Monthly Archives: July 2014

Every Day Counts

While organizing my office after our recent move to the Tree House Resort, I ran across something kind of fascinating that I started back in 2007. In fact, it may have been instrumental in getting us to the tree house property. I remember it was December 7, 2007. I was sitting by a campfire in my back yard going through my annual goal setting ritual. Since about 2003, I have been doing this when the weather is crisp. the fire is warm and the coffee is hot. It’s my favorite way to reflect on the progress of our businesses for the previous year and dream, plan and strategize ahead for the coming year. I prefer to be alone during this without distractions.

Sitting there by the fire, the thought seemed to occur to me that progress is not typically made in giant, spectacular leaps. It is generally made one small decision and action at a time in a deliberate and consistent manner. At least, that’s the way it seemed to be working for me. As I thought about this, I began to realize that if we were to make one small step towards our goal every single day, the results would be inevitable. Back in 2007, I decided to do this as consistently as I could. Back then I was relying on a daily planner to keep my schedule on track. Adding a few small tasks to my daily routine was not that difficult. Since I had already done a pretty complete job of defining my big goals, there wasn’t a lot of conflict in identifying all the little small things I could fit in on a daily basis. I didn’t just apply this to financial and business goals but to family, recreation, networking and other areas as well.

Here’s a little bit of my theory. It seems (by observation) that everyone has some kind of Life Dream or Life Goal. At least if you are brave enough or persistent enough to try to get them to talk about it. My observation is that even though everyone has a dream, very few are acting in accordance with the fulfillment of that dream. I ask myself why that is true. I believe the clue lies in the fact that upon listening closely, most will also admit that they don’t have the resources, time, or determination to truly follow through with their dreams. Or, their circumstances somehow prevent them from following their dream.  Some even go as far to say that they “know” they will never achieve it so what’s the point is wasting time day-dreaming about it.

Step two of this process (again, my theory) is that they revert to a position of substituting the big dream with countless small distractions. My personal “distractions” were camping and fishing. When I became discouraged from not having the time or resources to pursue my dream, I would plan my entire week around whatever I could do on my days off. To me, the substitute of a couple of days camping down by the lake, was enough distraction to keep me from feeling any responsibility towards my real dreams (which seemed unattainable)

So, back to my 2007 December camp fire. I decided from that point on, I would make some small effort to get a step closer to my dream every day, no matter if it was a 5 minute task or an all day effort. The amazing thing is this. Since that time, I’ve gone back to my journal frequently and have been amazed at how much progress I’ve been able to realize. I was only thinking (in far away terms) of a family retreat at the time (as an example) now we own 3 resorts with the most recent one being our Tree House project. Our “camping” distraction has even been focused into something that has been more productive than it used to be by using the National Park system as our “Big Goal” for camping and recreation.

I decided to refer to it as “Every Day Counts”. My belief is that if you can identify where you want to go with any area of life and simply decide to somehow make every day count in some measure, large or small, every day can count. It has become habit for me now and feels normal. I also notice that I have much less stress over achievement because I’ve gotten comfortable with knowing that when small steps are being made every day, sooner or later I get where I’m going.

It’s worked well enough that I recommend giving it a try. Make every day count in some measure! You’ll be amazed what you can accomplish.

 

Do We Think Too Small

Be Willing to Burn Your Boats

I sometimes wonder if we think too small. In fact, maybe way too small. I began pondering this the other day when I overheard someone discussing an idea with some friends. Sadly, I was able to relate to their discussion from a point of view of experience. The discussion was a business idea that one of them had. It was an idea that had very real potential for success. It just didn’t have the size or scope needed to even support one person much less a whole family. It reminded me of me. (at least the me from a few years ago)

For years, I would dream the size of my budget, or my resources. This automatically set boundaries which would limit the size of my thinking. In fact, I still struggle with this. It’s gotten better but I will still try to get by with the least possible resources I can to get a project done. There’s nothing wrong with that, necessarily, but thinking small normally yields small results.

As far as wealth building is concerned, there simply is not enough time available in a life time to think and act in small measures. At some point one must take a deep breath and step beyond their resources and leave themselves no path of retreat. At some point, you must make a decision to go all out and burn your boats. According to the legend, in February 1519, Hernando Cortez set sail on the final leg of his voyage from Cuba to Mexico. His plan was simple. Go to Mexico, conquer and become rich. As they arrived on the shores of the Yucatan, it is said that Cortez told his army to “Burn the boats.” This meant that he and his army would either conquer and come back alive on somebody else’s boats or that they would die trying. That’s thinking big and making the decision that it’s an all or nothing proposition. When we think within our means, we tend to live within our means and the result is a cycle of thinking small. Dream big, act big and when necessary….make a commitment and then burn your boat!

Question – Have you made a large decision then added the commitment that there was no turning back?

Doing Things

tree housesI was joking with a camper guest the other day at our Campground. He and his wife had stopped by our tree house construction site and were admiring our design and plan for it. He asked if we had ever built a tree house before and if we had a plan. My answer was that “Yes, we had a plan. It was drawn on the back of a napkin!” He looked at me kind of skeptically, so I added; “We know it works because we saw it done in a cartoon once!”

By this time we all had a chuckle and continued to look over the construction that had been done so far.

While it was a joke, there was still a bit of truth to the whole exchange. Do we have a plan? sort of!, have we ever build a tree house? no, but what difference does that make? Are there any good business models available for this? Maybe, but not that we have found.

You see, it’s not that we just thought this up one day and jumped in the next. We really did do some homework. But due to the lack of any solid history on these things, we simply strategized the best we could. The next step was to roll up the sleeves, pull out the check book and make a commitment to it!

The gears in the mind of an entrepreneur seldom stop turning. They cannot keep turning for long without some action to go along with. Most times the “Action” is the most defining step of the process, and it may be the only real difference between the dreamers and the doers.

tree house 7-11SO, as of this moment, the dream of building a tree house resort has resulted in the purchase of a gorgeous Campground and RV Park, (at no small expense) Learning the management of a Campground business by way of “Crash Course” almost over night! Taking on the construction of cabins unlike anything we’ve EVER done! (But look at the pic above…….It’s looking pretty good so far!) It means that we have changed design and engineering several times along the way due to aesthetics, site conditions or simply design preferences. It means we are “somewhat” flying by the seat of our pants, but still have a solid vision of where we are taking this project.

In short… Our big plan is driven primarily by the fact that we have decided to DO SOMETHING!

“DOING THINGS” certainly needs to be backed up by thinking things through. But once you’ve thought things through, Nothing will change until you decide it’s time to DO Things!

See our tree house project at: Branson Tree House Adventures

Our Blog site is: Sleeping In Trees

Our Facebook page is: Branson Tree House Adventures

Besides all that, we continue to “Do Things” at our other resorts at: Cross Timbers Cabins

The only way to “Get Things Done” is by “Doing Things”