At Square One

Ignition Point's first episode is out! If you’re looking to amplify your mindset and spark the momentum you need to empower another winning week, tune in to hear about what you should do if you're looking for a fresh start. In the First Episode of Season 1, we take a look at what you should do if you're starting a new journey or if you are in need of a reboot.

Ignition Point is all about making a positive impact, so please share the show with someone you think it may help. We designed this weekly podcast for ambitious Young Professionals and aspiring Leaders who want to stay motivated and keep moving forward. Throughout Season 1, we will be connecting fresh perspectives with practical strategies to help listeners feel empowered all week long. You can help us improve by joining our LinkedIn and Twitter Community by using #IgnitionPoint, submitting a review on Apple Podcasts, or emailing feedback to steven@decisiveleap.com.

SHOW NOTES

Welcome to Ignition Point – the show that’s here to help you take the leap, conquer your week, and achieve your goals. If you’re looking to amplify your mindset with a fresh perspective and spark your momentum – you’re in the right place.

Hey! What’s going on? I’m Steven Miller. Thanks so much for tuning in to this first episode of Ignition Point, I’m glad you’re here.

Every Monday through Season 1 of Ignition Point, we will break down a monologue adapted from some of the best motivational speeches to discover some of the practical actions you can take to elevate the awesome work that you do.

On today’s episode, appropriately, we are talking about Fresh Starts. You could be months into your journey or have already found success, but at many times through life you will be called back to Square One. There are so many analogies I could use here about pouring foundations or laying down cornerstones, but I’m not a freemason and I refuse to be lumped in with the illuminati after only recording one episode. So that being said, let’s get after it!

THE WEEKLY MONOLOGUE

Doesn’t it feel like the second you figure anything out in life, it ends and you’re forced to start all over again? Experts call these times of life “transitions.” Well, I call them terrifying. The world tries to distract us from our fear during these transitions by celebrating us. You feel a sense of having arrived: like you have finally made it. The applause eventually ends though, and it’s time to exit stage left.

When I lived this reality, it dawned on me that I left it all out there with ferocity and commitment—but my hustling days were not over; in fact, they were just beginning. I’d spent my entire career the same way I'd spent my time in that spotlight. Just feeling grateful. But you can be grateful for what you have while also seizing the opportunity to demand what you deserve.

In that moment, I did what I was taught to do. I kept my head down; I stayed on the path; and ultimately, I got my job done. I was Little Red Riding Hood. You know the story: It’s just one of many cautionary tales we are told. Little Red Riding Hood heads into the woods with strict instructions: Stay on the path. Don’t talk to anybody. And she does just that, at first.

She dared to get a little curious and venture off the path. Then she encountered the Big Bad Wolf… and all hell breaks loose. The message is clear: Don’t be curious or make trouble. BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN. But we know this is not true. You have the power to create truth just by believing something is true. I should have believed that I was the wolf.

Take this example: In 1995, wolves were re-introduced into Yellowstone National Park after a 70 year absence. In those years, the deer population skyrocketed because they were unchallenged, alone atop the food chain. They grazed away, so much that the river banks started to erode. Once the wolves arrived, they hunted the deer. Their presence alone significantly changed the behavior of the deer. Wisely, the deer started avoiding the valleys, and the plant-life regenerated. Trees quintupled in just six years. Beavers moved in and built dams that provided habitats for otters, ducks and fish. The ecosystem regenerated, the plants stabilized the river banks from collapse, and the rivers steadied—all because of the wolves’ presence. The wolves, who were feared as a threat to the system, turned out to be its salvation. Are you picking up what I’m putting down here?

If we are feared as a disruptive threat to our system—we can also be a source of salvation. Society today is overrun with archaic ways of thinking about women, people of color, the rich and the poor, the powerful and the powerless—and these ways of thinking are destroying us. They require disruption.

You must commit to not Little Red Riding Hood your way through life. We must unite as a pack, storm the valley and change the whole system.

Teams need a unifying structure, and the best way to create one collective heartbeat is to establish rules for your team to live by. The only thing that matters is that you’re all on the same page.

Here are the three rules I’ve used to unite my pack.

Rule One: MAKE FAILURE YOUR FUEL

Too many people don’t know what to do with the gift of failure. They hide it, deny it happened, reject it—and they end up wasting it. Listen: Failure is not something to be ashamed of, it's something to be POWERED by. Failure is the highest octane fuel your life can run on. You gotta learn to make failure your fuel. I learned that in order to become my very best—at anything—I would need to let the feelings and lessons of failure transform into my power. Failure is fuel. Failure is power. You must embrace failure as your fuel instead of accepting it as your destruction.

Rule Two: LEAD FROM THE BENCH

In sports, there are times an athlete is asked to yield playing time to others on the team. This is called “getting benched.” At times, you’ll feel benched. You’ll be passed over for the promotion, taken off the project—you might even find yourself holding a baby instead of a briefcase—watching your colleagues then “get ahead.” You’re allowed to be disappointed when it feels like life’s benched you, but you aren’t allowed to miss your opportunity to lead from the bench. Your presence; your support; your vocal, relentless belief in your team from the bench can give them the confidence they need to win. If you’re not a leader on the bench, don’t call yourself a leader on the field. You’re either a leader everywhere or nowhere. Wherever you’re put, lead from there.

