Beliefs Matter.

Your success depends on them.

Every one of us runs our business on our beliefs. The problem is most of us don’t write them down. We’re winging it, so that in the most critical decisions, we wander away from what we believe and decide based on the shiny object in front of us. Success requires that we stay true to what we believe – all the time. What do you believe? Write it down, and make every decision based on it. Here’s our beliefs:

We believe in transformation, not education. We are not interested in anyone learning anything, we intend that business owners will change as a result of contact with us. As a result, we lead from our experience, not from our knowledge. Great Crankset Group Stakeholders will have lived what they are asking others to do.

We believe in bringing Clarity, which brings Hope, which allows business owners to take measured Risks to grow. – Clarity, Hope and Risk.

We believe in Conation. Conation is the most important word we train people to use. Even though it is one of the 1,000 most obscure words in the English language, it is far and away the most important word in business. Conation – committed movement in a purposeful direction.

We believe in prisoners. Most business owners are hostages to their businesses for 30 years, then sell their job to someone else who will be a hostage. We intend for Business Owners to build a Mature Business in just 3to5 years, that they can enjoy for decades. They must move from hostage (no business rules) through prisoner (consistent business rules) to freedom.

No Rugged Individualists
We believe the Rugged Individualist is a bad idea. Business owners should live in Committed Community, and those that do make more money in less time and are more successful. We are recovering Rugged Individualists.

Time is the New Money
We believe Time is the New Money. Most business owners only ask their business for money, but our business should give us both Time and Money, which allows us to create Significance.

Speed of Execution
We believe in Speed of Execution. Implement now and perfect as you go. Waiting around for perfection is a bad idea.

Bad Plans
We believe in Bad Plans. “Bad Plans Carried Out Violently Many Times Yield Good Results. Do something.” It’s never how good your plan is that matters, but how committed you are to the Bad Plan you’ve got. Committed people make history. Thinkers write about them later. Stop thinking. Get moving.

Yield Per Hour
We believe in Yield Per Hour – YPH. We expect business owners to always ask two questions “How do I make MORE money in LESS time?”, and “What is the highest and best use of my time?” Make money while you’re on vacation, and do it in 3to5 years.

Trapeze Moments
We believe in Trapeze Moments. We encourage business owners to embrace trapeze moments and take the risk to grow personally and to build a business they can enjoy for decades.

We believe in Advisors, not in experts or gurus. We don’t use the words “coach” or “consultant”. We combine them both to advise business owners, and give them the tools they need for success, so they can grow their businesses to Maturity and get to their Ideal Lifestyle.

Own Your Business, Don’t be Owned by it
We believe in Business Owners. Business owners take the risks that make them the best leaders and the best hope for a better world. Nobody pays attention to business owners with fewer than 10 employees. We do.

Employees are a Bad Idea
We don’t hire employees, which the Industrial Age turned into children. We hire Stakeholders who grow with the company, who make meaning, not just money, who share in the profits and take ownership, and who live and work like adults. We hire people who can’t wait for Monday because they are part of something that will make a difference.

Managers are a Bad Idea – Lead!
We don’t hire people to manage people. Adults manage themselves. We hire leaders who focus on being productive themselves, not on making other people productive.

Committed Community
We believe business owners are the most successful when they live in Committed Community with other business owners and have a safe place to say three magic words, “I don’t know.” Together we get there faster.

The Big Why – Doing What Matters
We believe that every decision we make should support our Big Why – we believe we will change the world, and that every business can play a part in doing so – why come to work if you can’t? Our driving force – “Why do what others can and will do, when there is so much to be done that others can’t or won’t do.

Work and Play
We believe the Industrial Age artificially separated the two – we’re bringing them back together.

Make MeaningWe make decisions based on what we believe. What do you believe? Write it down and then use it to guide you through everything you do in business. Get a compass – a true north – and stick to it. You’ll be a lot more successful if you run your business on your beliefs, on making meaning, not just on making money.

Making money is not an empowering vision. A belief system is.

What do you believe?

Lewis & Clark – Your Best Business Heros

Maps are over rated.

