“A single thought can revolutionize your life as it did mine. A single thought can make you rich or it can land you in prison for the rest of your life.”
-Earl Nightingale, Personal Development Pioneer, Motivational Speaker and Author
When I came across this quote, it was one of those “ah Ha!” moments for me.
What I realized was (although these things play a part) that you do not necessarily need be the smartest guy in the room or the hardest worker to get yourself to a position in life where you can enjoy prosperity. You don’t even have to tirelessly work for decades hoping that at some point your years of hard work will miraculously turn into more income.
The ability to identify and incredibly valuable thought is not limited by age, time or education.
You wouldn’t be teaching Taekwon-Do if you hadn’t first had the thought that it was something you wanted to do and that it was possible for you. It’s a single thought that can launch your life in a whole new direction. A single thought can create and idea for something capable of exploding your business.
There was a guy named Paul Hartunian who made a small fortune thanks to a single thought that occurred while watching a news broadcast about repairs being made to the famous Brooklyn Bridge; that people would pay for parts of the old bridge scrap as collectibles.
He ultimately became the guy who could honestly say that he could “sell the Brooklyn Bridge.”
Napoleon Hill tells the story of the man who revolutionized the grocery industry with the thought of “self-service.”
Ray Kroc looked at the McDonald brothers’ thriving hamburger stand and thought, “duplicable.”
Those are just a few examples, but I think you are starting to get the point.
So the question becomes…
“How can I consistently and reliably spot these ideas and generate these kind of creative thoughts?”
There are three things you need to do, three steps, that will allow you to identify these ideas, to formulate these creative thoughts and to “think on demand” generating money-making ideas that can transform your school and your life.
Make time to think. This may seem simple on the surface, but as a school owner, or someone who works full time and runs a Taekwon-Do program, you know that time can disappear quickly if you are not being intentional about it. You must take the time to stop and think, but many instructors don’t.
Just about every successful school owner or business leader I know intentionally makes time for themselves to think. Sometimes they even refer to it as “stealing” time just to think.
“To do much clear thinking a man must arrange for regular periods of solitude when he can concentrate and indulge his imagination without distraction.”
Successful entrepreneurs find all kinds of ways to do this. Some go for long, meandering drives in rural areas. I heard about one who built a shack about 15 miles from his office, with no phone, no FAX, a comfortable chair, a view of a river and would go there two afternoons a week just to, as Edison put it, “sit for ideas.”
For me it works to go on a hike by myself, sometimes I’ll go eat lunch alone or I’ll find some quiet time late at night hanging out in my back yard when there are no distractions… like kids! I love my kids, but when you are looking for time for yourself, no matter how you try to manage it, a two year old and a 5 year old are major distractions.
Now, making time to stop and think is just the first aspect of what it takes to generate creative, money-making ideas on demand.
Use organized thinking.
What do I mean by “organized thinking”? Well, most people approach things very randomly. When something happens in your business like a lack of cash flow, a lack of new students, a lack of new student appointments, or a sudden loss of students you probably don’t sit down with an organized process and go down the list to see what applies to the situation at hand and what you can do to formulate a good solution.
What usually happens when your business hits a bump in the road is random and reactive at best. You sit there wasting time wondering how this happened and then trying to figure out some way to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
What gets missed when you try to isolate and fix a particular problem is that the problem isn’t isolated. Every other aspect of your business is tied to the problem and and positively or negatively impact what you do next.
Most people approach every event that occurs in their business, every new trend, every sudden occurrence this way.
For example, I have my entire business structure broken down into 9 levels. Level 1 is First Contacts, Level 2 is a Scheduled Appointment, Level 3 is the actual Intro appointment, and Level 4 is as student enrolled in our basic program. With an average ratio of 50% (and that is very conservative) I know that if I want to enroll 10 new students this month I need to do 20 intro lessons, which means I need to schedule 40 appointments, which means I need to invite 80 people to find out about our school.
With this example you can easily see how each level impacts and builds on the next. If there’s a problem at level 4, then I can immediately to go level 3 to see what is causing it an make the necessary changes.
Explore all facets of an idea.
We all know someone who loves playing “devil’s advocate” for no reason other than to give you a hard time or to even discredit your ideas. Those that do this rarely have anything to contribute to you because they are usually doing it for their own amusement or are just being a jerk. However, there is value in putting thought into to good and bad of every idea.
Far too often, people get shut off in meetings and conversations by being called “negative” and told: “don’t be negative” or “don’t over-analyze”.
Michael Vance, who spent many years in charge of idea and people development for Walt Disney and co-founded the Creative Thinking Association of America, says it perfectly when he said:
“There is a difference between the Negative Ned who always instantly resists any change or new idea versus the thoughtful, rational person who wants to explore all facets of an idea, from best possible outcome to worst possible outcome.”
This type of critical thinking is required of anything you take on with your business. If you only look at one side of the coin, the side that excites you and makes you happy, then you’ll miss potential pitfalls aspects that have the ability to develop into a monstrous problem.
Generate ideas, stir creative thoughts, solve problems quickly, and come up with money-making ideas consistently when you follow these rules for thinking on demand.
About the Author:
Senior Instructor – Karstadt Taekwon-Do
Mr. Karstadt is the founder of 1 TKD Consulting and owns the longest running ITF Taekwon-Do school in Arizona, Karstadt Taekwon-Do in Phoenix, AZ with his father Master David Karstadt. He has been training since 1984, earned his Black Belt at the age of 8 and is currently an internationally renown intstructor teaching the culture, discipline, leadership and business skills of Taekwon-Do in classes and seminars to Instructors around the world. He has been a member of eight U.S. Taekwon-Do Teams and has traveled to 14 different countries competing in Taekwon-Do. He has won numerous medals at the World Championships and in international competition, most notably winning the 2004 World Championships in South Korea with two gold medals and the Men’s Team All Around Trophy. Mr. Karstadt currently resides in uptown Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and three children. Mr. Karstadt can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com