Case Studies In Extraordinary Success

When a ship misses the harbor, it’s seldom the harbor’s fault.

Almost everybody wants to HAVE more, BE more, or DO more. The tragedy is … only a few people ever learn HOW to get all those things. That’s why I created my 2-day program, “The Journey To The Extraordinary” … so you can GET more of what you want of your life, career, and relationships. During the “Journey,” you learn the 12 keys to extraordinary success.

And when I study legendary business heroes, somehow or other, most of them picked up and practiced these 12 keys. They didn’t luck into success, and they weren’t given a successful company to run. Most of them started with little or nothing … BUT with the right skills in hand, they became phenomenally successful. Take these examples, for starters.

Apple Computer, Inc.

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak sold a Volkswagen van and a Hewlett-Packard programmable calculator to raise $1,350 in seed capital to build the first Apple I PC in Job’s garage in 1976. They knew something about goal setting and motivation.

The Black & Decker Corp.

They started with $1,200 in 1910. But, the $5-billion tool manufacturer ensured its success in 1916, when its founding partners realized that there was greater demand for electric drills than for their original products, which included a milk-bottle-cap machine. They knew something about goal setting and motivation.

Dell Computer Corp.

Putting little money down, Michael Dell started selling computer components from his dorm room in 1983. When his sales grew as high as $80,000 a month, he dropped out of college and put all his energy into the business. Dell’s sales today are over $7 billion. He knew something about goal setting and motivation.

Domino’s Pizza, Inc.

Tom Monaghan didn’t finish college, but he stayed long enough to learn that undergrads eat a lot. He bought a small pizzeria with his brother for $900 in 1960 and built his business on a simple strategy: locate stores near campuses or army bases, and deliver within half an hour. He knew something about goal setting and motivation.

Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery

The famous brothers invested $9123 in savings … and borrowed $5,000 … to launch their business … even though they had no business or wine-making experience. Nonetheless, they rented their first warehouse, in Modesto, CA in 1933 and learned wine making by studying pamphlets at the local library. They knew something about goal setting and motivation.

Hewlett-Packard Co.

The company started with a $538 investment in 1938, but didn’t really get off the ground until 1940. That’s when they landed their first big client, fellow bootstrapper Walt Disney, who needed sound equipment for the production of Fantasia. They knew something about goal setting and motivation.

Marriott International, Inc.

J. Willard “Bill” Marriott, his fiancee, and a partner started a nine-seat A&W soda fountain with $3,000 on May 20, 1927. They demonstrated a knack for hospitality and clever marketing from the beginning, attracting a crowd by playing a radio that continuously updated patrons on the progress of Lindbergh’s first trans-Atlantic flight. They knew something about goal setting and motivation.

Microsoft Corp.

Harvard dropout Bill Gates, and his high school sidekick Paul Allen, moved into an Albuquerque hotel room in 1975. There, they started Microsoft, writing the programming language for the first commercially available microcomputer. They knew something about goal setting and motivation.

Nike, Inc.

In the early 1960’s, Philip Knight and his college track coach, William Bowerman, sold imported Japanese sneakers from the trunk of a station wagon. Start-up costs totaled $1,000. In fiscal 1996, Nike’s sales exceeded $6.5 billion. They knew something about goal setting and motivation.

So what can we learn from these kinds of examples? In every case, the great success stories follow a similar formula … a formula I teach in “The Journey To The Extraordinary.” Of course, it takes me two-days to teach the entire formula or the 12 keys. But let me give you Napoleon Hill’s shorthand version … as found in his book, “Think and Grow Rich.”

=> 1. Focus on the exact goal you want to achieve.

Hill said, “Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. It is not sufficient to say, ‘I want plenty of money.’ Be definite as to the amount.”

Even though Hill was referring to financial goals in the above example, his point about “FOCUSING” applies to any goal you want to achieve. You start with a clear focus.

As Bryce Beattie points out in “The Power of Focus,” all success starts with intense focus. He makes his point by telling the story of a warrior named Arjuna. Arjuna set out to become the greatest archer in the world. He began to train at a well-known martial arts school under master Drona.

