Most of you who are reading this have, at some point in your life, taken an airplane flight. Did you ever wonder why they repeat those same instructions every time you get on the plane?
I have been on hundreds of flights and maybe a dozen to 20 times I was seated near someone who was on their first flight. Yet the instructions that are given each time are the same, and most of them are the same from company to company. Why do they repeat it?
I was thinking this week about those reasons that hold entrepreneurs back; one of them is repeated each and every plane trip I take. I think most of us know it for the flight, but never apply it to real life. Then we ask, “Why is it that people like Bill Gates are so successful? Why is it that I can’t have my business take off?”
They miss it. We all want to have the heart to give away money to causes; to have a foundation that helps poor neighborhoods; to reach out to help those kids of the troops who are struggling. I could list a million great charity ideas that need us to give, to participate in.
I meet and talk to so many people who never get the dream or venture off the ground that could change the world. I listened again this past weekend to my great friend and joint-venture partner, Jason Nast, talk about how lack of funding is a big reason businesses fail. But here is another thing that keeps them from succeeding.
We must often put our businesses ahead of everything; but we have to sacrifice some things to make that happen. The truth is we must take care of the business first and let those things that can wait till later do so. You see, the thing that is mentioned each time we get on a plane is, “Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.”
When it comes to entrepreneurs that have the greatest hearts, they want to help and change the world. The problem is they do not put the oxygen mask on the business and it dies so they have a great idea that is dead.
I know people who tell me how they want to help others. They give and give of themselves till there is nothing left to give. Then when they have no money for food, no money for rent, or they are working several jobs to pay the interest on the debt used to help others first, they choke the life out of themselves.
Yes, I think we need to help others. But even in the Bible it was mentioned that a tithe referred to a tenth of what you make. You give less than you make and build for yourselves; when you have great riches, then you give more.
I once had a friend whose ultimate goal was to live on 10% of his income. He knew it was going to take a long time to do this. As he built his income each year he and his family reviewed how much they could increase their giving. Last I talked to him, they were giving over 20% of their income because of the economies they had achieved in their daily living expenses.
You see, Bill Gates gives away a lot of money each year; but first he built a company that will be around longer than he will. He built the wealth first before he could give it away. If more people would put the oxygen mask on first then help their neighbors we would see more success and less failure. So do you have your oxygen mask on?
I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do, and those you share life with. Are you ready to go to the next level and become the RockStar in your world?