Monday, December 19, 2011

Dude! We Don't Get Autographs, We Give Autographs!

The visioning process is one of the most essential, but challenging components to entrepreneurship, business and economic development. It forces one or more to actually “see” themselves not as they are, but as they will be!
Earlier this month (December 2011), my wife and I went to Hopkinsville, Kentucky’s historic Alhambra Theatre to hear our 7 year old son’s first Christmas concert performance. He was performing with Belmont Elementary School’s choir. He was nervous because the choir would be on stage singing and being recorded with the Peter Meyar Group and in front of more than 400 attendees.
My wife, youngest son and I sat a couple rows in front of the choir and enjoyed the Peter Meyar Group’s performance. We were also keeping an eye on our son. During the break, we overheard my son talking, which he does just a bit too much, to one of his friends. My son’s friend says, “hey, let’s go get Peter’s autograph,” and my son replies with conviction, “Dude! We don’t get autographs, we give autographs!”
My wife with playful sarcasms says to me, “do you hear your son?” I don’t say anything in reply, but instead I give her a proud Dad look, shrug my shoulders and grin. Why? Because, I understand how important vision is to development. Development is quite different than growth. Growth can occur naturally and without any intention, but development occurs with actions and the intentions of future improvements. I also believe that you are who you THINK and BELIEVE and SAY that you are. This applies equally to startup and existing business owners, entrepreneurs, change agents, career-driven employees and for personal and organizational development.
Starting at the top, God’s Word instructs and guides us to have FAITH and to think, believe and speak in FAITH throughout the Bible. The Scripture reads; “speak those things that are not as though they are” and another “whatever a man thinks about himself in his heart so is he (or she)” and again “say to the mountain, be cast into the sea and it shall be.” I encourage you to THINK, BELIEVE and SAY how great you are, your accomplishments and contributions…this is KEY to your achieving all that you can dream.
In Napoleon Hill’s inspirational classic, “Think and Grow Rich,” Hill describes this principle in detail as “auto-suggestion” or self-suggestion. Furthermore, Hill says that it is a well known fact that one comes to believe whatever one repeats to one’s self, whether the statement be true of false. It is the FAITH, THOUGHTS (mixed with emotions), BELIEF and WORDS that help you overcome your fears and doubts.
If you are an entrepreneur, then your rationale and probably a few friends and loved ones attempted to persuade you not to try to develop your idea and passion into a product or service. In business development, writing a business plan is needed after you have conceptualized your product or service. Developing a business plan is essentially visioning how your business will succeed or how you see it succeeding tomorrow versus today.
So then the bottom-line is this, what do you THINK about yourself? Are your thoughts about yourself, your business, your career or your performance overwhelmingly positive or unfortunately negative? What do you BELIEVE and feel about yourself as a business owner or employee? Do you believe that you are doomed to poverty or favored to achieve wealth and health? What is it that you SAY to yourself about yourself? Are you your greatest encourager or barrier? Do you say that you suck or that you are most fortunate? What you SAY matters! What you THINK matters! And, what you BELIEVE matters! Most importantly is not only that it matters, but that it matters to the degree that it directly and proportionally impacts who you are today and who you will be tomorrow.
Starting today, give yourself and those around you a chance, not only a chance but the best chance to achieve all the good that you desire. THINK, BELIEVE and SAY who you are, envisioning yourself in the Highest’s light. Let me give you a push, I THINK that you are more and have more in you than you or I will ever come to know or understand. I BELIEVE in you and your abilities to achieve. And last, I SAY that you are a successful business owner, entrepreneur, leader, parent or employee. You have all that you need to achieve all that you desire.
Today, I challenge you to SAY great things about yourself and your future on a daily basis, regardless if you know or do not know how you plan to improve. I challenge you to BELIEVE that God has your best in mind and that your best is yet to come. I challenge you to THINK about achieving your dreams daily. It all starts with what you THINK, BELIEVE and SAY. This is how my 7 year old son THINKS, BELIEVES and SAYS about himself, “Dude! We Don’t Get Autographs, We Give Autographs.”
Henry Snorton, III, CEcD, MPA, CNM is an entrepreneur and founder of Mission Vision Partner (MVP), an economic development consulting firm. For client engagement, public speaking or workshop presentations, contact Henry at