Bi-Weekly Newsletter

September 23, 2019

How Badly Do You Want It?

Thrilled doesn't even begin to describe what I felt when I found out that Elton John would stop by in Vancouver for his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.

I've loved his music since my very first visit to the U.S. when I was 13 when my American "parents", the family I stayed at, gave me a tape of "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and since my father snatched a copy of "Live in Australia" with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

I saw Elton perform in Moscow in 1992 and then together with Billy Joel in Seattle in the early 2010s.

I will remember both shows for as long as I live.

And of course, there's one of my all-time favorite videos of Sir Elton John composing—on the spot—a song about a conventional thermostat oven.

If you haven't seen it, check it out. It's brilliant!

Somehow I missed Elton when he had his residency in Vegas, so this looked like the last opportunity to get a new dose of great live music from him.

As you may know, I have 3 kids. 13-year-old Masha used to take music lessons and was pretty good at it until we got tired of forcing her to practice and instead let her quit.

Patricia at 10 years old is still going at it full force. She loves music and she loves playing the piano.

Our 5-year-old Dave doesn't do music (yet), but this story is not about him.

When it was time to get the tickets, I asked my dear family members if they wanted to see the show.

My wife immediately said she wasn't interested. She would stay home with Dave.

I was still bitter with Masha about quitting music, so I counted her out as well.

This left Patricia.

I shared the news with her and got some lukewarm response.

Totally not what I expected.

And then I gave her a test that cleared everything up right away.

I asked, "Patricia, if you had a choice—and I'm not saying that you do have this choice, but let's pretend you did... I could either buy an extra $600 ticket so you could see Elton John live with me or I could just give you $50 in cash. What would you pick?"

She went like, "Oh, I'm not sure, it's a difficult choice to make..."

I said right away, "Actually you already made your choice by even considering the $50 as a viable option."

She's like, "Can I get my $50 now?"

I replied, "No, remember, I said we're only pretending that you have this choice, I didn't really offer it to you as an either-or scenario."

So I went to see the concert by myself—and it was everything I could ever hope for. And more.

But this whole experience reminded me of something I learned from Dan Lok.

Your success hinges on whether your will to succeed overpowers your excuses not to.

I realized that every time I don't play full on, I'm making a declaration that I'm not 100% certain if what I'm doing is fully worth it, that I might just go for the metaphorical $50 instead.

This is how dreams turn into regrets.

And the funny thing is, usually, the $50 option is not even on the table.

So, metaphorically speaking, if you had a choice—and I'm not saying that you do have this choice, but let's pretend you did... You could either secure the legacy of your brand or you could get $100 in cash today.

If you haven't trademarked your brand and if even for a second you are considering the $100 option, it's a sure sign that you don't value your brand.

It doesn't mean you're a bad person or a horrible business owner.

All it means is you made a decision.

A decision that your brand is not worth investing another dollar or minute of your life in.

Maybe it's a sign that you should come up with a different brand that will get you pumped.

Or maybe a new business.

Either way, the lesson here is not about trademarking your brand.

It's about re-framing the question from yes-or-no to this-or-that.

"This" is supposedly a step towards your dream.

"That" is some minimally attractive "quick and easy" option.

If you're even considering "That", it means you don't care enough about the dream to go with the "This" option.

Plain and simple.

Let me know what you think.

I read and personally respond to all your replies.


PS Funny enough, just when I was finishing this post, I heard my doorbell ring. They left a package. There was a bunch of VIP Elton John swag I didn't even know I had ordered. What a nice surprise and a perfect ending of an already great story.