When you think about it, whale hunting is outrageous. It requires a BIG way of thinking. When the Inuit people decided to go out in their little umiak to bring back a whale, they weren’t thinking small. So when you find yourself thinking too small, where do you find inspiration? For me, sometimes advice is not enough; how-to is not what I need. Sometimes I just need some inspiration and examples to think bigger. I got three doses of think big inspiration this week!
First, I had the opportunity to meet with Sharon Lechter for a business development coaching session. Sharon is co-author of the Rich Dad, Poor Dad books and a founder of the Rich Dad company. Most recently she founded two new organizations, Pay Your Family First devoted to financial literacy and YOUTHpreneur to nurture young people as entrepreneurs.
I am very interested in how Sharon and her partners were able to parlay their original book into a hugely successful international business organization. Well, Sharon doesn’t know how to think small! Whatever you are trying to accomplish, she will have an idea for how you can enlist a bigger partner to get it going fast. She is impatient about incremental growth, always on the lookout for a big deal. Sharon is a genius at structuring a deal that has pay-offs for all parties. She is unselfish in structuring a deal, which makes her deals attractive to potential partners.Next, I came across a blog that I really like. It’s called Billionaire Woman, written by Nathalie Lussier, who also wrote How to Become a Billionaire, an eBook that she gives away to people who come to her website. She’s not thinking small, is she!
Nathalie is a young woman. She isn’t a billionaire; I’m guessing she isn’t even a millionaire. Yet. But she has a clear focus and a sense of intentionality—two traits which typically take people a long way towards achieving their goals. And she doesn’t see anything wrong with figuring out how people become billionaires and offering advice about it.
Another reason Nathalie will achieve her goal is that she wants to be rich inside of a pretty well-developed value system. Seems that the getting rich part is mostly to enable a lot of other things—ability to be who you are, contribute to the community, be a net asset rather than a liability. Who she is along the way to riches seems important to Nathalie.
Her blog post today is about distinguishing possibilities from opportunities. Seeing too many possibilities is as bad as seeing none—both states promote inaction. I like the way she thinks–Big.
Finally, I spent some time in Las Vegas with members of the Women President’s Organization there. Several of the women business owners do business in the convention and hospitality industry. As you might imagine, business is slow in their city. But these women are full of energy and ideas. They are starting up new businesses to add to their portfolio. They are partnering with competitors in some interesting ways. And they are avidly recruiting other women to join their organization to ensure a steady influx of ideas and inspiration.
So what are my take-aways from this week?
- Seek out big thinkers. Invest your time and if necessary travel dollars to be in their company. Learn all you can about how they approach opportunities. Pick their brains about how they structure mutually beneficial deals with players much bigger than themselves. One of the biggest deterrents to whale hunting is your own sense that you are too small to be interesting to the whale. Therefore it’s important to learn why your size can be attractive and what benefits appeal to the whales. It is not twice as hard to do a big deal as to do a little deal. It may take longer and have more moving parts along the way, but it’s never as hard as the vastly superior benefits might make you think.
- Read good stuff. The internet and the bookstores are full of small ideas. How to make a living on the internet. How to solve this or that problem. 25 reasons to do X, or the Top Ten Ways to get Y. Those little tactical pieces have their place, but if you want to hunt whales, you should read what whale hunters have to say.
- Hang out with practitioners. Because of this recession, many people are consumed by bad news and can talk of nothing else. The media feed this bad-news frenzy, which becomes self-fulfilling for people who buy into it. The people I am talking about are not immune from recession. For the most part, I think their business is slower, their worries are higher, and their problems are real, not imaginary. Yet they choose to live in a world of abundance and actively seek out others who share their ways of approaching business.
There’s one more characteristic of whale hunters that I encountered all this week: generosity. Willingness to share time, ideas, strategies, tactics, and all manner of resources in order to help others be successful. True generosity is always inspirational, both on the giving and receiving side.
What do you think? Where do your big-deal inspirations come from?
I wish for you a great week of finding inspiration and motivation for doing big deals!
Follow Barbara on Twitter and her blog Whale Hunting with Barbara Weaver Smith