General Rosecrans portrait with overlay text "The Rosecrans Principle

One of the greatest contributing factors to unmet goals and failure is what I call, “The Rosecrans Principle.”

William S. Rosecrans

William S. Rosecrans was a major general during the American Civil War. A highly decorated strategist, he often failed to translate an idea into action.

He’s the one that gave me the idea for The Rosecrans Principle.

His superior, Ulysses S. Grant, when writing in his personal memoirs after the war, summed up one meeting this way:

We held a brief interview, in which he described very clearly the situation at Chattanooga, and made some excellent suggestions as to what should be done. My only wonder was that he had not carried them out. (emphasis mine)

What was Rosecrans’ problem? He had a lot of great ideas but failed to take the appropriate action. General Rosecrans portrait with overlay text "The Rosecrans Principle

As an entrepreneur, business owner, high-achiever, parent, spouse, child, community member, or any other title you carry …. can you relate?

We know we should get out that marketing email, but it’s getting late, we’re a little tired, and it’s easy to push it to another day.

Another scenario: It’s time for some sales calls…except the kids kept you up, you’re hungry, and don’t feel like being rejected should someone say ‘no.’ What do you do? Will you push through anyway, or suffer from The Rosecrans Principle?

Throughout our day, we are confronted with a variety of scenarios, and our outlook determines our destination.

Do we see obstacles or opportunities?

Avoiding the Pitfall

Avoiding the pitfall of The Rosecrans Principle is obvious: take action.

MASSIVE ACTION.

But you knew that, didn’t you?

The problem is not that we don’t know to take action, it’s that we’re scared to.

General Rosecrans himself knew this.

We know this. 

So, how do we do it?

In order to push through fear, take massive action, and avoid The Rosecrans Principle, only one thing is required.

Answer “why” not just “how.”

Often, our problem lies with only trying to answer the ‘how’ based questions.

How will we get it all done? What’s next? How will we proceed? 

The problem, is that we never answer the ‘why’ based questions?

Why is this important? What’s at stake if I don’t succeed? 

As high-achievers, we care a lot about the ‘how.’ We want to know what’s next, and how we can squeeze more productivity out of our time.

But with time, that breeds fear. We fail behind, fail to meet a key metric, become fearful, and everything snowballs out of control.

We have great ideas and can spend a lot of time, like General Rosecrans, coming up with the brilliant plan of attack that will help us.

But then, like Rosecrans himself, see the list of to-do items and feel overwhelmed. Fearful. Burdened.

To counter this, take massive action now just on the how but the why.

That’s where Rosecrans failed. He came up with plans, but without knowing why they were important, he never had the courage to act.

As a result, he fell out of favor with Grant and the Union and slowly faded to obscurity.

Don’t be like Rosecrans.

Focus on the how and the why.

Make lofty plans.

Set enormous goals.

Take massive action.

 

 

 

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Blog Post Cover - Gazelle-like focus imprint over actual gazelle

In Financial Peace University, Dave Ramsey advocates “gazelle-like focus” when it comes to eliminating debt. In short, his explanation is that when being chased by a lion, a gazelle has only focus: getting away to survive. At that moment, he isn’t worried about his next meal, how thirsty he is, or where the rest of the herd is. All of that can wait.

His only focus is survival. Escape the jaws of the lion.

Ramsey argues that this is the only way you will escape debt. The lion (debt) is looking to consume you. Through gazelle-like focus (and his easy-to-follow-not-easy-to-do steps) you can be free from the snare of debt.

The same truth applies to any area of life. Want to grow your business? Practice gazelle-like focus. Want to be a better spouse or parent? Sharpen your attention on those moments when they are presented to you. Need to lose weight? Don’t make it a side attraction in your life, give it center stage.

Here are three tips to help you with that intense level focus.

Eliminating Distraction

One of the main things I help my clients with is the elimination of distractions. There’s a reason my tagline is, “Helping Leaders Get The Right Things Done.”

Why?

Because it’s easy to have vision creep.

A shrinking bottom line (hello pandemic business owners) can cause us to focus on that, instead of completing our mission, serving our customers, and building our employees.

When given the choice between focusing on your shrinking profit margins or your customer service, always choose your customer service.

Focus On The Next Thing

In his book, No Hero, author Mark Owen talks about his time as a Navy SEAL. One of the tactics he used to survive the brutal training was to focus on the next task in front of him.

Marcus Luttrell (another Navy SEAL) echoes this idea in his book Lone Survivor.

