#86 | Lou Alexander, Part 1 | Motivation vs. Cultivation: Which one will springboard your small business to the next level?
Business Over Beer Episode #86 with Lou Alexander, Part 1
The Business Over Beer podcast welcomes Motivational Speaker, Lou Alexander of Authentic Impact, and Founder of the Big A88 Jogger apparel line.
Despite the hardships that came from growing up in the inner city, Lou had an amazing family foundation laid by his mother. He found football at the age of 15, was highly recruited to play division 1 college football and accepted a scholarship to play for Syracuse University. Lou was the first in his family to graduate college, and went on to play in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted Free Agent.
Now with a lifetime of experience to draw on, Lou is sharing what he has learned from his journey, and is focused on helping people become their biggest selves at whatever they do.
Motivation vs. Cultivation: Which one will springboard your small business to the next level?
We all face challenges in our lives, we all have ups and downs, and as small business owners, those highs and lows can come in rapid succession. Also, we all know that personal development and growth can come out of hardship. We often learn more from our failures than from our successes, and we can use that failure as motivation to achieve success.
But when Lou Alexander joined us recently on The Business Over Beer podcast, he shared a very unique perspective on how to take your small business, your leadership skills and your growth mindset to another level.
Motivation or Cultivation?
Small business owners and entrepreneurs are naturally highly motivated and have a deep-seated passion for solving problems. As a motivated leader, you work on improving the skill sets you already have, and to be better in your current environment.
But is that motivation enough, or is there another level that can help you achieve even greater success?
Yes. It’s cultivation. To be cultivated means that you want to acquire new skills, new qualities and new habits and is about growing something bigger outside of your motivation. Cultivation is motivation plus curiosity and an openness to ask for help in order to learn new ways of doing things.
Unfortunately, our motivation can get in the way. We are motivated by how others view us, motivated not to appear weak, lost or not in control of every aspect of our business and lives. As a result, our egos can restrict cultivation.
Small business owners rely on their motivation to keep at the daily grind of building a business. We are constantly looking for the spot where our product or service fits in the marketplace, and what are all the right elements that will launch our business forward. We’re looking for a springboard and it’s your motivation that gets you to the springboard.
For many of us, that’s enough. Once we find the springboard, we are content, we have a feeling that we made it, that we have nothing else to learn, and it’s enough to feed our motivation. Most definitely you can be a strong leader and build a successful business by merely tapping into your motivation.
But what Lou talked about with us is next level leadership, next level entrepreneurship for those who are ready to take it on, and be willing to admit that they don’t have all the answers.
Are you ready to be cultivated?
Sticking with the springboard analogy: if the springboard is motivation, understanding the mechanics of how the springboard works is cultivation.
For example, as a kid from the inner city, who lost his father at an early age, Lou had plenty of motivation to improve his circumstances. So when he had the opportunity to attend Syracuse University on a football scholarship, he knew that could be the springboard to a better life. When he arrived on campus, he felt like he had made it. He was the first in his family to make it to college, he broke the cycle, and for Lou at that time, it was good enough.
But what Lou understands now, that he didn’t know then, and that many of us do not consider when we are launching our small business forward is, if you don’t know how the springboard works, and you just blindly jump, you may get launched in the wrong direction and end up hurting yourself.
“I didn’t take the mechanics of getting to the next level seriously. I didn’t understand what was under the spring board to make me launch, all I knew was it was a launch pad,” Lou said. “I didn’t take the time know how it actually worked, and I got hit in the mouth.”
Are you willing to Dig Deep?
So what does this motivation vs. cultivation mean for small business owners?
- Dig deep and stay motivated enough to find the springboard that can launch your business to the next level.
- Dig deeper to understand how this springboard works so you know where you’re headed.
- Dig deepest by always looking for ways learn and acquire new skills; do not rest on your laurels and simply be content with who you are today; take the finite details personal.
Small business ownership is not race with a start and finish line. You may think you’ve made it, but you haven’t, there’s always another level if you’re willing to cultivate it.
Our Guest’s Craft Beer Offering:
Golden State Cider – Sebastopol, CA
Jamaica, 5.8% ABV
“Inspired by the rich tradition of Agua Frescas, Jamaica reimagines this familiar taste from a dry cider perspective. Jamaica is a naturally pink cider made with tropical hibiscus flowers, which create fragrant aromas that lead to fresh berry flavors and a tart, round finish.”