Don’t look at IBM, Starbucks or Facebook to see how to start and grow a business successfully. The adventures of pioneers Lewis & Clark 208 years ago are the prototype for all of us. Things don’t often work out as we planned. Most often what happens instead is the good stuff.

In May of 1804, Lewis & Clark were given the mission by President Jefferson of finding a water passage from St. Louis to the Pacific ocean. How they approached fulfilling that mission is one of the best business start up examples in history.

Lewis and Clark were masters at planning as you go – what we call the 2.1 Planning Process. They only knew 2.1 things:
1) Where are we? – St. Charles (St. Louis)
2) Where do we want to end up? (the Pacific ocean)
2.1) What are the next few steps? (get a boat, hire a crew, leave)

Just the next few steps
You never get all of step “3)”, which is HOW to get all the way from step 1) to step 2). You only get “2.1)”. Traditional business planning teaches us that HOW you get all the way from 1) to 2) should be planned before you leave. But it’s voodoo, nonsense and fortune telling.

Just like Lewis & Clark, we never get all of step three, and you definitely don’t get it before you leave the dock. All we get is 2.1 – the next few steps.

On the third day of the trip, Lewis and Clark’s main vessel nearly capsized which would have ended the trip. Their experience even on waters others had traveled before was vastly different. Sound familiar? The other guy’s business experience won’t be yours – don’t let him tell you how it should go.

Lewis & Clark planned for the first few miles and could only guess at what they needed to take with them beyond that. All they could do is plan the next few steps and get moving.

Movement beats planning
They took off with 38 men and three boats but could have easily taken 1,000 men and 100 boats. Looking back from the future, we know this wouldn’t have helped them, and all that over-planning would have in fact made it even harder to move quickly, support such a large contingency and survive the winters.

This is where we miss it big time – over-planning before we even get moving. Lewis & Clark only figured out what they needed as each new obstacle presented itself. After planning as best they could for the first few steps, they simply had to be willing to make constant and quick adjustments or they would have perished. Every business has to have the same willingness to get moving and take soundings as you go.

Long-range planning doesn’t work
If you read the adventures of Lewis & Clark it reads like everything from a sappy novel to a National Lampoon comedy to an Indiana Jones movie. No business plan would have uncovered 1/100th of what actually happened.

They thought it would take 12 months, but 2 1/2 years later they stumbled back into St. Louis where people had long since written them off as dead. They thought they would float in big boats all the way to the Pacific but ended up in wagons, then canoes, on horses, walking, back in canoes, back on horses and wagons, all the while hoping they would find locals who they could trade with to get these things. They were making the whole thing up as they went along.

On they way back, only one month from the safety of St. Louis, Lewis was shot in the touche by the near-sighted, blind-in-one-eye Private Cruzatte who thought he was an elk. You just can’t make this stuff up. And you can’t plan for it either.

Pursue the first thing to find the real thing
Businesses almost always find what they will succeed at by failing at their first objective. Lewis & Clark had one main objective, find a navigable passage from the midwest to the Pacific Ocean, connecting the Mississippi to western oceanic trade. They utterly failed in their main objective. Yet pursuing that objective led them to multiple huge successes; mapping thousands of miles of land, treaties with Indians, identifying and naming hundreds of plant and animal species and opening up a whole new land for exploration. They gave courage to a whole generation who would follow in their steps, and rough maps to begin the journey.

And as with any business, those who followed the same route as Lewis & Clark had entirely different adventures. No two businesses can follow the same plan, even in the same industry.

Move the boat, then make the map
But the best correlation between Lewis & Clark’s adventure and your business is the answer to this question:

When did they get their maps?

The answer? When they got back.

Take the first step, then do it again and again
The best way for you to know how your business will unfold is to know exactly where you want to go, leave the dock and get moving, be flexible and adaptable, make it up as you go along, and grab the opportunities as they unfold. The thing you thought would be your main business will almost certainly grow into something you could have never seen from the dock.

Don’t know what to do to get all the way from here to there? Figure out what the next step is, even if it is a guess, and do it. Then do it again and again. Always know exactly where you want to end up, and take a thousand first steps to get there.

We usually find the good stuff by wading through the muck we thought was the good stuff. A map would take all the fun out of it. You’ll get your maps when you’re done.