set out early in the morning with a list of things to get done, I INTEND on getting them done and resent anything and anyone that slows me down or gets in the way of my accomplishing what I’ve set out to do. Resent is a very strong word. It’s dark and bitter – and that’s exactly how I mean it. When someone interferes with my ability to achieve my set goals through negligence, stupidity or incompetence, they’ll feel the heat of my wrath as I set them on fire to get them out of my way. I immediately start scheming how to eliminate, replace or bulldoze them. Like Elon said, I’m not messing around. What about you? That is the kind of intensity you need to forge ahead and overcome the enormous resistance you’ll face when attempting to accomplish anything of significance. (By the way, people think this causes high blood pressure. Not for me. Mine is perfect. I cause high blood pressure. It’s a superpower.)

Of course, many will tell you this is an “unhealthy” response. That you should not be too harsh and demanding. You should be understanding and tolerant of others. Be kind. Nuts. That works on the playground but NOT in business, and certainly NOT when you’re attempting to pull off BIG goals.

The more you’re willing to accept failure and tolerate sloppiness, bad behavior, neglect, incompetence or a laissez-faire “shit happens” attitude, the MORE of that you’ll get. Seems to me, if you don’t feel this deeply and passionately about whatever it is you’re waking up every day to accomplish, you ought to find a bigger, more exciting goal to go after.

At the moment, a lot of willing-to-accept-not-doing-well business owners have been handed a big Costco-size bucket of excuses right now. Nobody’s spending money, unemployment is ridiculously high, the economy is in the toilet. Be careful. Their attitude is as contagious as the virus that put us all in this mess. Perhaps THIS week, you CHOOSE to be a little less tolerant.

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