An entrepreneur’s three biggest competitors

Apple Watch reminder app
During yesterday’s run, an epiphany. Created a reminder using Siri.


An entrepreneur’s three biggest competitors:

  1. Curators
  2. Copycats
  3. Wannabes

Curators don’t have their own platform, but they are good at telling us what others have done. The downside is they have no context for the full story – they were never on the inside, never on the front line, never behind the scenes, never privy to the secret reality that outsiders will never know. Nothing is ever as it seems.

Copycats are good at studying and mimicking. They appeal to those easily convinced.

Wannabes are former employees who have gone out on their own because they couldn’t stand the glass ceiling. They are not prepared enough (and never will be) to match the world class karma of their former employer.

And then there are the artists, who operate as a category of one. These folks bring something unique, refreshing, compelling, and inspiring.




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Everybody wants to be somebody and that creates tension here

Beta stage Walt Disney World My Magic Bands
Who doesn’t want to do an incredible job while at work?


Everybody wants to be somebody and that creates tension here – the workplace.

I’ve found that we get more when we need less.

Less approval. Less money. Less status.

The only way to know this is to give up much.

And to do it without giving up who we are.

Most of you know, the writing here is never theory. It’s experience and insights gained from a 54-year long journey, including nearly 30 at one of the world’s most admired companies.

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Lessons learned in athletic preparation and competition apply here

Charles Williams M50-54 Masters athlete
Charles Williams and I are the same age and possess the same focus on excellence


Lessons learned in athletic preparation and competition apply to leading ourselves and others to excellence in our workplace.

In order to achieve success on the field, we apply leadership principles that are taught in the best business schools:

  • a compelling vision provides direction
  • great organizational (physically and culturally) structure allows work to get done well
  • finding a millions ways to stay engaged, in spite of obstacles, economics
  • commitment is the only way to rise above good and very good to reach excellence
  • character is what our reputation is built on – build strong

After yesterday’s 800 meters, something astonishing happened. I ran ten seconds faster than expected and had a blast.

Work should be fun. Excellence should be a natural outpouring from the long, hard hours, weeks, months, even years of preparation.

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Noel’s Tree Service & the Hidden Disney Secret?

Noel’s Tree Service, and the hidden Disney secret?

Not exactly.

Last night I spoke with Noel (his first name and my last name – what are the odds) about trimming my palm trees, an annual event that I’ve done myself for the past 17 years.  We have about 30 sabal palms, the Florida State tree.

He can’t come out today to give me an estimate.  Bummer, right?  He’s got a fishing tournament.  Once every month, men from his Church go bass fishing.

I think it’s great that:

  1. He has a sense of community
  2. Has his own business
  3. Is so busy during these turbulent times
  4. Commits to time away from work to recharge
  5. He called me back at 7PM on a Friday night

An hour before I spoke with Noel, I spoke with my car mechanic, or should I say car magician, Randy.

Randy also has an interest in fishing.  Small world, eh?

Noel will be on a Central Florida lake.  Randy goes deep sea fishing.

Well, Randy doesn’t actually go fishing, he goes catching.

BIG difference.

The language difference that Noel and Randy use “to do the same thing”, makes all the difference in the world.

Same at Disney.  Same for me.

And while you may not realize it, it’s the same for you.  The question then becomes, “Are you maximizing your language to have a great personal and professional culture”?

Words must be leveraged to be great.

Let me say that one more time – must be leveraged.

You don’t have to leverage your language to become world-class; however, your chances of ever becoming world-class pale in comparison to those that harness this simple business strategy.

The choice is yours.  Always has been.  Always will be.  Carpe diem, jungle jeff 🙂