If you listen to most of the business experts out there and personal development “gurus”, you’d think that success is some well defined thing that only a few people can attain and even fewer people know how to help you get it.
What those supposed experts and gurus don’t want you to know is that success is not a set, immutable, fixed thing or place that you can easily define for all people with a specific path everyone must follow if they wish to eventually attain or reach it.
But they want you to think that it is. They want you to think that because, they all claim to have THE ANSWER that will send you skyrocketing to success! They know it’s false to claim that what they have to offer is the only way, but they do it anyway, insisting on telling you that their way is THE WAY. Why is that?
So they can sell you something.
They don’t think they can make any money if they tell you the truth, if they tell you that there are an infinite number of ways to define success and just as many ways to attain it. They have to be the expert, the know it all, the one with THE answer.
So then, what is SUCCESS?
Success is an individual phenomenon. Success is defined by you. You can have success in your health, your family life, your Taekwon-Do training, competition, finances, gardening, raising children… anything. With anything you do in your life, you can create and define what success in that area of life looks like.
When it comes to your Taekwon-Do school, again, there is no right way to do it. For some people success might mean having 20 locations in your town, for others it may just be running a small club in a community center with a group of people you are closely related to. It doesn’t matter what your definition of success is, but you must define it.
I spent more than 10 years and thousands upon thousands of dollars looking for THE PERSON who had THE ANSWER to running a successful Taekwon-Do school. I found many successful school owners and I was constantly trying and changing and implementing and changing and implementing and changing how I ran my school in order to be like those who were successful. But I never achieved the success that the others had accomplished, and couldn’t ever understand why.
Until one day, it dawned on me.
I was judging my success based on what others had accomplished and their definitions of what as successful school looked like FOR THEM.
I had not created for myself what success for ME looked like. I had not created how many schools I wanted, how many students, how much money I wanted to make, how much I wanted to train, how much I wanted to compete, and so on. I never created any of this for myself and it seemed to me that I had wasted untold amounts of time, money and energy pursuing what other people said my goals should be.
However, once I did create that for myself, everything began to fall into place. I realized that all of that time, energy and money was not spent in vain. I had an enormous wealth of information that I could draw from to make MY dreams come true, to make my vision of success a reality.
Suddenly I was achieving more than I ever thought I could and it was happening faster than I thought it would!
I urge you to take a few hours, with no distractions, and really create what success looks like for you and your life in all areas (for me, this meant doing it after everyone was asleep and finishing around 2 a.m.!). What does success look like for you? What, for you, would mean success with your income, your bank account, your relationships, your family life, your health, your work, your career, the home you want to live in, the car you want to drive, the clothes you want to wear, the level of physical fitness you desire?
Just get started creating!
So then, what about all the experts and gurus out there? Are they bad? Should you avoid them?
NO! And here’s why… Even if you know that their claim to have THE ANSWER is false (and you do now because you just read this article) it doesn’t mean that they don’t have good ideas, systems and information that can be valuable to you. You just need to take their advertising and their claims with a grain of salt.
I personally prefer to read the biographies of successful people and closely watch what they do. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words, and often times there are inconsistencies in what people are doing, compared to what they are selling. If someone is selling you information on how to market your school, and they are not using what they are teaching, then you should see a big red flag!
The same goes with anything else someone claims to be an expert in. I believe you can learn more by watching what people do, rather than what they’re selling.
And finally, to address the 800 pound gorilla in the room, I’m sure you are wondering… “But Johnny, aren’t you doing what you are accusing these experts and gurus of doing?”
No, and here’s why. I believe that there are many paths to the mountain top and that there are as many mountain tops as people can imagine. I also know that I don’t know everything, but I do know many tactics and strategies for running a successful Taekwon-Do school that is run professionally, profitably, and produces talented martial artists.
My goal is to share that with you so you can take advantage of the things I’ve learned and the mistakes I’ve made and not make them yourself.
I’m not interested in running a program out of a community center or having a mega school with 1,000 students but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with that. I know what I want… a professionally run school that is highly profitable and that produces students, competitors and instructors who can operate at a world class level.
Continue to educate yourself, take what others have to offer, not as the truth, but as examples of success that you can apply to your vision of success!
THE WAY is YOUR WAY yet to be discovered! And the real leaders, experts and gurus are the ones who give you the skills and tools you need to discover your way and fulfill on what matters to you.
Do me a favor and learn from my mistakes. You’ll be happy you did!
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