One of my favorite “business books” is THE SPYGLASS by Richard Paul Evans. It’s a story of a king who has a kingdom that is shabby and poor and all the people are unmotivated to do anything about it. One day, a mysterious stranger (don’t mysterious strangers always show up and fix things in fairy tales?), arrives in the kingdom. He asks to stay with the king in the shabby castle. This stranger has a special spyglass that he shows the king. When the king looks through this spyglass, he doesn’t believe what he sees. He sees a shining, beautiful kingdom where the people are productive and happy and everyone is industrious and prosperous. The king thinks he is looking at a faraway kingdom, but the mysterious stranger tells him that it is HIS kingdom he is looking at—not as it IS, but as it COULD BE. Then the stranger tells the king, “Now go and make it so”.
The stranger leaves for a time but leaves the special spyglass with the King. With the spyglass in hand, the king is inspired to turn things around. He motivates his people to clean up their property and change the direction of their lives. He uses the spyglass to remind him of what his kingdom COULD be whenever he is frustrated by what it IS.
Guess what happens? The kingdom eventually returns to it’s former glory just as the king saw in the spyglass.
I find this to be the most motivational story ever for business. Often, we look at where our business IS and think, “Oh, this isn’t going to work! I’m not successful! I’m never going to be able to do this!” Did you know that many people close their businesses JUST as they were about to realize success? Like dieting, there is a point where you feel like you have done EVERYTHING and NOTHING works so you plunge into the ice cream and forget about it. But, in reality, nothing has happened YET! Your weight loss or your business success is probably lagging behind your best efforts. The key is to not give up but to get your own “Spyglass” and visualize what your business COULD be, then, as the mysterious stranger said to the King, “Go and make it so.”
Owning your own business is not always easy or fun or pleasant. But, if you can visualize what you want it to be and keep that vision in your head during the rough times, you will be motivated to carry on despite the bumps and turn it into something that you've always dreamed of owning!