This past week, I read a bestselling book by Lou Holtz,
entitled, "Wins, Losses,and Lessons."
Lou Holtz is best known for his success as a college
football coach at Notre Dame for most of the '80's.
He also was a successful coach at several other schools,
North Carolina State, Arkansas, William & Mary, South
Carolina and Minnesota among others.
In fact, he was a successful coach at every place he's ever
coached, except for one... that was with the New York Jets
in the NFL.
He talked about this experience in his book...
Holtz and his family had been happy at North Carolina
State when he was offered the opportunity to coach
the Jets in the NFL.
He didn't really want the job, but the Jet's owner Leon
Hess was a persuasive man. Holtz found he couldn't say
no to the offer.
He ended up taking the job, even though he didn't really
want to... telling himself he'd go and see if he liked it.
Ultimately he was with the Jets for less than a full
season, winning only three games before resigning
to accept a head coaching position at Arkansas.
He says in his book that his short-lived tenure has been
a source of embarrassment ever since... not because the
Jets didn't do well under his leadership (they did not)... but because making the jump to the NFL, and then
leaving so quickly grew out of a so-so commitment.
His success before and after his time with the Jets
grew out of committing to whatever path he was on.
The reason I bring this up is that I talked with a cart
operator last Friday who is planning on opening up a
new location this upcoming week.
A couple comments he made to me raised a little
First, he told me he was able to get his initial inventory
on consignment, meaning he didn't have to pay for it up
This by itself wasn't the issue.
As a cart operator,
getting the expense of your initial inventory fronted by
someone else would usually be great.
However, as he talked a little more, I wondered how
great of a deal it really was.
The amount of inventory was barely enough to stock
his cart, let alone cover any sales he'd make right off
The general axiom is that it's hard to sell off an empty
apple cart, which means it's hard to sell when you don't
have a full inventory of product.
With even a small amount of sales, he would be out
of stock on many items almost immediately.
As he kept on talking he shared that because he got the
initial inventory up front, he might as well "give it a try."
The implication being that if it didn't work out, he had
nothing to lose.
When you go into any endeavour with the intent of just giving
'it' a try, it's easy to allow that ethereal 'it' to become the
source of your success... or failure... rather than your own efforts.
Although your product, and your mall, and your staff all are
important factors in your success... the single biggest factor
in the success of your business is you and your efforts.
Better to fully commit to whatever path you set out on, as
that maximizes your chances of success.
As Lou Holtz put it, when you enter a situation with less than
a full commitment, what often happens is that you constantly
see all the problems, rather that looking for the solutions.
When people tell you, "Your product is too expensive', it's
easy to think to yourself, "Maybe it is too expensive."
When people tell you, "No one will want that", it's easy to
think to yourself, "Maybe no one will want it."
When people tell you, "That'll never work", it's easy to thinkMaybe they're right."
And then think maybe you should really be doing something
The seeds of your failure are planted before you ever start
in your lack of commitment.
However, when you're committed, you see the problems, but
then tend to focus on finding solutions.
Will this operator succeed? I don't know. I hope so.
He has a solid product, is in a solid mall, and has a solid
core of employees already in place.
It appears to as if it really depends on how fully he
commits to his success.
So... how fully are you willing to commit to your success?
Is it your intention to succeed... or to just try to succeed?
In either case, it's likely you'll get what you set out for.
If you set out with an intention to succeed, it's likely
you'll experience success.
If you set out with an intention to try, it's very likely
you'll experience a lot of trying.
The choice is yours.
Commit fully to whatever path you set out on.
When you do, chances are much greater you'll get what you
P.S. Are you thinking of opening a holiday cart or
kiosk, but don't know what's involved?
Register for my free, seven day mini e-course on
'How to Open Your Own Mall Cart or Kiosk Business.'
It'll cover some of the basic issues you need to
take into account when starting your first cart or
kiosk. You can register here: