Summertime Reading — Pain Is Pleasure! by Brian CalifanoIn a rare instance of practicing what I preach, I have committed myself to reading — in an effort to clear my mind and focus on my goals and expectations for the second half of the year. 

I am highly recommending: Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins. 

The author describes how he overcame a difficult childhood and transformed himself from a depressed, overweight young man into a US Armed Forces machine — and one of the world’s top endurance athletes. He details how he was able to “callous” his mind so that he can achieve remarkable physical feats while enduring tremendous pain and hardships. By doing so, he has been able to accomplish such “impossible” tasks like running over 100 miles in a day in the Arizona desert and setting the Guinness Book of World Records for number of pull-ups in a 24-hour period. (As a bonus, you should purchase the Audible version of this book to get an idea of the intensity this man brings to life and for additional details.) 

It is a truly inspirational book that will remind you of the power of the human mind and body, and what can be achieved when you devote 100% of your time and effort to your goals.

So why do I think this book is important for small business owners and entrepreneurs to read? Because there are many lessons that we can take away from Goggins’s life and apply it to the way that we run our business and approach our business plan. I want to share the top three things that continue to resonate with me:

  1. The 40% Rule: According to Goggin’s, we only use 40% of our mind and body to its fullest capacity. The difference between 40% and 60% is what we internally limit ourselves to do. As this pertains to small business owners, we may not always look at our fullest potential for our business, careers, or product line, especially if it means enduring some hardship. However, with focus, you can accomplish more than you ever realized or dreamed of. Eliminate self-imposed obstacles that result in limitations. 
  2. Embrace failure, don’t fear it: In the aforementioned endurance run, Goggins didn’t actually finish first (a perceived failure). Yet, he quickly re-aligned his thinking and realized that, rather than be discouraged, he had achieved more than almost everyone. Use failure as fuel. Every entrepreneur knows this lesson. We fail all the time. Accept the fact that certain ideas won’t work, and use the experience as motivation to find a better answer. Do not become disheartened; continue to pursue dreams and ideas. 
  3. Accountability Mirror: Goggins displays his goals and dreams on a sticky note on his mirror. Each morning he reads them as a reminder. This way, every effort is focused on achieving those goals. 

Take-away: If you can dream it, you can achieve it. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies, especially when we set up constraints on what we can accomplish with no good reason other than “We don’t think we can do it.” In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “The world is but a canvas to our imagination.”

Contact us with your questions.

Brian Califano & Scott MargolinBrian Califano

Scott Margolin

Co-founders & Managing Partners


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