The premise is simple: if you focus on something in the distant future, you’ll never make it through SEAL training. You can’t focus on the graduation of the program, your first deployment, and in many cases, even the end of the current day. Blog Post Cover - Gazelle-like focus imprint over actual gazelle

What you focus on is the next pushup. You focus on making it to the next meal.  You control, as Owen talks about later, on controlling your three-foot circle. If you can’t touch it right here, right now, it’s not worthy of your attention.

Focusing on anything else leads to despair, frustration, fear, anxiety, and a sense of dread. None of those things serve a gazelle well when inches from a lion. 

Eliminate all of those things and focus on the next step.

Only then can you make any substantial progress on your goals, whatever they are.

Not “One Day” but “Day One”

This one is for all of those that made New Year’s Resolutions, then realized it was Friday and told themselves, “I’ll start on Monday.”

Do you want to reach your wildest goals? Don’t wait to start ‘one day.’

Instead, start today, with ‘day one.’

If the gazelle thinks, “Boy, that lion sure is getting close. Eh. I’ll start running in a few seconds.” It’s too late. Instead, as soon as the gazelle notices the danger, it springs up and takes action.

If you wait to start pursuing your goals “one day” you will end up miserable. You will never reach your full potential. Instead, all you’ll discover is a life of regret and failure.

Take Action

With the first Monday of the new year, many of us are returning to a life of normalcy. Work reopens. Kids are in school. Old routines are back again as the alarm clock reminds us to get up and invest our energy into productivity.

I hope you had a fantastic holiday season and experienced rest, joy, and peace in the midst of the pandemic and all that it has changed.

Now, it’s time to chase your dreams with every ounce of energy you have today. Don’t start one day, but today, with day one.

Next, keep your focus on the next task and do it with excellence.

Finally, eliminate distraction and mission creep.

That’s a gazelle-like focus. And that’s where success lies.

 

 

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Podcast Cover Art: Episode 28 - Andy Ayers AKA "The Southern Dad"

Today’s interview is with Andy Ayers, AKA “The Southern Dad.”

Welcome to season three of the LeaderQuest Podcast! This season we are focusing on small business leaders who have had to pivot or transition during the 2020 Covid Economy.

Each interview was structured around three main questions:

  • How did your business pivot during 2020? Podcast Cover Art: Episode 28 - Andy Ayers AKA "The Southern Dad"
  • What does the future (2021) look like for your business?
  • What is a current problem or question that your facing?

During each interview, you’ll hear real stories from real business owners. They will share their highs and lows, along with important lessons learned along the way. You’ll be able to take their knowledge and turn it into wisdom.

Today is Andy Ayers, known online as “The Southern Dad.”

About Andy

I met Andy virtually a couple of years ago. We interacted a number of times of Instagram (his primary platform) and have had a couple of brief exchanges over the years. I was excited to have our first extended conversation and interview about his changing business.

 

One thing you’ve noticed if you follow Andy (and he talks about in the interview) is finding his stride as a business owner. He shares his strengths and weaknesses, as well as some of the crucial pivots he’s making this year.

Connect with Andy Ayers “The Southern Dad”

Instagram: instagram.com/thesoutherndad

YouTube: The Southern Dad Show

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The Benefits of Coaching

One of the hardest parts of entrepreneurship is creating a viable product. It should be simple right? You have a great idea, convinced that it will change the world, so what could go wrong?

The reality is that a lot could. Great products, one that people don’t just purchase, but actually use and eventually rave about, all have one thing in common: they solve problems.

One of the most common things I tell my clients, and any would-be entrepreneur, is that if people aren’t buying your product, you aren’t solving a problem. This is true whether you have a tangible product like a phone case or a conceptual one like coaching. Whether I physically give you the product or I am the product, a viable product will always solve a problem.

Creating A Viable Product

I’ve found that the easiest way for me to understand product is to get back to its original meaning. A product is a predictable unit of value.*

Great products, as I’ve already said, solve problems.

Marcus Whitney says that they provide a predictable unit of value.

We see this in everyday scenarios. I need the internet to publish this post. Currently, ATT has solved that problem with reliable internet in my home office. I know exactly what I will pay for this service every month.

If, however, that internet starts to fail and I only get internet for fifteen days of the month, or ten days out of the month, I don’t get that predictable unit of value. Now all of a sudden, I’m looking at other competitors to see if they can solve my problem – internet – at a predictable (and reliable) price.

