Welcome to our very 1st Golden nugget Friday episode. Today’s topic could not be more appropriate. It is a topic that I guarantee 100 % everyone has had experience with one time or another in fact as entrepreneurs sometimes on a daily basis.
It’s the mindset of self-limiting beliefs, that negative voice in the back or your mind making statements like. I should have ……I could have ….. If only I would have statements.
Or perhaps it’s a bit harsher…. Why did you say that….? That sounded stupid, why would anyone want your opinion?
I asked our guest Warren Rustand earlier this week some very hard questions. In case you missed Warrens episode I strongly suggests you go back to listen to 001. Warren is such an inspiring man he is also a successful serial Entrepreneur with experience of running billion dollar organizations and helping over 50 public, private and not for profit Organizations and was an intern at the Whitehouse. I have met many amazing, successful entrepreneurs in my lifetime and Warren sits on my top 5 list. He has it all so when I was preparing for the interview I was curious how he was going to answer some of my questions. I was very surprised by his responses, even someone with the achievements he has accomplished he too has self-limiting beliefs.
What held him back from being the entrepreneur he is today, what was the best advice someone has given you and what did he learn? Audio starts 6:48 – 10:08 3min 20 sec
Time stamped on episode 001 - Warren Rustand:
Warren Rustand: Well, my IQ, probably, has always held me back. I think that's a big problem. Aside being average intelligence, I could have always been smarter
Warren Rustand: Well, it happened when I was working in the White House, and it was one of those rare and unique leadership moments that really shaped my life. I was working everyday with people with the names of Colin Powell, Bob Gates, Don Rumsfeld, Dick Chaney, George H W Bush, and others. I was with a group of very intelligent, very wise, and very energetic people, and my first time in politics. I was certainly unprepared, and felt I wasn't adequate, felt I was not good enough to be there, that, perhaps, I would make a mistake that would embarrass the President.
I asked, "Mr. President, may I sit down?", and he said, "Yes." As I sat down with him, I explained to him that I didn't think I was adequate to be there, I wasn't smart enough, I wasn't skilled enough, and I didn't have the experience, and that I was prepared to offer my resignation. He turned his chair and looked out the windows around the Oval office for what seemed an interminable amount of time, and he finally turned back to me, and he said, "The very fact that you've told me this, it makes you worthy to be here."
The lesson I learned from that was that by making myself vulnerable, by being transparent, by being honest and open, that things will work out just fine and that's the best way to be. It was one of those moments where real learning took place for me. I've hoped that I've tried to be exactly that way over the last many years of my life.
As I reflect on the words that Warren said. I could always be smarter, I’m too trusting, entrepreneurs are so energetic, and we're so willing to take risks that we may not always do the homework necessary, the diligence necessary, to really understand.
Relating to Warrens’ comments I could always be smarter. For me it was 2003 I was living in Canada CEO of a successful electronic recycling and company. We were encroaching on the 7-year mark in business. I presented to the board, Go BIG or Go Home! Which was Go public or remain as a private company. The decision was to GO BIG. My self-limiting beliefs stared to creep in, with thoughts of why did I not research this sooner, I’m losing traction and the competition is catching us. So as the enthusiasm grew about being a publicly listed company on the NASDAQ we hastily recruited a team to help execute our business plan and complete a Reverse Take Over of a shell company to begin trading.
Relating to Warrens’ comments about being too trusting. I ignored my gut my intuition and my normal business practices, which are if you are unsure if it doesn’t feel right then don’t make a decision until you have more facts. I did not do all the homework necessary, the due diligence was weak and it cost me greatly. Less than 2 years, we hit the wall, failed to raise the money required to implement our business plan. It was painful to see my once successful company with an amazing team go from winning awards to being insolvent.
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“The only thing limiting us in life is our belief that there are limits” Behind me is infinite power, Before me is endless possibility Around me is boundless opportunity
WHY SHOULD I FEAR?"