One night, as all of the students were eating dinner, a wind arose and blew out all of the lamps.

A thought struck Arjuna as he continued his meal in the dark. “I don’t need to see anything, as long as I know where my food is.”

That very night he took a lantern out to the darkened range and began to use it as a target, thinking to himself, “I do not need to see anything else, as long as I know where my target is.” From then on, he practiced in the dark every night.

Master Drona noticed the skill Arjuna was developing, and began to give him private lessons. The other students noticed the extra attention being given Arjuna. They complained … saying it wasn’t fair … and after all, weren’t they as good as he was? To quell the grumbling, Drona arranged to have a tournament.

When the day of the tournament arrived, Drona placed a clay statue of an owl on a tree branch at great distance. It was to be the target.

As the first student stepped to the line, Drona asked him, “What do you see?”

The student thought and replied, “I see the owl, the trees, the ground and the sky. I see how the trees blow in the wind; I see everything I need to make this shot.” His arrow fell short of the tree with the owl.

The second student stepped to the line, and Drona asked the same question, “What do you see?”

The student considered for a moment. “I see the tree with the owl and how it gently moves in the breeze. I see everything I need to make this shot.” His arrow flew and was implanted into the base of the tree.

The third student stepped to the line and Drona asked again, “What do you see?”

The student paused to think, then replied, “I see the branch with the owl. I see the other branches, and how they can sway into the path I must shoot. I see everything I need to make this shot.” He launched his arrow and it struck the branch on which the owl was resting.

Arjuna stepped to the line. Drona asked, “Now Arjuna, what do you see?”

Without hesitation, Arjuna replied, “I see the eye of the owl.”

“Anything else?”

“Nothing, just the eye.”

Arjuna let loose his arrow. It struck the owl in the eye, shattering the statue.

If you want to reach your goals … whatever they are is … you’ve got to focus. If you want to hit the targets in your life, if you want to exceed your past performances, if you want to get rid of your old blockages, you’ve got to start with a clear focus. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU WANT. Focus. Focus. Focus. Unclutter your mind.

As spiritual advisor Eric Butterworth used to say, “More important than learning how to recall things is finding ways to forget things that are cluttering the mind.”

Or as contemporary wisdom tells us, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

=> 2. Determine your give back.

As author and researcher Napoleon Hill went on to say, “Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire.” In a sense, he was saying there was no such thing as a free lunch or getting something for nothing.

And yet some folks don’t get that. I remember one of my first employees many years ago. As I walked into the office one morning, she said, “I’ve got to talk to you right now.”

I said, “Okay. Take a seat. What’s on your mind?”

She was very aggressive, almost sarcastic, and said, “I need a $1000 month raise … starting now.”

I was about to laugh. I thought she was joking, and then realized she was serious. She continued, “My husband and I are moving into a new house that we have just built, and I really need the pay increase to pay for the house.”

It was a ridiculous request, but I gently advised her that she may be looking in the wrong place for more money. She may need to look for another job. After all, I noted, “Your salary is based on a list of problems you are solving for me and our customers. Now you want a huge increase in salary. Do you have a list of the new problems you will begin to solve for me and our customers?”

It had never crossed her mind she needed to solve more problems to acquire a bigger salary. Likewise, you have to figure out what you plan to GIVE BACK … to GET the money or ACHIEVE the goal you want to achieve.

And please, my friends, as you’re determining what you’re going to give back, make sure you choose wisely. Some people give up their families to get a few more dollars. And some people give up their health to get in a few more hours at work.

As Pat Williams says, “Whatever I’m doing today is important, and I will do my level best, because I’m giving up a day of my life to do it.”

So the first two steps in HAVING, BEING, DOING, GETTING more … deal with focusing on what you want … and then determining what you will give back to get it. Without those two steps in place, you’re just spinning your wheels. So stay tuned in for the remaining steps next week.

Action:  Write out what you want to get more of … financially, relationally, occupationally, physically, socially, spiritually, and emotionally. And begin to FOCUS on those things.