First Wood. Then Heat.

There is this old cartoon I keep around to use in some slide decks. In the picture, a man is standing in front of a wood burning stove. The man is saying to the wood burning stove, “Give me more heat and I will give you more wood.” The stove replies, “Give me more wood and I’ll give you more heat.” It’s an amusing little cartoon because it points to the truth that we sometimes get things in the wrong order when it comes to producing the results we want. The man in the cartoon is going to get no more heat until he puts more wood into the stove, and it can be no other way.

This truth applies to every area of your life, and it is why I continually suggest that “you go first.” But first, a small diversion from the central point here, only because I find it necessary.

The idea of producing the result you want means that you have an unambiguous picture of what it is that you want. You have to know what you are after to obtain it. Most people, however, live their lives without written goals or the plans to achieve them. Instead, they simply drift, repeating the same year over and over again without progressing. You must know what heat is to know to feed it wood.

I’ve said this another way, “You can have anything you want if you are willing to pay the price for it in full before you have it.” And this is the thing; you must pay the price before you have what you want.

Right now, I am taking a short break from the final edits of my third book, Eat Their Lunch, to write this newsletter. I want to write the best book I can, so I am spending today paying the price to provide you with a chapter that will change the way you view your contacts and your dream clients and deepen your understanding of how to serve them (while taking them away from your competitors). The price for a good chapter is spending the day editing this chapter and two others.

Not only do I have to pay the price, but I also intend to pay it in full. Paying in full requires that I give myself over to this task, giving it my full attention and focus. I want heat, so I provide wood. I am going first.

What is that you want? What is the price you must pay for what you want? What is the wood that you need to feed the stove to have heat?

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