This works with service-based products as well. I could tell you how the average coaching client saves time and money while improving performance. People engaged in coaching relationships also show higher levels of emotional intelligence, grit, and overall life satisfaction. They also tend to make more money – for their companies and for themselves. The Benefits of Coaching

So if I could, through data and research, show you how paying $10,000 for coaching could, on average, make you $100,000 … would you sign up for coaching?

I’m sure you would.

And the great news is, I don’t charge 10K. In fact, if you’re wanting to know more about coaching, you can read my ebook for less than a cup of coffee and get a head start on it.

Increasing Production

I’m no manufacturing genius, but I do understand human performance. There are some certain elements we have to have in order to nail our own growth, our own optimization, our own viable personal product.

Here are three ways to improve your own performance in your quest for growth.

1.) Tie Your Problem (And The Solution) to the Desired Effect or Feeling.

Recently, I was having a conversation with one of our children about exercise. We talked about why it’s important to do, even when we don’t feel like it. We get emotional, physical, and mental advantages. It gives us energy, improves overall performance, and is a key aid in living longer.

I shared how one of the struggles I’ve had recently is the desire to workout. Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I wanted to workout. In spite of that, I’m outside six days a week doing it anyway.

The shift was tying it to the desired outcome. I wanted to have the energy to play with my kids, build science projects, complete a full day of work, and a whole variety of other things. It’s those goals that keep me going.

Similarly, there will be an aspect of your own growth where you need to do it, even if you don’t want to. Maybe you hate networking events. Find a way to tie the task you don’t want to do (networking) with something you do (a date night, new video game, or your favorite caffeinated drink). 

2.) Give Yourself Some Accountability.

I recently printed and published my 2021 goals for my vision board. As I’m slowly assembling them into the final product, it’s become a visible event to everyone in the house. They know exactly what I’m committing myself to.

They have permission to ask me how I’m doing at any time.

Additionally, I have a few people who know my goals and regularly check in.

It’s a key component to continued growth: the pressure of other people watching.

Whether you’re trying to start a product-based business or a service-based business, have some accountability. Share your goal with others and have them check-in to make sure you’re putting in the work.

3.) Don’t Be Afraid To Fail.

Most products don’t get it right the first time. Even those that we would consider a success (like the iPod) continually strive to get better.

Many of those will fail along the way. Failure is often a key component of learning.

In your own growth, personally or professionally, don’t be afraid to fail. That’s how you get better, gain clarity, remain focused, and achieve excellence.

Eight Core Concepts

This list is updated as the blog series continues. Click on any live link to go to that post in the series. Create and Orchestrate Book Cover

  1. Leadership
  2. Finance
  3. Operations
  4. Growth
  5. Product
  6. Service
  7. Sales
  8. Marketing

* Whitney, Marcus. Create and Orchestrate: The Path to Claiming Your Creative Power from an Unlikely Entrepreneur (pp. 83-84). Creative Power. Kindle Edition.

Podcast Cover Art Episode 22 Interview with Gary Anich

Today’s interview is with Gary Anich of Aunt Mae’s Sweet Tooth in Bakersfield, Ca

Welcome to season three of the LeaderQuest Podcast! This season we are focusing on small business leaders who have had to pivot or transition during the 2020 Covid Economy.

Each interview was structured around three main questions: Podcast Cover Art Episode 22 Interview with Gary Anich

  • How did your business pivot during 2020?
  • What does the future (2021) look like for your business?
  • What is a current problem or question that your facing?

During each interview, you’ll hear real stories from real business owners. They will share their highs and lows, along with important lessons learned along the way. You’ll be able to take their knowledge and turn it into wisdom.

Today is Gary Anich of Aunt Mae’s Sweet Tooth in Bakersfield, Ca.

About Gary and Aunt Mae’s

Gary is a co-owner and partner of Aunt Mae’s which opened its first brick-and-mortar shop shortly before COVID hit. He was able to take a side family business and turn it into a full-time opportunity, even in the midst of COVID.

Listen to Gary’s interview and hear an inspiring story of overcoming the odds and the necessity for a positive mindset.

Visit Aunt Mae’s

If you live in or around the Bakersfield area, you can visit Aunt Mae’s and give their fantastic products a try.

Aunt Mae’s Sweet Tooth

830 18th St.
Bakersfield, Ca 93301

Phone: 661-725-5200

Social Media Aunt Mae's Sweet Tooth Logo

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

 

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