Don’t take criticism from someone you wouldn’t take advice
Hello friends, today I am writing from Hilton Head, SC. This is actually the second time I have blogged on this island. My family and I have been making an annual trip to Hilton Head for the past 11 years. Believe it or not, the first episode I recorded down here, which was way before Dynamic Growth, we distributed the recording via CD with our newsletter. That’s right, a physical CD and a paper newsletter. Macy and I would spend the better part of a week burning CDs and printing newsletters to be mailed out to our clients on a quarterly basis. We only did it quarterly because it was such an undertaking. Times have changed and Time has flown by; but the person who said, “Find something you love to do and you will never work another day in your life”, was mostly right. The work is definitely there, but like you I crave that resistance.
On our drive down here from Ohio, I was trying to think of a lesson that I experienced on this island that I could relate to you and I, and our attempt to live our best life. I believe I found a good one that I’d like to share with you. My family has a number of traditions. We’ve never officially declared them traditions, but as I look back, they are traditions in every sense of the word. My oldest daughter took her first steps down here. Since then, every trip is a marker of time, though my children are getting older and grow more difficult to throw over the waves, I can still experience my daughters at younger ages just by closing my eyes and reliving some of those memories that we created together.
When my oldest daughter was about 6 or 7, she fell in love with metal detecting, and she went hardcore pretty fast. We are up every morning without fail at 5:00 AM, and we are out on the beach by 5:30. It’s July, so the sun doesn’t come up until around 6:30, so there is a good hour when we are metal detecting by moon and starlight. It’s just the moon, the stars, the sound of the waves crashing, and my daughter.
Those minutes, just before sunrise, are among the most sacred minutes of my life. There is no hyperbole. I always walk away on our last morning here with a tear in my eye because, let’s face it, she’s getting older. I’m sure there will come a day when it’s no longer cool to be metal detecting at 5:00 AM with Dad. But at this moment, right now, I have it. And those memories that we create in our lives, are never really gone, but we need to appreciate them in the present.
So as I was driving down here, thinking of a lesson that I learned on this island, a scene popped into my head. My daughter and I had woken up at 5:00 AM and we made our way to the beach. As usual we were the only ones there at that time. It’s not until around 6:00, that you get people crawling out from their condos and time-shares to snap a picture of the sunrise.
The sun had already broken that line where the ocean meets the sky when we passed a woman holding a camera and a mug of coffee. She had documented the sunrise and appeared to be on her way back to her condo. My daughter was working her metal detector, and I was the digger. When we got within a few yards of the lady she said, “Seems like a lot of effort for nothing.”
I don’t know why she felt compelled to speak her mind. Maybe it just came out. Maybe it was a genuine feeling. Looking back, I wonder if she felt the need to attempt to dishearten my daughter because there was something she’d been unable to find in her own life. Perhaps every adventure she’d embarked on had ended without treasure.
What she failed to realize, was that the treasure I sought was not buried in the sand.
The treasure was walking beside me.
My time with my daughter, in those early morning hours, walking on sand that had been pulverized by the crashing waves for millions of years to produce that very moment was the treasure I sought. And I had found it.
20 years from now, I doubt if my daughter will remember the items that we have extracted from the sand, but I hope that she remembers those early morning walks. I know I will never forget them.
“Seems like a lot of effort for nothing.”
God has a sense of humor. I’m convinced of that. God also has impeccable timing. The word nothing had not yet fully passed by the woman’s lips when Susanna’s metal detector lip up. I knew by the tone of the signal, it wasn’t a bottle cap or tent stake. After a few seconds of sifting through the sand my daughter pulled up a gold chain necklace. Without taking another break the woman exclaimed, “Oh my God!”
Anytime you put yourself out there, and risk being a minority, you should expect criticism. You should expect the naysayers to come crawling out from the woodwork. When I say minority, of course that has nothing to do with your race, color or ethnic background. I’m talking about the minority, those who dare to be different from the masses-the person who volunteers for a cause greater than themselves, the person who seeks higher education, both formal and informal, the person who starts a business from scratch, who writes a book, or attempts anything the masses and averages will not.
“Seems like a lot of effort for nothing.”
The next time you think about doing something and it makes you uncomfortable, a little uneasy, and you question, “What if I fail? What will people think of me?”
#1 If you feel that, chances are you are on the right path. It likely means you are not just mailing it in. You are not the average masses. That feeling of apprehension should reassure you. You and I must become comfortable with being uncomfortable.
#2 When the question pops into your head:”What if I fail? What will they think?” Never take criticism from someone you wouldn’t take advice. Never take criticism from someone you wouldn’t take advice.
Those who you would take advice from will tell you to go for it. Get after it, and if you mess up, go for it again. “Seems like a lot of effort for nothing.” It’s effort for sure, but it’s never for nothing. It’s everything.
At the request of listeners I’m going to start a new thing. I am passionate about a few things, one of them as you know is wealth creation. Not for the sake of wealth, but for the amazing things we can create from it. Jim Kwick introduced me to the concept of Grow Givers. These are people who actively seek wealth and by doing so are able to enhance and help those around them. A kind hearted person has the ability to dramatically enhance what they can do for others and our planet by having money as a resource. Ideally, a renewable resource. So we are going to end on a wealth topic. The concept of passive investing has gained a lot of momentum in the past 15 years. Passive investing is investing in an index, such as the S&P 500 index. The S&P 500 is a collection of mostly large company stocks in the United States that operate in a variety of sectors such as technology, healthcare, transportation, utilities, real estate and so forth. The oldest stock index is the DOW Jones 30. Many of you have probably heard that term before. In new times many advisors and investment commentators have used the S&P 500 as a representation of the US stock market, mostly because it is a larger section of the market. So passive investor enthusiasts have urged investors to buy the S&P 500 index and just dollar-cost-average that each month. That way you can get market return, good or bad which since 2007 has averaged just over 8%. Not bad right? 8% is great. But here is a tip. As investors, we can’t have blinders on. It’s still too early to say with certainty, but we may be seeing a changing of the guard. There is a third stock index that has grown in popularity which is called the NASDAQ. The NASDAQ is a collection of common stocks traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange. It too has a variety of stocks from different sectors, but it is very heavy in the technology sector. Currently 46% of the index is composed of technology stocks. Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Google are a few that most people know. Since 2007 this index has returned just over 14%. A few things to note, you can buy different versions of the NASDAQ. You can buy it in ETF form or mutual fund form and each has its own expenses to consider. Second, of course, past performance is no guarantee of future performance, but it’s worth paying attention to I think. Technology isn’t going out of style. If you sell a product or service today you must incorporate technology to produce it, advertise it, distribute it, make it smarter. Do your homework. There is a suitability issue here, this is not a blanket recommendation to go out and buy the NASDAQ index or the NASDAQ 100, I have no idea if that type of investment is suitable for your situation, but if you are an investor that has some time ahead of you, take a looksie. The S&P 500 has been a great investment and I believe it will be a great investment going forward, but there are other options if you are a passive investor. Do your homework, you may find it pays to do so.
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