Puny or powerful – what’s YOUR default setting?


charles atlas adBack in the old days, some comic book ads were directed toward the skinny “98-pound weakling”. This was a scrawny guy laughed at by girls and bullied by stronger guys until he took the advertiser’s magic product and developed all these gleaming muscles. Then he got the girls and faced down the bullies.

While sexist and stereotyped, this sort of advertisement did make at least one good point: If you’re not getting the results you want, you have a choice to make.  You can either accept the sand kicked in your face, or you can do something about the situation. That’s the good news. The bad news is that there’s no magic pill you can take to get better outcomes. The better news is that you have access to something even more powerful than any magic pill.

Your mind.




Too many entrepreneurs are tempted to blame failure or attribute success to external circumstances. But the most powerful entrepreneurs know that success is an inside job; they know that how they choose to think, speak, and act is what truly determines their outcomes.

Here are some clues that you may be inadvertently sabotaging your success by allowing yourself to be ruled by puny thoughts, words, and deeds.

I have to confess that I speak with authority in identifying these stay-safe-and-small tactics; in the past, I’ve fallen prey to all of them at one time or another. And there’s only one reason I’m okay with acknowledging that now: I’ve made a conscious decision to exchange puny for powerful, and I’m stepping into a bigger game.

If you’re ready to do the same, or are already in the process of up-leveling your results, here are some tools to speed you on your way.


Tune in.

Awareness is the essential prerequisite for change. You have to tune in to your current limiting beliefs and thoughts; only then can you challenge them and start changing them into beliefs and thoughts that will propel you forward rather than drag you down. If you want dazzling results IRL—In Real Life—you get to start creating them behind the scenes, in your mind.


Be a detective.

Any time you’re scared, frustrated, resentful—in short, any time you experience any sort of uncomfortable emotion—you can use your awareness of that emotion to deduce the underlying, limiting beliefs that cause you to feel that way. Although this is not particularly enjoyable work, it’s extraordinarily productive. It enables you to take charge of your beliefs, thoughts, and emotions, and to start using them to achieve your goals and dreams.


Pull out all the stops.

You may be one of the many, many people who learned it was best (i.e., safest) to think small, not rock the boat, not get your hopes up, yadda yadda yadda. If that’s the case, you get to throw off those mental shackles and start thinking BIG.

Simon Sinek contends that far too many businesses get hung up on what they do and how they do it, when in reality they should first get clear on why they’re doing it. Once you can clearly articulate your why, you’ll find yourself with more confidence, greater energy, enhanced creativity, and more courage. As Viktor Frankl observed in Man’s Search for Meaning, “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.” If Frankl—a survivor of Auschwitz—could find a way to bear almost unbearable brutality, how readily can you, as a skilled entrepreneur, face and overcome the fear of stepping into a bigger game?

So ignore, for the moment, what Mike Dooley calls “the cursed ‘how’s”, and focus instead on why you want to create the business outcomes you do. Pull out all the stops as you imagine just what you’ll experience when you create your ideal business, bask in your vision—and then start kicking some serious business butt.


Does this get you fired up to start taking more control of the behind-the-scenes contributors to success? Or does it just get you overwhelmed at the thought of yet more items to add to your already-bulging Too Much To Do List? If the latter, maybe I can help.

I specialize in showing entrepreneurs like you how to discard what’s not serving them and focus on the activities that will generate the results they want. Would the process I’ve used successfully with others work as well for you? The only way to tell is to ask each other some questions to determine if we’d make a great problem-solving team.

It’s easy to figure that out with a single phone call. To arrange that call, just email me with “Time to power up!” in the subject line, or call me at 319-270-1214. We’ll set aside 30 – 40 minutes to get acquainted and decide, to our mutual satisfaction, if we move forward or not.

Are you feeling powerful enough to explore that possibility?

(BTW, thanks to Robert Huffstutter for posting the image of the old comic-book ad in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.)

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