Great Strategy without Great People is nothing

Ideas + Capital + Talent = enduring great business.

Ideas are everywhere, nothing special about an idea.

Capital is plentiful for those who have proven themselves. Today there is so much capital sloshing around looking for moderate returns.

The Scarce Resource…

Talent, true talent… is rare.

Talent isn’t potential. Talent is systematic repeated high performance over years or decades. This is extremely rare.

Potential talent looking for capital will not find it. Capital doesn’t invest in testing talent… capital invests in proven talent.

How do you become “proven talent”?

That is the question.

7 Strategies to Stop Self-Sabotage and Reach your Potential

This is a guest post from Ronald Cain. Ronald taught English in Ethiopia, Zambia and Zimbabwe for ten years. Teaching has provided him with lifelong lessons about confidence.

Over to Ronald...

I was a shy child. I consider myself an introvert.

I let this label define how I thought I should live my life.

In high school I missed out on many opportunities and at college this translated into a studious but quiet lifestyle. I got good grades, but I didn’t make friends. I missed out on the relationships that would lead to career opportunities later in life.

In my final year, as I watched my fellow students apply for jobs, attain challenging internships or explore volunteer opportunities abroad, I realised I was holding myself back. I challenged myself to articulate what I was afraid of, and realised I had built a bubble around myself. This bubble – my comfort zone – was holding me back from reaching my potential. In that year I vowed to burst out of this bubble, to step out of my comfort zone.

Here were my strategies to burst the bubble of my comfort zone.

1) Write down What You’re Afraid Of

I allowed labels such as shy or introverted as a way of disguising a fundamental fact: I was afraid. Only when I saw this fact did I realise that it was fear holding me back all those years, and the first step was to identify what I was hiding from.

In my case I felt like pursuing social achievements (outside of academics) put me at risk of the negative judgement of others. I was afraid of the opinion of others.  Once I realised that this fear was holding me back I was able to set about changing my habits.

2) Learn To Accept Discomfort

By spending many years in my comfort zone I had become hypersensitive to any discomfort and I avoided it at all costs. I always took the safe option. To face my fears I had to begin taking small steps, putting myself in uncomfortable situations and challenging myself to cope.

Talking to strangers was an opportunity for me to face discomfort. These new and unpredictable situations always challenged me, but striking up conversations with strangers gave me confidence for the future.

3) Redefine Failure

A fear of failure kept me limiting my expectations about what I could achieve – with small goals, there was no chance I would fall short. Once I realised that a fear of failure was holding me back, I knew I had to embrace failure to pursue my dreams.

Failure doesn’t have to be a negative achievement – hey, at least you tried. Redefining failure as a learning experience, one that’s positive no matter the outcome, let me take bolder steps forwards.

4) Take It Slow

You can’t change who you are overnight. You’ve probably spent years reinforcing the habits of your comfort zone, and retraining yourself to face up to your fears takes time. Personally, this is a process that’s still ongoing as I recognise impulses to flee uncomfortable situations even now.

Practising patience on yourself is an essential part of the journey so don’t get frustrated if you find it difficult. Identify small steps that take you beyond your comfort zone before jumping into the deep end.

5) Practise Deep Honesty

One of the biggest challenges I found when starting to step outside of my comfort zone was assessing my excuses. It’s true, sometimes you really are too tired or unwell to go out and face your fears. Other times, you’ll be gravitating towards excuses that give you an easy way out.

Face up to your excuses honestly and identify when they’re valid and when they aren’t. You need to be honest with yourself to overcome your fears.

6) Have Fun

You can’t spend your whole life living in fear. Discover activities which challenge your comfort zone that also appeal to you – try to have fun while you’re at it. Take up rock climbing or wild swimming, find a community and surround yourself in challenging activities you can take part in whole-heartedly. 

Burst The Comfort Zone Bubble

I stepped out of my comfort zone and discovered a world of opportunities were awaiting me. I hope that these strategies will provide you with perspective and skills to see how your fears are holding you back.

About the Author

Ronald Cain is a tutor at Cardiff Writing Service. He is a professional writer, a blogger, and a contributor to and Research Papers UK. Ronald taught English in Ethiopia, Zambia and Zimbabwe for ten years, and teaching has provided him with lifelong lessons about confidence.

