“How good are you? Well, I’m very good!”
I was finally going to take my own advice. For years I have been recommending recreation. As in “Re-Create-tional” activities to stay balanced and to re-charge your emotional batteries and creative juices.
So here I was ready to reinvigorate myself with horseback riding. I had been given a free trial gift certificate. The appointment had been set- a 90-minute ride up into the foothills. I had been riding once or twice before and had fond memories of the experience; I especially enjoyed the pony rides in circles at the fairs when I was 5.
A cowgirl approached and simply asked , “Do you ride much? How good are you?” For whatever reason, I fibbed, told basically a bold-faced lie, “Well, I’m very good! Lots of riding experience in my background!” Really, I just didn’t want to be stuck with one of those old has-been grey horses that don’t have any spark left in their eyes. I wanted a horse with some zip and get-up, a horse that would trot and gallop!
I grew up watching “Bonanza” and I wanted to play Little Joe and Ride ‘Em Cowboys!
They brought out a beautiful horse named Diablo. Diablo was a girl horse, but maybe I should use a different word… I’m not sure but I think she was emotionally unstable. I know she lacked emotional intelligence! She was angry from the beginning. She was stubborn. She must have been part mule!
It took me 30 minutes to get her out of the barn and stable and up the trail. It was not a good match. The plan was to enjoy a relaxing ride up to the bluff and enjoy the meadow there…. Ahhhh. There would be a breeze and we could gallop across at a nice pace…ahhhh.
As you may be guessing, the day did not go as planned. Instead, as soon as we got to the bluff, Diablo U-Turn hooked on me and started galloping for home. I pulled the reins but nothing happened, except that she went faster. I screamed. I said “Woooooaaaahh.” Nothing was working. She was hell bent on getting back into that barn.
As we raced towards the barn at full speed, I had two choices, either bail off Diablo or duck low going through the door. I decided to duck. She stopped immediately once she was inside and walked happily into her stall. I could almost hear her say “Ahhhhh, home…”
The cowgirl came back, looking confused, and asked “Back already?” Trying to save face, I said “Yeah, I just wanted a quick little ride today. Thank you!” As I walked away from Diablo, I muttered to her “You’re nothing like Little Joe’s horse…”
I have to give Diablo some credit; she knew what she wanted!
- What is your one thing that you want?
You cannot market to the masses. You cannot shoot a bunch of shot-gun pellets everywhere. You must focus on your ONE MAIN THING.
- What is your primary goal?
I’m going to suggest you narrow your focus in the next 90 days.
- Get clear on your brand and your message!
Find your strength and stay with it!
- Become an expert in your field
Knowledge is power. Hone your craft.
- Get single-minded and determined.
Not to say you can’t enjoy variety. But you must know what you want and know your one big goal.
There will be days when people try to pull in you lots of directions away from your purpose and goal. Stay true and vigilant. There is a good word: VIGILANT!
If I could suggest one more thing to every leader I know, it would be to write down your one big goal. Then put 10 action items under that goal as to how you will make it happen!
Here are some closing thoughts that I refer to when I am veering off from my one big goal:
- Goals create positive energy and hope
- A clearly articulated goal offers you a North Star to guide you out of rough seas and into clear waters
- Know exactly what you want and clearly write it down
Determined like Diablo,
You matter to me,