Great vs. Good – Part 2

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In "Great vs. Good - Part 1" I wrote that part of the “environmental mix” for one to become great includes challenges, hardships, and difficulty. For the extreme majority of people, life is not going to be a bed of roses. As human beings, and especially as entrepreneurs, we all have to deal with our own set of problems and issues. The difference between those who succeed in life (and business) and those who fail depends on how we handle those problems. Furthermore, the more successful we are at handling our own challenges, the more successful we will be at modeling out for the next generation how to be successful in handling their challenges. Whether we realize it or not, they are watching us closely for how we respond to our environment. We need to make sure that our character more than anything else is worth replicating in their lives.

Regardless of the business or life situations that we may be in, each of us still has the opportunity to achieve greatness. We must look at the opportunities and challenges that we face and determine the types of choices that we will make. Each of these choices will either move us closer to or further away from greatness. There is a story that’s been circulating around for years that highlights this concept very well. It’s the “Carrot, Egg, or Coffee Bean?” story.

The short version of the story is that a daughter was complaining to her father about her difficult life. As a way of teaching his daughter a lesson about life, the father boiled these three objects in some hot water. He explained that the carrots, the eggs, and the coffee bean had faced the very same challenging circumstances — boiling water. However, each item had reacted differently. The carrot had gone into the water strong and firm, but had come out softened and weak. The egg had been fragile before it was put in the water, but had come out hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the water, they had changed the water, i.e. their environment. It was no longer just boiling water, but tasty coffee. The coffee bean’s best was produced from what would seem like the most challenging of situations.

The father’s question to his daughter is my same question to you, “Which will you be — a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?” Will you produce your best or worst when your business is going through its most challenging times? Will you resort to unethical business practices to get a contract or will you set an unwavering standard for ethical behavior? Will your quality suffer when you’re in a cash crunch or will it get even better?

Don’t be a victim of your circumstances, but instead use your circumstances to your advantage. Change your environment — don't let it change you for the worse. Let the aroma of your character make a positive difference in your various spheres of influence, especially our youth. That’s what great entrepreneurs do! Greatness is awaiting you today. Don’t make it wait too long!

Empowering You for Success,

Achieve greatness today by positively impacting someone else’s life!

Tags: , leadership, success, fulfillment, empowerment,

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