Thinking Big

In an age of diminished expectations where the majority of people are today happy to have a job, a roof above their head or a few dollars in their bank account for rainy days or retirement, don’t you wonder what does it really take to “Think Big”, rise above the pack and become a “game changer to the truest sense of the word?

As they say “There is no off position on the genius switch”….. Commensurately, I believe there is none in position either.

The ability to “think big” most likely comes with the passion for something….but it also comes from having the insight, intuition and drive to influence something through superior insight.

It is a fact indeed that productively “thinking big” only comes by the intimate knowledge of the smallest details of a particular field. Only then can one perhaps join the dots and see what might benefit the field as a whole. Then you have to have the influence and skills to execute your vision.

So here are my basic tips – from personal experience – if you ever aspire to get there one day.

1. Imagine. Imagine yourself and your organization 3, 5, or 10 years out (although certainly, you can use a shorter time horizon: 6, 12, 18 months for instance) and constantly keep fine tuning your goals. How much time in the day do you ever think about that? I bet you very little… Change your outlook and start seeing the difference.

2. Think where you fit in the ecosystem. Do you fit anywhere? If yes, define it and go after it. If not, what on earth have you been doing all your life? Waiting for what? Some bankrupt government handout that will get you out of your misery? The lotto? Or marrying a rich spouse? Keep dreaming… Never lasts. Start defining your identity and your role in this world as of today. Find your hedgehog position. Where can you be the best? Where can your organization be its best? Where can your employees be their best and you will see your world turning around?

3. Learn how to gather “intel”. As I’ve been saying for years now… Business for me is War and “Intel Gathering” is business’s brainchild. How much have you been doing this lately? Start talking about a change to your customers, partners, employees, and anyone you care for about their desire to grow and create purpose and meaning and you will see how effective you can altogether be.

4. Look for patterns of success and learn from it. This can be in terms of products, value creation, process, marketing, or any other level of innovation. Success breeds success. Learn from the best.

5. Find Yourself a mentor. Now you don’t have to have a mentor to acquire the mental habits needed to “handle whatever comes up. Many of my own habits I’ve developed the old- fashioned way — by making mistakes, falling on my face, picking myself up, and figuring out how not to do it again. But you know what they say: A smart person learns from his or her mistakes. A wise person learns from other people’s mistakes. I guess that makes me smart. I hope that, through my experience, I can help you to be wise and be another “game changer” out there.

6. Collaborate. Collaborate with bigger players. Most people are intimidated by bigger players thinking they are too busy and don’t have time for them. Get this idea out of your system. Educate yourself and start providing value and you will see how the world will open up for you.

7. Think leverage and scalability. Think strategic multipliers. Any leverage or skill you can acquire to fill that void? If yes, what are you waiting for?

8. Think lifetime customer value. Repeat business. Who are your customers if any? What are your advantages? Can you compete? What do you have that they don’t? How strong is your brand? Will customers be easily usurped for a cheaper alternative? If you can’t clearly define these advantages, you’re probably in trouble.

9. Read a popular business book – if not at least to raise your standard of excellence. Start with ” Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics” Amazon and then tell me how you feel.

Most of us waste this extraordinary thing called LIFE.

Most people have lived forty or sixty years, have gone to the office, engaged themselves in social activity, escaping in various forms, and at the end of it, they have nothing but an empty, dull, stupid life, a wasted life.

You can be ambitious, you can be greedy, you can be competitive, you can be a ruthless human being, but society accepts it, because at the end of your ambition, you are either so-called “successful man with plenty of money”, or a failure and therefore a “frustrated human being”. So social morality is immorality.

Time to wake up folks and take control of your life before it is too late. No one will take care of you other than YOU.

I suppose I should wish you success, but that is too easy. I would like to wish you something that is harder to come by and even more difficult than acquiring “Wealth“. So I am going to wish you meaning in life. And meaning is not something you stumble across like the answer to a riddle or prize in a treasure hunt.

Meaning is something you build into your life. You build it out of your own past, out of your affections and loyalties, out of the experience of humankind as it is passed on to you; out of your own talent and understanding, out of things and people you love, out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice something, the ingredients are there.

You are the only one who can put them together into that unique pattern that will be your life. Let it be a life that has dignity and meaning for you. If it does, then the particular balance of success or failure is of less account.

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Written by

Ziad K. Abdelnour, Wall Street financier, trader and author is President & CEO of Blackhawk Partners, Inc., a private family office that backs accomplished operating executives in growing their businesses both organically and through acquisitions and trades physical commodities – mostly oil derivatives – throughout the world.