By March I Had Reached My Wits End…
It was 1996. I had just finished going through bankruptcy proceedings. One of the most embarrassing and humiliating things I have ever experienced in my life…and I’m someone who was tied NAKED to the front column of a girl’s sorority in college, and the girls who were having their weekly meeting had to come out and untie me! While that was pretty darn embarrassing, especially for a shy person like me, it was NOTHING compared to the deep feeling of shame and lasting despondency I felt in 1996.
It was all my fault too. I’m the one who had made the bad decisions. I’m the one who didn’t do what I needed to do. I’m the one who had been too hesitant to change even though I knew in my spirit I was working at something that did not fit my value system. Yet, Several months later, I was the picture of success and being photographed for the cover of a magazine. What in the world happened? And what does this have to do with you?
You Cannot Skip Development Stages…
I stand in front of audiences both in person and online and practically SHOUT that who you are BECOMING is the most important part of the journey. The accomplishments are simply points of focus that lead to the inside growth. The accomplishments are temporary and simply position you for whatever is next. Who you are becoming, is permanent.
March of 1996 ended up being the end of what I would consider to be Stage 2 of my business life. Stage 1 was end of college, then bartending for three years with a brief and miserable desk job for six months mixed in, then real-estate banking for about four years which culminated in a lay-off and led me into Stage 2. Stage 1 was about beginning to learn the ropes a bit and figure out what I cared about.
Stage 2 was what I would call the quest for freedom, and serious development and discovery. I had started a business from home working with a traditional direct sales/networking home business company. I was looking for a path to have personal freedom and this seemed like the ticket, even though it was way out of my comfort zone and skill set. The short story of this is that I had some success, but made lots of mistakes. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, about most everything…business and myself, included. Over the course of these seven years, I went through massive personal development and read literally hundreds of books. I made hundreds of calls per week. I did hundreds of presentations. And I began to understand on a deeper level what I valued and what my priorities were. During this time, I began to live fully in the 3 Circles Living way (I didn’t call it that at the time), and I was perfecting the ideal way to work the process of growing something the right way (I didn’t realize this then either).
In March of 1996, when I entered Stage 3, the meteoric results that happened in the first year were all as a result of the fruits of the prior stage. It LOOKED like overnight success to an outsider, but it was specifically seven years in the making.
Are You In Your “Back Story” Right Now?
You are either enjoying the fruits of what you have grown though in the past several years, or you are in the middle of the stage where you are growing and learning and feeling more of the pain than of the positives in the future outcome.
If you are in the fruits, then it’s time to start thinking of what’s next. What’s bigger for you. What are you now in a position to look into next. Where can you make an impact. If you are in the turmoil of the journey in mid-stage, hang in there. You HAVE to go through it. It’s growing you. You are learning. It’s working. Even if you cannot see it. I have seen this countless times in addition to my own path.
You see, in late March 1996 I was presented with an opportunity that completely fit my value system and was in line with the principles and platforms on which I lived and worked. I became partnered with a manufacturer that used a business model that completely embraced the ideals and ethics I believed in.
I then went to work in contacting the thousands of people who had been in conversation with me over the years (I call this the Process). The picture above is the ping-pong table and chair I worked from. I know it’s messy…and it should be. Success is a mess. I worked from this chair 16 hours a day most days, 6 days a week, for 80 days. (yes I know that is out of balance. I talk about this in the 3 Circles book. I COULD go out of balance in the short run because I lived in balance normally and Melanie and I discussed it and agreed for a short window)
Because I had treated people with kindness, honesty, and respect for years, they all took my call. Because I had been diligent, and continuously did what I said I would do, they trusted me enough (credibility) to act on my offer if it was something they felt they needed or wanted.
Yes, I took massive action, but it was also on top of seven years of priming and developing.
Everyone who creates some significant success in anything, spent a long time doing something that paved the way for the success, and you never knew or know about it. There is rarely overnight success in the real world.
What Stage are You In?
At this point I am in Stage 4. (I have no idea how many stages there are:-)
I have moved from focusing on specific goal accomplishment to operating completely on fulfilling my “Purpose.” Stage 3 has taken me through an entirely new journey that is still going on to this day.
It was in Stage 3 that my passion for teaching became clear. It is where I learned even deeper what was next in my value system. It was in this stage that I realized that while I enjoy knowing that I am making a difference and impacting a life; status and position on it’s face are meaningless to me for the most part. I like recognition as much as the next person, but I value the personal kind that comes from the heart and through the eyes.
Now everything I work on flows through the 3 Circles platform, as it’s the central message that leads to all the other fruit. I teach and coach everyday people, and top leaders, in various fields. ALL of the teaching comes through the learning that happened in each of my stages, and continues to happen today. This is my purpose. My cause. To help people achieve their richest life possible, and to help organizations to bring out the best in their people.
This is Where You are Headed…
…as long as you keep going. First you will work towards a goal, and while doing so you will become a better version of you, and in doing so you will uncover new values and new tools inside of you. Then you will go to the next level of accomplishment, and so on.
At some point, you won’t really “need” anything. You will have the things in life you care about, the people in life that matter, and you will begin to work on the purpose side. It’s the natural growth evolution for people who refuse to give in or give up.
I never could have imagined that I would be in a position to pen these kinds of words 25 years ago. And I hope you will be able to say the same years from now, and hopefully some of what you learn from me will help you on the way.
I’ll share more of this, and various lessons, from this 25 year journey in the coming weeks as a way of giving back for all it’s meant for myself and my family.
I hope this encourages you. Regardless of how dark the days get in your journey sometimes, you will find the light ahead as long as you keep going. I hope you will share some of these blogs and Facebook videos (on my Fan page) this month. I know that you are in touch with many people who are trying to grow and achieve dreams. They need support, and they need proof that they can do it.
Here is a bonus video from 4 years ago, where I talk about follow up. This was one of the keys for the “conversations” that built the credibility to launch what began in 1996 and continues to this day…
If you need some Coaching, or Training for your organization, reach out to me.
Many Blessings, Todd
P.S. Getting the right nutrients for your body to function at it’s best is vital to a good life. In this video, I share insight into many of the challenges that are causing people to struggle with their health and energy, and then I share one of my secret weapons that I have used for 21 years. If you’d like to know more, shoot me a message. How to Manage Your Health Risk