Posts

BIGG Success Logo boxed

3 Ways to Think Like a Black Belt

jimbouchardToday on The Bigg Success Show, we wrapped up our discussion with Jim Bouchard. Along with being a speaker, coach, author and Martial Arts Hall of Famer, Jim is one of the best people you could ever hope to meet. He helps people Think Like a Black Belt! Last time we talked about setting goals like a black belt. Let’s get back to the conversation …

___

___

___

georgeJim, I saw an interview with the author of The Richest Man in Town. As you’re talking about levels, I remember an interview with one of men profiled in the book. He said he really just thought about the next plateau. What came through to me was that you have to think about that long-term goal so you set the direction, but then you put all your energy into getting to that next level as you’ve described it.

___

___

jimRight. That word plateau is interesting. Exactly the same thing happens to people on the way to black belt in martial arts. Sometimes you feel plateaus. There are places where you feel that you’re not getting anywhere. Of course, that happens in business all the time as well. The irony is that, very often when we’re experiencing that feeling, a lot of the work is getting done. But there’s no burst of recognition. All of a sudden you get a rank or you attain a certain financial goal with your business and you feel it. There’s a tangible reward there. The plateaus though, that’s where you have to keep going. That’s where the discipline part kicks in. And the perseverance part – knocked down seven times, get up eight. I’ve divided the Black Belt Mindset into three major sections – perfection, confidence and leadership. We’ve talked about perfection – excellence, discipline and focus – that are the action steps. Confidence really comes from doing that over and over again. That’s where the perseverance aspect kicks in. That’s where we’re developing the courage and the power to keep going because we’re facing those challenges. It’s cyclical. It always kicks back to discipline because when the roads get rough and you feel you can’t keep going – you get knocked down that seventh time – that’s what gets you back up again. Confidence means you have some reasonable expectation that the outcome is going to be positive. The only way to get there is through experience. You can’t gift somebody confidence. I don’t know if that helps people look forward because you’ve got to get punched in the nose a few times in order to really be successful. Read books like the one you mentioned that talk about business leaders or political leaders. These aren’t people who, by and large, had a golden spoon in their mouth. These are people who got knocked around a lot and they kept going.

___

___

marylynnWe say you’re the entrepreneur of your own life, whether you’re an entrepreneur in the traditional sense or working your way up in the corporate world. Either way, once you make a decision on your direction, you have to understand that it’s not just going to be easy.

___

___

jimI couldn’t agree more, Mary-Lynn. It’s simple, but it’s not easy. We make it too complicated. It’s a decision! If you want to move forward, you just have to make a decision. Then you have to pull up your pants, turn your hat around and get going. We’ve lived in abundance for so long that a lot of people feel entitled to be in certain places at certain times. When the going gets tough, they don’t know how to deal with it because they haven’t been there. But really it comes down to a decision. You’re going to get busy living or get busy dying.

___

___

george
We encourage everyone to get busy today building the Black Belt Mindset.

___

___

jimThat’s strapping on the black belt. One of my Masters gave me this great line one time. He said, “Your black belt isn’t really something you strap on. It’s something you carve out from inside yourself.” In life or business, what could work better?

___

___

georgeI think it’s interesting too that Mary-Lynn and I can look at what you’ve done or you can look at what we’ve done, but the reality is that everyone has to find their own path. So even if it worked for someone else, it doesn’t mean that particular thing will work for you. The alternative is that it may work for you and never work for anybody else. As long as it works for you that one time – it helps you get to that next level – that’s all that matters.

___

___

jimWe’re so like-minded in that respect. These ideas that we’re talking about – discipline, focus, courage, perseverance – do work for everybody because they’re so fundamental. If you can get down to these simple characteristics and build upon them, then you’re headed in the right direction.

___

___

marylynnIt’s always such a pleasure to talk with you, Jim. Whenever we talk, I’m always revved up for the rest of the day. It’s just good , good stuff!

___

___

jim
That’s because you guys are both black belts in bigg success!

___

You can learn more about Jim on his site. We can’t recommend anyone more highly!

Thanks Jim for sharing your time and wisdom with us! And we thank you for checking in with us today!

Back to School season is upon us. So next time, we’ll kick off a series of ten posts on lifelong learning. Please join us. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00460-081409.mp3

BIGG Success Logo boxed

Setting Goals Like a Black Belt

jimbouchardToday on The Bigg Success Show, we continued chatting with Jim Bouchard. Jim is a speaker, coach, author and Martial Arts Hall of Famer who helps people Think Like a Black Belt! Last time we talked about branding like a black belt. Now let’s get to the conversation …

___

___

___

jimThe first word that comes to mind is that people talk about the black belt as a symbol of excellence. We’ve talked about this before. We can couch “excellence” in the term “perfection”. Perfection isn’t a destination; it’s a never ending process. Excellence isn’t something where you get to some level of attainment and then that’s it. Excellence is an ongoing process. It’s harder to keep a black belt than it is to earn one. It’s harder to keep success in business than it is to get there. They always say your first million is the hardest. And then your second million is the hardest, right?

