The Deadly Duo

The reason Americans are accepting of the widening gap between the rich and everyone else is national conceit and lottery mentality. As business owners, we need to trade these mentalities for ones that allow us to invest in a purpose and help ourselves as we help others.

Each week we share ideas, concepts and thoughts of how to grow a business by focusing on its numbers. By knowing our numbers, we can course-correct easier and more effectively, and make data-driven decisions for our company. But a couple weeks ago…

The only numbers everyone seemed to be talking about were LOTTERY NUMBERS!

Buying lottery tickets is an absolute irrational act—the odds are sooooooo not in our favor (at the time of writing this blog, the odds were 1 in 292.2M). But yet, millions line up week after week, because of the powerful idea that an “ordinary Joe,” someone just like us whose only qualifying act was buying a ticket, wins the motherload!

“Life has no remote, get up and change it yourself.” —Mark A. Cooper. Click to Tweet

Lotteries are flawed fundamentally, because there are only a few winners. Unless reality changes, eventually we must wake up and realize that we live in a winner-take-all society and for most of us, we are a long way away from winning. This lottery mentality, where we’re going to be the one out of 635M+ tickets sold, doesn’t drive the needed change.

The other facet of the deadly duo driving the acceptance of the economic inequality in America is conceit. By conceit, I mean that underlying lie we bite into by thinking that America is the greatest and most superior country on earth. Confidence is a great national attribute and most definitely, has been a foundation for our resilience, but conceit in the “American Dream” can cloud a country’s ability to recognize truths.

“The truth at any cost, lowers all other costs.” —Robert David Steele

For example, take the health care debate; political criticism of what is now known as Obamacare, arguing that it would kill the “best” system in the world. Mary Meeker, a forward-thinking internet guru and venture capitalist, combated this American conceit with facts and a question that brought the truth to the surface when she said, ‘‘USA per capita healthcare spending is 3x OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] average, yet the average life expectancy and a variety of health indicators in the US fall below average. But if you spend way more than everyone else, shouldn’t your results (a.k.a. ‘performance’) be better than everyone else’s, or at least near the top?’

My point here is this—we as successful business owners must fulfill the role of helping as many people around us awaken, recognize truths, and discover their full potential. This Nation needs producers more than it ever has in our history! We live in a time where a good percent of our GDP is consumption, and gang, we know where that leads—the gap between wealth and poverty will continue to grow at exponential rates.

The one thing I know about prayer is this—nothing will change until we get off of our knees and get to work. If we want something better than what we’ve got right now in this life, we must step out of the lottery lines, lose the conceitedness, and make the right investments. We need to invest in a purpose. Start by asking yourself the right questions:

Who am I?
Why am I here?
What is my purpose?
What can I do to help myself and others?

“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” —Zig Ziglar