Rule Three: CHAMPION EACH OTHER

You won’t always be the person on your team who is responsible for the win. And when you aren’t—you have to throw your support behind the person who is. This can be difficult. Humans have been pitted against each other in competition since the beginning of time for a seat at the table. This is not our fault, but it is our problem. Amplify your voices. Demand seats at every table where decisions are made. Claim the success of one as a success for all. Believe in the power of we over me, because Their Victory is your Victory. Celebrate it.

Know what your team needs from you. If your team needs to you to play the role of supporter or the role of teacher, do it. Eventually, you will be called to action, to demand your role. There will come a time for you to say, GIVE ME THE PROMOTION. GIVE ME THE MICROPHONE. GIVE ME THE RESPECT I’VE EARNED.

I learned the most important lesson about this when one of my sponsors surprised me at a retirement meeting with their plan for a send-off commercial. The message was this: “Forget Me.” They knew I wanted my legacy to be ensuring the future success of what I had dedicated my life to. If my name were forgotten, that would mean that those who came after me were pushing on to new heights. Be careful what you wish for. They forgot me.

But being forgotten didn’t scare me. What scared me was losing my identity. I defined myself as the one who always gave 100% to my team. A few months later, I became a partner, a parent, a business owner and an activist. I still give 100% and I fight every day to make a better future. Going forward: Don’t just ask yourself, “What do I want to do?” “What you do” will never define you. Take pause and ask yourself: “WHO do I want to be?” “Who you are” will always define you.

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

There’s so much great stuff to unpack here, but I want to start back at square one, because after all that’s what we are talking about today.

At the beginning of the speech, we talked about Cautionary Tales. When you grow up you don’t have to shift your perceptions, but you should want to see the world through fresh eyes, right? To be clear, I am not telling you to go all Johnny Knoxville on life, but you should ask the hard questions and dare to defy what is templated for you along your path. I’ll save you the Robert Frost quote for a later date, I mean, after all this is just Episode 1, but let’s dive into some of those practical actions you can take for your week going forward.

First and foremost, I want to bring up looking at your past. You should embrace it. Take on exactly what we said in Rule 1, Make Failure Your Fuel. You can do this this week by defining a Moment in which you got knocked to the mat. Choose something that was not necessarily too early on to drive you. I mean, if you choose something too early in your life as a moment of failure, you could end up fueled to just not disappoint your parents for once. And I think we both know you want to aim higher than that.

You should know, it doesn’t have to be an immediate failure, just one that is relevant enough in your life to drive you. Doing this allows you to establish your intent and follow a new direction.

The second practical action I want to bring forward to you is to lead from the bench and take on that moment where you can support your team. I could get into the idea here of the Egoist versus the Altruist, but this isn’t a philosophy lesson for you. The root of that point is just that the egoist is the type of person that likes to put themselves before the crowd. The altruist likes to put the crowd before themselves. What we want to do here is find a happy medium, a place of support for that team. The point is that you have to put the team before yourself, but remember that you are a part of the team. If you’re not a leader from where you’re put, don’t call yourself a leader at all, right? You Can Lead from anywhere.

The proper action to take, on this note, is to look at your role on the team as it stands today. Find one way to make your presence felt. Support someone’s idea, back somebody up, or heck, reinforce the vision you all signed up for.

The third and final practical action for this week that I want to recommend you to take is to materialize your vision. You will never be who you want to be and you’ll never achieve your goals unless you put them on paper. So who do you want to be? Remember, this is the part that defines you. What you can do is make a composite of yourself. It can be lengthy, but truth be told, brevity can be just as empowering. Then post it where you can be reminded of it every single day.

I was reminded once, if you don’t like your lifestyle, you should look at your results. If you don’t like your results, look at your actions. If you don’t like your actions, look at your attitude. And if you don’t like your attitude, you must look at your philosophy. If you use these as points to reflect on, you’ll be able to amplify the outcomes of your actions and publish an amazing blueprint for yourself. Don’t fear going back to the drawing board and revising this blueprint though. Your Hustling Days will never be over.

Here at Ignition Point, our goal is to make a positive impact on the world, so if any of the thoughts we shared resonate with you or you’d like to help us improve, please write a review for our show wherever you listen to great podcasts.

You can join our community by using #IgnitionPoint on Twitter and LinkedIn. If you’d like to be featured on our next Minisode of Carpe Weekend, share your big win of the week with me directly by emailing steven@DecisiveLeap.com.

We hold out until the end of each show to share who inspired each week’s Ignition Point to keep you curious and remind you to focus on the motivation, not the motivator. This week’s Ignition Point was adapted from Abby Wambach’s 2018 Commencement Address at Barnard College.

Remember to stay motivated and keep moving forward. If you put in the hard work right now – one day – you could be the one motivating the world with your story.

Before we go, I want to thank you for supporting the show! If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe so you can be the first to hear our newest episodes when they drop every Monday. For more about the show, you can check out decisiveleap.com/ignitionpoint.

I’ll be looking forward to speaking with you next time on another episode of Ignition Point.

Now get on out there and win the week!