If you liked this post on Self Sabotage you will also like this recent video 4 Ways to Stop Self-Sabotaging your Success

Preparing for Difficult Times: lessons from Toni Nadal

This week I had the privilege of listening to Toni Nadal, coach of #1 tennis legend Rafa Nadal, share his story with the Vistage community. He spoke about his approach to helping Rafa prepare for difficult times. The central focus of Toni was removing all excuses from Rafa’s mindset.

How to Prepare for Difficult Times

Lessons from the life of Rafa Nadal

Conferences 2020 style…

The Struggle is the Way. It was important for Toni Nadal to help Rafa learn to love the struggle, to accept that nothing worthwhile comes easily.

He worked in practice on Rafa’s capacity to stay the course, to struggle to the end, to fight to the last minute of practice, the last point in a match.

“An excuse has never won a match”

Toni Nadal

The excuse may be true, it may not be my fault, but only when I completely accept responsibility for my current situation can I find the power to change the path.

Your excuses are all correct.

Rafa: “It was hot” -> Toni: “It must have just have been hot on half the court?”

Toni Nadal worked on character, not on ability

Character gets you through the tough times

Where is your Locus of Control, 2 choices:

  1. Me as responsible,
  2. World as responsible

I only have power to change my life when I take responsibility for my current and future situation.

It is easy to Give Up

It is easy to complain

It is easy to find reasons to stop fighting

It is easy to give up

It is easy to say that today is not your day

It is easy to say that tomorrow will be better

It won’t be…

Not until you change.

You can use your mind in two ways -> find the excuse, or find the resourcefulness to get through.

If you search for excuses you are guaranteed to find excuses. The smarter you are, the better your excuses.

If you want to throw in the towel, throw in the towel. Just get that life is an uphill struggle…

Uphill Habits

The habits that matter are uphill habits Exercise, Listening, Getting clear on your goals… these take work

Donuts, Complaining and putting the TV on… these just flow down easily.

Unstoppable Teams

“If you have a dream and you know all the tasks required to achieve the dream, you don’t have a dream… you have a task. A dream is something you don’t yet know how you will be able to accomplish”

Alden Mills

Alden Mills spent several years as a Navy Seal commander, before launching the fastest growth product business (#1 in INC magazine) as a entrepreneur. He has just published his second book: Unstoppable Teams.

The #1 Job of Leadership

Leadership is determined by your ability to build and lead teams. Leadership’s greatest challenge is attracting great people and placing them into teams that are equipped to solve problems, overcome hurdles, and simply do more. Alden shares the 4 pillars he uses to develop Unstoppable Teams.

7 Traits of Unstoppable Teammates

Alden has spent many years helping himself and the teams around him overcome huge obstacles. He has a wealth of experience in building great teams – military, entrepreneurial… and family. This is an infographic from Alden Mills on the 7 traits that make for unstoppable team members.

Alden Mills TEDx Talk

I had the privilege of working with Alden to prepare this TEDx talk that he shared at IESE Business School last year.

About the Book

Unstoppable Teams show managers how to inspire, motivate, and lead the people around them. Mills draws on stories from his own experiences to impart these surprising team-building lessons:

  • Too many people mistake groups of individuals for a team.
  • No two people are alike, but we all have the same genetic drivers that motivate us—our will to survive, our ego-driven desire for personal gain, and our soul-driven yearning to be a part of something greater than ourselves.
  • When we override our fears about survival, we can focus on our desire to thrive.
  • The more you care for your teammates, the more they will dare for the team.
  • Great ideas are not reserved for a select few—true teams embrace diversity of thought to find winning ideas.

3 Videos of Inspiration for the Weekend from Kilian Jornet

Kilian Jornet, 29, is widely considered the world’s best ultra-distance and mountain runner. Last month, he conquered Mount Everest twice in one week without using supplemental oxygen or fixed ropes. A project called Summits of My Life has taken him to the peaks of Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, Denali and Aconcagua. Here’s 3 videos of Kilian in the mountains with his friend and cameraman Seb Montaz…



What about our Weekend Plans?

What’s your plan for the weekend?

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