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Think Like A Black Belt

How to Conquer Fear Like A Black Belt

Think Like A Black Belt

Listen to this post! Click the player to hear George & Mary-Lynn talk with Jim Bouchard on The BIGG Success Show Podcast (Duration 3:52)

Fear can be so paralyzing: fear of financial problems, fear of uncertainty with a job, fear of failure! We asked Jim Bouchard, martial arts hall-of-fame inductee and author of Think Like A Black Belt, how he thinks we should deal with our fears.

Jim says you should face it head on. Sometimes success isn’t achieving your biggest goal, but rather taking the right steps to simply survive. “Do what you have to do today to be able to hang on for tomorrow”.

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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 …

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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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!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

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

(Image in today's post from jimbouchard.org)

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 …

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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?

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george
The next million is the hardest.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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?

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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.

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

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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!

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marylynn
Hye-yah!

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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.

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marylynn
I like that!

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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.

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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!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

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

Related posts

Branding Like a Black Belt

How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

Is Passion Overrated?

(Image in today's post from jimbouchard.org)

How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

We were pleased to visit with Jim Bouchard on The Bigg Success Show today. Jim is the author of Dynamic Components of Personal Power. Success the Black Belt Way. Jim turned his love for martial arts into a thriving martial arts business. From there he started his own publishing company and is now a successful author and speaker.


Jim shared 3 tips to get from where you are to where you want to be:


#1 – The only person responsible for you is you.

You don’t need, and shouldn’t depend on anybody to guarantee you anything. It’s nice when they offer and it’s nice to be helpful yourself. You become a much better resource to others and do more good in the world when you make yourself powerful. So get out there and do it!

#2 – Start with power.
Martial arts is all about developing power (e.g. power for a kick or a punch). Those same techniques work in life and business as well. Power is your ability or capacity to act or perform effectively. So perfection isn’t a destination; it’s a never-ending process. The more you embrace that process, the more prepared you are to take advantage of opportunities.

Of course, at times it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling powerless. There may be conditions and circumstances beyond your control. At some point, though, you have to put on the brakes and take personal responsibility. Then focus on improving your ability and capacity to be open to opportunities.

#3 – Gratitude.
Jim says this could be first of the three in order of importance. He has a morning ritual that he practices no matter what’s he’s feeling that day. He doesn’t focus on what he doesn’t have; he spends a few moments expressing gratitude. Start your day being thankful for what you have.

For example, Jim says it’s wonderful for him to wake up every day and know that he’s in business with his wife and that she’s an extraordinary partner – both personally and n business. No matter what adversities they face, they can face them together and succeed. That’s a lot to be thankful for by itself!

George said he really hoped Mary-Lynn paid attention to that!

Download four chapters of Jim’s great book,
Dynamic Components of Personal Power. Success the Black Belt Way.
It’s FREE! Click Here.

Our bigg quote today comes from Jim Bouchard himself:

“You only stand on the mountain top for a moment.
It’s the journey that provides all the best memories.”

So even when the going gets tough, enjoy every moment of your climb to the top.

We thank Jim for sharing his time and wisdom with us!

Next time, we’ll look at how one young man made a bigg difference at work by adding his personal touch. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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(Image from jimbouchard.org

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Review: Dynamic Components of Personal Power

By Bigg Success Staff
06-05-08

Bigg Book Review 

Jim Bouchard earned a black belt in karate. Along the way, he learned that he found great joy in teaching others. As an instructor, he earned his way into the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame.

Now, he has turned his knowledge of martial arts, along with his desire to train others, into a powerful book about personal and professional success. He realized that the same principles that he practiced with karate were the foundation of any endeavor.

He delivers all this in his powerful, practical book Dynamic Components of Personal Power. Success the Black Belt Way.  He offers a step-by-step guide to find, understand, and harness the power within you to build the life you want.

You have the power! You just need to discover it and use it. His advice is down-to-earth and actionable. You’ll come away inspired and ready to take charge of your life harnessing the tools Jim provides.

We highly recommend this book!

Jim was a guest on The Bigg Success Show. Hear him share 3 tips that have helped him succeed bigg!

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