“What everybody wants is to have a good job.”
— Jim Gallup
I read that in a Gallup book recently, and I was like, “What?! That’s it!? They don’t want anything else!?“
I remain astonished at the data: All that most people want is a to have a good job. That’s it. Doesn’t that seem too simple? Yet, there it is.
I read that and I wonder where the ambition is? Where’s the ambition for something far more than that? Where’s the ambition for making the world a better place? Where’s the ambition for contributing to humanity at a high level? Where’s where I can make my highest and best use and difference for people?!
People think far too small.
Think as you will about Trump, but one thing he said decades ago is that people think far too small. Trump was amazed that nobody thought nearly as BIG as he did. Nobody really dreamed BIG and then got after it. Like possibility thinking for yourself and your family.
Granted, Trump grew up under slightly different circumstances than you and I did, yet the point remains: most people think far too small. Rather ironic in a country full of rich resources and abundance just about everywhere. The Gallup data sets reflect this exact, empirical truth.
The point remains: Why think so small?
With this, I got into my SR-71 and flew over the Russians on a recon mission, greatly upsetting Der Leader. My reconnaissance led me to the realization that only approximately 2% of people have true ambition for themselves and their families’ lives. 2%! Again, the data astonished me! Really? Only 2%!? 2 in 100 people have true Ambition!?
The scales fell from my eyes. I realize that I have 3 executive coaches, 4 marketing executive coaches, 3 sales executive coaches, but really…apparently, this is uncommon. Not everyone has 10 different professional coaches to help them get better both personally + professionally. I know this now.
Only 2% of people have true Ambition for their lives.
With this new data, I see anew with no more scales over me eyes. Now, I see just how privileged I am and these other 2% are with BIG thinking for themselves, their careers and their families. If 98% of the people out there merely want a good job — amazing that that is all they really want for themselves — then OK. It makes me want to go get after it even more so. It makes me want to work every Sunday forever. It pushes me even farther — faster. It makes me want to get even better than I already am. It makes me want to hire another 3 coaches in areas where I am deficient. It makes me want to make even bigger plans for myself and my family.
A long time ago, I came to the wonderful realization that there is great abundance for everyone out there. That all you have to do is see it with fresh eyes. We have SO Much! I mean, A TON. We just give you money in this Great Country! We hand it out to you! (I’m not exaggerating. There is free money here in 2020. People very close to me cashed-in.)
I say this not to brag on America and to brag on Exceptionalism. I say this to impress upon you that there is abundant opportunity even in trying times.
2008 was a trying year for a lot of people, including me. If you could say that a year kicked my ass, that was the year. 2009 wasn’t too much kinder, either, but things did improve. Yet businesses were born then. Some businesses like Apple and Salesforce thrived during these years.
When I was let go in 2008, I zoomed out and up and asked myself which businesses were doing well despite the crappy economy that everybody wailed on about. Apple was doing well. Apple was in my sights. I applied, interviewed and was hired on by Apple in sales. There, I thrived. It felt good to win every day. It felt good to be a part of something cool and larger than myself, something we all believed in and could rally behind. It was really fun selling high-end, damm-near-perfect digital goods. Still is. It’s hard to tell you just how awesome Apple is.
# Do you believe that everything is teachable? Is Creativity teachable? A learned skill?
A lot of people ask me about Creativity, which is one of the chief reasons why I began this blog. They wonder where it came from. How’d I get it? Was I born with it? (still love that question). Can it be learned? Etc. Creativity remains so mysterious and elusive to most people, and yet it is a learnable skill like anything else you desire. 100%. I believe that everything is teachable. EVERYTHING. Yet I don’t think a lot of people believe that for some odd reason. I think, “Well, why wouldn’t you believe that?! For yourself and for your own children!? Duh.”
I repeat: Creativity is a learnable skill.
I learned Creativity chiefly from Steve Jobs and the Kelly brothers at IDEO. Steve had a blazingly clear Creative Vision for Apple and where he wanted to take it. Then, he told the story to everybody who would listen. And he told it again and again and again. He told it through his live demos much like we do today. He led the way for sales & marketing pros everywhere. Do as Steve did, and you’ll do fine. That’s what I thought. And I still do! What Steve did and how he did it worked 20 years ago and it still works today because people are people.
Show, don’t just tell.
Show, don’t just tell. A product pitch is a Show. What’s coming next is a Show. What people want is to be Entertained by your show, so you best be a great Entertainer of people. Love on the people through your products and services you offer. They may not yet know what they want, so you better show them what they will want with excellence and ambition and super high standards for your people.
Care. It’s highly underrated.
When you do it like that, when you care, when you have high expectations, when you have super high standards, when you really, REALLY want to get your point across to people, THAT’s how you do it. I know this sounds weird, but the Creativity is a byproduct of caring. When you care about something tremendously, the Creativity shows up next to the hard work & dedication & drive. Steve said it best when he said that Creative People feel weird about being called Creative because all we’re really doing is connecting the dots that other people cannot connect. We see things others don’t. And that is exactly what we’re doing: connecting otherwise disparate things. And here we are.
BTW, if you’re reading this and still think Creativity is not a teachable skill, then check out the IDEO guys. Just go there, and take one of their online courses. They’re awesome. They’ll teach you to look at things with fresh eyes. Eyes without scales.