Some while back on a Friday afternoon, the doorbell rang.
I was in the office, tinkering away as usual.
The FedEx van was parked in the drive.
“Hang on mate”, I shouted down from the third floor window.
I was expecting the delivery to be my “Road Angel”, ordered nearly two weeks previously.
My “on board” speed camera detection unit had failed. I’d found the service levels at “Road Angel” to be, in this day and age, woefully unimpressive. Part with your cash and they’ll get round to dispatching your goods by courier “within two to four working days”.
I get we’ve all become accustomed to instant gratification in today’s downloadable and “Amazon Prime” fused world but two to four working days to despatch a product you’re charging a reasonable delivery charge for? I don’t think so…
Anyway, back to the FedEx guy at the door.
Despite appearances when exchanging pleasantries, I felt myself being notably deflated when I saw the thin, single white envelope in the man’s hand. Sigh..still no “Road Angel”.
“Sorry to drag you down all that way Sir, but it’s got to be signed for”.
“No problem, I understand. I appreciate you and your service”, I smiled.
“Oh” he replied, taken off guard. “Thank you Sir.”
If our transaction wasn’t to be so short, I’d have politely requested the “Sir” thing stop straight way. I’m not one for formalities. Christian is just fine.
Isn’t it a sad indictment on how we’re showing up in today’s service-led society when people who provide a service every day get genuinely taken aback when someone verbally communicates their appreciation of not just what they do but also who they are in doing it?
I note the same surprise (if not shock) when I thank the often sour-faced border control people on returning back to the UK. The way I see it, it only takes a few seconds and costs nothing to elevate the spirit of someone who’s providing a service to you.
It’s often the smallest, simplest things that make the biggest difference.
I wasn’t expecting a letter.
And I certainly wasn’t expecting to need to sign for one either. What was it, a court summons or something?
I wasn’t expecting one of those either.
It wasn’t until I opened it and read the sixteen names at the top, that all became apparent.
A slice of Entrepreneurial genius.
I knew thirteen of the sixteen names.
Each of them receiving the same letter on the same day I was.
A letter from our mutual mentor.
The letter was a carefully crafted personal invitation, expertly written with direct response marketing principles and excellently executed.
It had to be. This was a mentor of that discipline and we were his most dedicated students…watching very carefully.
To understand the origins of the letter, we’ll need to wind back to an event prior to that. The event was held four times a year, for two days, for members of the “high end mastermind” group led by the aforementioned mentor.
“I’d like to give you more money” is how I opened up the conversation as I shook my mentor’s hand at the end of the two days. Music to his ears no doubt, especially when coming from one of your premier customers already investing a decent five figures with you.
Why make such a request, do I have more money than sense?
But I had two VERY good reasons.
Firstly, I was in need of it and ready for it. Two things that don’t always go hand in hand.
I was at yet another “pinch point” in my business and I needed a different level of engagement to take me beyond it. I still needed what I was getting…but I was now in need of a whole lot more.
More access. A broader and deeper engagement.
Because if I didn’t get it, I was going to deny my business the oxygen it needed to call forth the vision I held for it. It could only reflect the quality of my thinking and in that I represented, paradoxically, both its greatest asset and its biggest liability.
I wasn’t alone in the challenge and I wasn’t alone in the need. It was no “coincidence” that a small group of us, all with incredibly diverse businesses from pizza oven manufacturers, dental technician supplies, flat roofers to architects for the rich and famous, had been in this “mastermind” since inception.
Together we’d unlearned, re-learned, implemented…and grown. And in those four years we’d witnessed hundreds come and go. In for a year, out for a dime.
Our perseverance didn’t make us better than anyone else…but it sure as hell made us different…
…and put us on a very different trajectory.
“Dabbling” is an endemic psychological impairment that afflicts many business owners…and it occurs at many levels.
Aside from a few names I was unfamiliar with, the group represented thirteen of the sixteen recipients of the letter. All sixteen were invited to a new “Elite Consulting Group”, of which only twelve places were available.
Which brings me nicely to the second and perhaps less obvious reason for my request.
It’s about three words.
I’m very aware of my responsibility to the people I serve. If I’m not pouring more into myself and discovering more from myself, then how can I expect to pour more into, and draw more out of, others?
Where’s the leadership in asking others to invest in you when you’re not willing to invest in yourself?
What kind of leader asks others to do what he or she isn’t willing to do? You can’t lead others to where you’re not willing to go yourself.
I’d recently launched my Entrepreneurial Elite Inner Circle and opened Entrepreneurial Mastery Inner Circle to new members. In the case of the former, it’s an eighteen grand a year investment. I couldn’t look my group of Elite members in the eye knowing I’d asked them to invest eighteen grand to take themselves to a higher level while balking at the idea of investing at that level in myself (for the record, I was investing at just over twenty grand).
That’s why, aside from needing it, being ready for it and asking for it, as soon as I read the letter, I went straight to my office and signed up.
How could I not?
I was already a product of the product. I don’t just walk my talk, I walk my walk. I’m living proof of what I preach.
And I’ll never stop putting opportunities in front of you to better yourself and dramatically improve the quality of your life – at every level…
…because I know I could never have achieved what I have today alone. And I know I will never achieve what I intend to achieve tomorrow alone either.
Not without the guidance, support and questions of my coaches and mentors.
No way, Jose.
And I couldn’t help others at this level unless I was willing to help myself at this level.
It’s about letting it flow into you so it can flow through you.
It’s about being the river, not the reservoir.
Christian Simpson is the UK’s leading coach and mentor to business owners and entrepreneurs. For COMPLIMENTARY ACCESS to tried, tested and proven entrepreneurial success strategies, click here