___

___

george
The next million is the hardest.

___

___

jimIt’s a constant process – making sure you’re staying current, making sure you’re staying relevant and making sure you’re still servicing the people that you want to service. That’s really at the heart of it. The idea of excellence. Excellence implies action; it’s a constant process of self-perfection. The way you get there is through discipline and focus. As far as I’m concerned, discipline is the key to all of this. Discipline means doing whatever it takes to get where you want to go. You want bigg success, right? It’s a series of small steps done on a daily basis when things are going well or when they’re not. That’s discipline. Motivation is an easy one. Everyone who starts a new business, everyone you guys coach, aren’t they really motivated? They’re happy and passionate.

___

___

marylynn
Yeah, it’s exciting. It’s a new adventure.

___

___

jimThen about three or four years later, when they’re taking a second on the house to keep the business going, the motivation starts to crumble a little bit.

___

___

marylynnWe were talking with a gentleman who works with a lot of small business owners. He said that he notices they start to wear down about sixteen months in.

___

___

jim
Yeah, that makes sense because, all of a sudden, the reality is staring them in the face.

___

___

marylynnYou’re working so hard. You’re always working. You know this as a business owner, Jim. Sometimes it just seems that there isn’t time for yourself. You do start wearing down.

___

___

jimExactly. That’s where the discipline part has to kick in. And focus. Let’s talk about focus. If focus is unchecked, it becomes an obsession. We have to take care of our entire life. Three key areas of life to me are emotional, material and spiritual. We may let the emotional and spiritual sides deteriorate because we’re focusing on the material. Sometimes that happens – you need to focus a little more on one area than the other. Let’s say there’s an illness or one of your loved ones needs attention. Then you’re going to focus a little more on the emotional side. That’s okay. You just have to remember that in the greater scheme of things, there has to be a relative balance. If you find yourself hyper-focused in one area, you have to catch yourself and make sure you’re planning to correct it. People ask about exercises to develop discipline and focus. The first thing I say is this, “It ain’t that hard. Make a decision and then go forward.” You have to decide you’re going to be a disciplined person. Then you just take something that you want or need to do, create a series of steps and go for it. Now, we can create exercises around that. That’s fun sometimes. But really that’s what it boils down to. Sometimes, like we talked about with the branding, we make it too complicated.

___

___

georgeYeah, I was going to create an exercise to make myself be more disciplined, Jim. I just couldn’t get around to it!

___

___

jim
I’d be glad to help you, George. We’ve got to get you into martial arts class!

___

___

marylynnAh, George is always goofing around! It seems to me, as I’m listening to you talk, Jim, that when you are studying for a black belt, it’s a lot of physical discipline – you’re learning this move or that move, when to use it or when
not to – but is mental discipline harder than physical discipline?

___

___

jimThey go together. So, all joking aside, when people ask me how to have more discipline, I tell them to pick a thing that has a logical goal – or logical conclusion – to it. Not to say that the black belt or anything is the end, but some measurable achievement.

___

___

marylynn
Let’s say I want to keep my desk more organized. Something simple like that.

___

___

jimGood, that’s a great goal. To systemize this a little bit, I might walk you through belt ranks. Let’s say we’re going to get to black belt in desk organization! We’re going to turn you into a Master Desk Organizer!

___

___

marylynn
Hye-yah!

___

___

jimThat’s good! Take ten levels – white, yellow, orange, purple. For the sake of time, I won’t go through the whole thing. You get the idea. You go up through brown and then black belt. At each level, just outline a couple of steps. What’s the simplest thing you can do to start the process of getting your desk organized? It might be just taking an inventory. What’s on my desk? There’s your white belt step. The yellow belt step might be deciding what to do with some of the stuff you don’t want. Or I’m going to choose what I want and what I don’t want on my desk. So on and so forth. You just create a set of levels. It’s very simple.

___

___

marylynn
I like that!

___

___

jimSometimes people do tasking without mindfully being aware of that end goal. We can task ourselves into busy work. That’s not very effective. That’s why the idea of a goal – a black belt level in some sense – is really important to us.

___

Thanks so much for reading our post today.

Learn more about Jim, his book, speaking and coaching. Next time, Jim will share how the Black Belt Mindset can help us avoid plateaus as we reach for our bigg goals. Please join us. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00459-081309.mp3